Skip to Content

How can SAP mobile apps for HR make your manager’s life easier?

Hello HCM experts,

In this post I want to give you an update on where we are at with our mobile strategy for HR and in particular what we have for Mobile analytics.

From a personal perspective I have to say that now that I use mobile apps for business, such as one that tracks my travel receipts, my life is much easier. It’s also nice to submit a request for my next vacation from my mobile phone when I’m on my last day of my current vacation 🙂

Working whenever and wherever I want eliminates a lot of stress and provides me with much more insight into every part of my job. I can work faster, better, and more efficiently, allowing me plenty of time to write blogs like this one 😉

And I am not the only one who has become more efficient. A study by Nectar Business found that an employee who has a mobile device works an average of 15 hours more per week, which adds up to 10 extra days a year. As we all have seen, the easier it is to access something, the more people will access it and the more productive they become, especially at work.

Mobile apps bring new efficiencies to talent management

The increased efficiency that mobile apps are bringing to business now extends to HR and the management of talent. There are mobile apps that help executives gain more insight into the talent on their teams while other apps help managers conduct performance reviews. These apps provide quantitative data that can be readily accessed in real or near-real time, helping people make faster and more effective fact-based talent decisions.

Every manager has HR activities that are a critical and necessary part of his or her job. These tasks sometimes feel tedious, because they seem to take valuable time away from more important (usually revenue related) work. Because of this, managers often are ill prepared when it’s time for an employee performance review. They often don’t have time to review assessment documents, so it’s a bit challenging to fully know which employee should be nominated as high potential during the talent review cycle.

Manage HR tasks anytime, anywhere

Mobile apps are now making it easier for managers to access key HR information everywhere and at any time. For instance, a manager could review all the data on his or her way to a talent meeting and be better prepared. The next time an employee approaches a manager in the hallway with an ad-hoc business question, the manager could simple access the data in question in real time. The employee and the manager can discuss talent scores, payment structures, or performance-related matters right then and there, saving them both a lot of time.


Management insights into strategic talent pools

Mobile apps are also highly beneficial for senior executives who can get keen insights into their workforce from company-wide aggregated data. They can get a strategic profile of the talent in the company by quickly identifying the key talents in the organization, who manages them, and if they are at risk of leaving. People can also examine how well their company is complying with HR policies. For instance, executives can do an analysis on how many females and minorities are employed in the company. All this data can be at their fingertips at the point where key business decisions are made, whether at the airport, at home on the coach, or in the office on the way to a meeting.

HR also needs access to talent-related data as well. With insight into any appropriate HR metrics, the HR staff can immediately bring managers up to speed about individual employees and other pertinent talent-related issues in the organization. 

SAP Manager Insight Mobile App

The SAP Manager Insight mobile app provides managers and HR business partners with complete employee profiles. Managers can now see aggregated HR metrics, with comprehensive data on administrative, organizational management, compensation, and talent information. Plus, they can drill down into the organization and zero in on specific departments. To increase efficiency, managers can save different views with their preferences for faster tracking of issues and follow up. People can then explore the exact same view a few days later with updates on any progress made since the initial request. 

SAP Manager Insight can pull in data directly from the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse application. This means that there is a huge metric library of content available that can be linked to the app to get insight in all operational and strategic HR processes.

Check the following mock up for the analytics capabilities. 


The manager can drill down along the organizational structure to zero in on areas of interest. The KPI’s and analytics that are provided to your management are fully flexible and can be customized according to management’s need. 

Which metrics are visualized is fully customizable. The same flexibility is applicable to the employee profile set up. Check the following mock up for an overview of the employee profile in Manager Insight: 

talent profile.png

The employee profile displayed here is fully customizable so that managers are equipt with all information they need to know.

To see how SAP Manager Insight can help improve your productivity with HR-related tasks, watch this video.

Other mobile apps for HR

SAP now offers a wide variety of HR mobile apps, including ones for employee lookup, leave request, timesheets, and interview assistant. To see all of our mobile solutions for human resources, click here.

To see how SAP Manager Insight and other SAP mobile apps for HR work together, watch this video featuring SAP customer, Vodafone. You’ll see how SAP is making make people’s lives simpler and more productive.

Ready for SAP mobile apps?

To get your SAP mobile apps up and running, you’ll need to have a secure  infrastructure in place that blocks unauthorized people (both internal and external) from accessing information they are not allowed to see. You’ll also want an infrastructure that provides a secure data exchange between your existing SAP software and your employees’ mobile devices. You can find this infrastructure in the SAP Mobile Platform. It allows organizations to manage all devices remotely with the SAP Afaria mobile device management and security solution. The SAP Mobile Platform also provides a development platform that helps customers build their own apps.

You’ll find that SAP mobile apps are delivered on multiple platforms, which helps support customers ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) strategies. 

Explore the SAP mobile solutions for human resources and you’ll find you have more time for your employees and your work – as well as for vacations and blog writing!

I hope that I have provided you with enough insight to unwire yourself and your HR organization

Best regards,


You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
  • Good article Frans but a very touchy topic given the costs for SAP HCM OnPremise customers to be able to actually use the solid offerings you mentioned above.  I wrote about this last year in  Is SAP Using the Right Mobility Strategy and it is still a major problem.

    The bottom line is customers are not adopting SAP HCM mobility solutions on mass (even though they want them) as they cannot build a business case due to the cost of the apps, infrastructure and SUP/Gateway.  I have several large customers that have reviewed SAP offerings and decided that building less robust point to point would be a more cost effective option. Just to give a flavor of the cost for a SIMPLE approval app has a LIST price of $456 a yr per user which for an organization of 5K users would be $2.2M + Sybase Unwired Platform + Gateway and that is just for ONE app.  The managers insight app (which I like the functionality) has a list price of  $450 per user so in my example above a company would have a list price of $4.5M for TWO apps and still needs SUP + Gateway and the costs that go with those two offerings.

    The bottom line is that most HR SaaS vendors including SuccessFactors are including their mobile functionality as part of their base subscription and in some cases similar functionality (ie Employee Lookup) as what SAP currently is expecting their onPremise customers to pay millions of dollars (5K example above) to be able to use. Customers are not dumb and being on the ground I have seen there is limited adoption of the SAP HCM mobile apps and not because they dont want them, it is because they cant even come close to making a stand alone HR business case.

    It is important if SAP wants to stay competitive with their SAP HCM onPremise offering that they review their pricing strategy especially around simple mobile apps like approvals, pay slips, time entry and employee look up and I mentioned the same thing to Sanjay Poonen at the influencer briefing I was at a last month SAP Briefing - Cloud, Mobility and HCM and he said he would look into it.

    • Jarret, I think it's fair to say your summary and points about licensing aren't restricted to just the HCM space...

      I posted elsewhere on another blog discussion about this problem.  Generally, mobile users are used to paying maybe $2.00 / £2.00 for an app on their personal device and that is it, there is no other ongoing cost (other than for their device(s) and/or data plan of course.)

      SAP are now trying to create a mobility landscape where the pricing model goes against this, which in my mind is a bit like pushing water uphill.  However, it does beg the question of how do SAP (and indeed SI's and ISV's) recoup the cost of designing, building and integrating mobile app's, which may take many days/weeks/months of multiple skillsets to complete.  That is where you have to hope the volume of sales of your app are sufficient to cover these costs (and hopefully turn a profit!)

      Focussing on the actual technology needed to deliver a mobile solution, I know from personal experience that it is a lot easier & quicker to knock up something using PhoneGap/native Android/something similar that hooks straight into an ERP system, than it is to use SUP.  So again, we have to ask why use SUP (and for SAP app's that also means Gateway) with their inherent extra licensing and extra effort required?

      (To be fair, I am a proponent of SUP for custom mobile development, I just see it's biggest challenge as licencing and associated costs, and have seen too many other clever SAP technologies over the years fail miserably because of this challenge.)

      • So again, we have to ask why use SUP (and for SAP app's that also means Gateway) with their inherent extra licensing and extra effort required?

        Easy. When it gets to the large scale complexity of managing multiple apps, multiple devices, and multiple back-ends, the costs start to diminish.

        But this is the same argument we have with BI customers - start with a strategy before you implement anything. BI, like SUP, costs diminish over time when more and more applications are rolled out on the platform. The mindset has completely changed in mobility, because we didn't have a pre-existing set of technology practices to frame our opinion on. In BI we did, because we saw the only technical solution for doing reporting and analytics was to push all of our data to another system (data warehouse) which inherently meant purchasing a BW system with, guess what...another set of users!

        ps- I'm a SUP supporter as well, it's just a struggle to position.

        • Totally agree with regard to the scaling.  It's a no-brainer in that scenario.  I think the problem is customers don't always see how they will get from a single leave request approval app, through to fully mobilising their entire ERP landscape, and so building the business case for a full SUP & GW & Afaria landscape is difficult*.  Especially when everyone is used to buying app's that cost cents/pence as a one off!

          A small, dedicated mobile development SI/ISV (possibly with no SAP experience) knocks on their door and offers to deliver the leave request approval app, using industry standard mobile tech (none-SAP) for 10's of thousands of the local currency and they go for it - why would they consider SUP & GW for 100's of thousands, if not millions as Jarret has shown?

          6 months, 2 years, etc. down the road, they wake up to find 200 mobile app's, all developed on different platforms, with different protocols, different infrastructure, different source control and version management.  They have no control over which employees have which app's, they' can't understand why an ex-colleague who is a manager in a competing company seems to know their sales figures better than them (probably because he still has access to their apps on his own phone) etc...  Now the business case for SUP & GW & Afaria becomes clear but it is too late.

          Ok, probably an extreme example but lets be honest, one of the fundamental benefits of the SAP landscape is having an all-encompassing, integrated system to manage your enterprise.  I kind of see the Sybase platforms as being an extension of this, although with the current pricing models I'm not sure it's going to work out like that.

          *I expect to start seeing more SUP & Afaria On Demand offerings from SI's, to try and turn the service from needing a CapEx to instead running with an OpEx and hopefully limiting the initial investment required (I'm aware of one of our competitors already offering this service.)

    • Jarret,

      you are right. What SAP communicates about mobile business with SAP and what customers actually have to pay for this are two totally different things. The license model for SUP does not scale. You need a minimum number of users and apps to justify the investment and you can only use it up to a not very high user number, like 300 or 500 users.

      And what you get isn't really what customers really need: runs on all platforms, customization, usable out of the box in your actual landscape (that is: ECC + SUP, and not MI DOE, Gateway, Afaria + several reverse proxies, specific SP/EHP combinations, add-ons, etc).

      While SAP has a very good ERP system that allows customers to achieve their goals easily, the choice for SAP isn't the best one when it comes to mobility. SAP is good at communicating the mobile first approach, going mobile with SAP is simply not possible for many customers (somehow they should after all also spend money for HANA and cloud).

      I won't go so far to say that choosing SAP means that a customer may fall behind when it comes to mobile, but for sure, going mobile with SAP is not easy and not cheap.

      For the "easy, light weighted" apps there are alternatives to SUP, even from SAP (Portal on Device, NWCloud/Portal), that fit the need for large customers (>500 mobile users). At least for Portal on Device the license is already paid and customers can "try out" large mobile solutions without having to pay all the money for the SAP App Store apps. SAP isn't communicating this little known fact.

      And when you think the prices from SAP are high, partners think too that mobile equals very high prices.

  • To further add to the comments above. The pricing strategy for SAP Mobile is completely wrong as your charging for the development environment and infrastructure.

    As SAP wan't to be the "Apple" of the enterprise, lets take a quick look at how Apple works with regards to applications.

    1) I can download Apples Xcode development environment for free, which i have done.

    2) I pay about £70 /$100 to register on Apples development program.

    3) I can submit a App to apples app store. Apple take commission and i can earn royalties.

    To set up a SAP mobile app currently, i have to

    1) Install Gateway - Dev - QA Prod systems ?

    2) Install SUP - as above Dev QA Prod systems ?

    Configure SUP and jump though the associated firewalls issues etc.

    Install the ECC back-end SAP Add-ons for the relevant mobile application.

    Dev - QA - Prod systems

    Configure about 6000 odd user accounts and passwords to mobile HCM apps.

    Get billed a fortune for the SUP / Gateway environment.

    Start investigating Apple corporate purchasing of apps, which is far from straightforward.

    I would love to have a go at a making available a full mobile HCM suite of applications.

    But there just isn't the business case at the moment with the costs associated with gateway / sup.

    Not with a 6000 strong user base.

    As Gareth has said SAP's pricing and business model for mobile apps is completely different to every single other software house.

    Take Microsoft as another example

    Your apps look brilliant at the moment, but the cost of the infrastructure is stopping people deploying them.

    • Great to hear from a customer perspective James as I am hearing the exact same thing from all my larger customers.  You also forgot to add "Negotiate the list price of $2.74M for the HR Approval app for our 6K employees" 🙂

      Even if you look at basic employee lookup mobile app it would have a list price of $225K(for 6K users) and that does not include all the costs you mentioned above. How does SAP expect customers to make a HR business cases and to top it off all the SaaS Vendors including SuccessFactors are offering it for free.  Why are loyal SAP HCM customers being penalized as basic simple mobile apps have become "table stakes" and a bare minimum not a premium extra that can be charged millions of dollar to have.  I believe competitive pressures from Workday as well as customers seeing that even SAP owned SuccessFactors offers their mobility for free will have SAP revisit their strategy at least for HCM but as of now I have seen no indication that any changes are coming.

      There is a chance I am missing something in all of this (and have been for 2 years) so hopefully SAP will set the record straight especially as it relates to simple employee apps such as approvals, look-up, time sheet, payslip as they all mimic functionality customers are already paying for in R3.  On a side I think it is very fair to charge for the Managers Insight application given that it offers functionality and productivity gains that are not currently available to customers.

    • That's a good way of looking at it James.  I've added some more of my thoughts to your comments, some pro SUP, some not so much!:-

      1) I can download Apples Xcode development environment for free, which i have done.

      2) I pay about £70 /$100 to register on Apples development program.

      You'd still need to do 1) & 2) to work with SUP, on iOS at least, although you can get enterprise development agreements with Apple (I'm not sure of the cost, as thankfully someone else has paid that for me!)  Of course, to do proper iOS SUP development, you need both Windows and iOS platforms of some sort - factor that out to a team of developers and it can get expensive just to get started.

      3) I can submit a App to apples app store. Apple take commission and i can earn royalties.

      You could use Sybase Afaria to set up an internal app store for your enterprise only - I'm not 100% clear what the implications of this are, in terms of Apple commission for instance (of course if it is Android or Windows Mobile this becomes maybe less of a concern) and whether it is better/easier.  Afaria of course offers other benefits but they are probably not overly relevant to this discussion right now.

      To set up a SAP mobile app currently, i have to

      1) Install Gateway - Dev - QA Prod systems ?

      You could forget about the standard SAP delivered app's and either build your own or engage an SI/ISV to build them and you can lose Gateway (if you desire.)  Given Gateway is generally only meant to allow for "online-only" SUP app's, I can't help thinking you'd want to forget about this and use either Hybrid Web Container or fully-fledged native app's anyway, which don't have to use Gateway.  Of course, that means starting from scratch and building everything yourself, which brings many of the other challenges we are discussing anyway.

      2) Install SUP - as above Dev QA Prod systems ?

      The install of SUP isn't actually that bad (relatively speaking!)  I'm far from knowledgeable in the basis world, however I can get my Personal Developer system installed and up and running with a few simple next, next, next, finish steps - it's much less involved than getting my personal CE system up and running for instance.  However, ultimately someone needs to install it and possibly more of an issue, maintain it.

      Configure SUP and jump though the associated firewalls issues etc.

      You could, and probably should, use a Relay Server on top of any SUP instances, in theory keeping all of your network config. to a minimum, as you configure your one relay server to talk to your full SUP landscape.  Again though, someone has to install this and maintain it so it's still not something "for free".

      Install the ECC back-end SAP Add-ons for the relevant mobile application.

      This is another killer for me.  My fear is this, and many of the other "challenges" discussed on this thread will push more SAP customers to go down the custom solution route.  It might give a short term benefit but no doubt will create other headaches further down the line, either with upgrades or when you do decide to implement EHP's for example.

      Configure about 6000 odd user accounts and passwords to mobile HCM apps.

      Afaria can possibly help with this?

      Get billed a fortune for the SUP / Gateway environment.

      The real kicker...  I've spoken to a few of our customers keen on "mobilising" but ultimately, licensing is currently a major blocker.  Jarret's recent calculations about the cost for an enterprise to licence an app are eye-watering.

      Now, something from my perspective as an established SAP developer:

      • Currently, SUP doesn't play nicely with NWDI, instead you have to set up a parallel source control system (so basically you don't get any of the useful CTS+, CMS, etc. functionality and version control is completely open to how you make it up as you go along.)
      • On the plus side, it uses Eclipse for it's core development but you typically need a number of Eclipse workspaces plus, as mentioned above, potentially multiple platforms, to be productive.  It's just not a lightweight development environment.
      • Then start thinking about the challenges of all the different mobile platforms and devices and your hair will go grey (if it isn't already!)

      Ramble over... 🙂

      • Good run-down Gareth.

        We've recently implemented the whole SUP suite in our environment. A couple of points:

        • Setting up the system is much worse when you get into a larger system (i.e. not personal edition). The symptoms of providing a complex system the ability to scale rears it's ugly head when you start doing configuration in this environment.
        • Licensing was not straightforward at all. I still am confused as to who (Sybase or SAP) actually maintains the license and who we got it from.
        • The licensing prices are still super confusing. Especially for a partner. I'm still not 100% clear on this. At one point SAP told me it was going to cost 1800EUR for a partner development SUP license. Crazy. (note this was cleared up later)
        • Support material is fairly lacking for SUP. Do I go on the Sybase website? Do I use SCN? Do I use
        • Setting up Afaria requires a nice hefty little database license which just does not seem like something we really want to pay for. This makes MDM cloud providers (such as Airwatch, MobileIron and now Afaria cloud) seem like a much better option.

        The reality is a Catch22. People buy SAP because it's standardized, but then customize the hell out of it. So inherently people (read -> business) believe it's the software vendors responsibility to provide a complementary set of technologies to their existing investment. As Jarret Pazahanick has rightfully pointed out, what SAP is proposing is a drastic increase in TCO. SAP likes to paint a TCO picture that separates mobile infrastructure from existing systems. Customer do not see it this way.

        It may sound strange, but given that everything is moving to mobile, this gives the likes of Workday even more power to compete on a complete package offering over SAP.

      • Alternatively a web app strategy could be adopted.

        Not currently as slick a UX as native applications but may well be good enough for internal users. e.g. HR scenarios for employees.

        From a development perspective its far more attractive to build/deploy one set of code

        than work with multiple development environments.

        If an approach similar to that taken by Australia Post (see various SCN posts) were taken then no additional products/infrastructure or licenses would be required beyond the licenses for the SAP back end system functionality.

        This is still re-inventing the wheel and comes with the burden of then having to maintain any functionality that's created. Time and effort which is then not spent rolling out new functionality such as HR Renewal for MSS.

        • I would find it hard to believe the WebDynpro framework could be merged into some sort of adaptive design principles. I think most people find it hard enough to manage WebDynpro in it's current state.

          That being said, possibly SAPUI5 could be a potential interim solution.

          • We've had success using plain old HTML, CSS & JavaScript on top of CE 7.3 CAF services to mobilise some custom CRM functionality for a customer.

            It was originally built using Web Dynpro, sized and designed specifically to work on iPhones and run off a CE 7.2 system - once this was upgraded to 7.3 the UI's were re-written in non SAP tech.  Ok, there is no off-line support or synchronisation but it does the job, and is able to make use of basic device API's such as maps and contacts for example.  If Sybase had been available, we would probably have used the HWC approach instead.

            This was made easier as the target platform was iPhone 4's only.

  • Frans,

    Based on the comments posted here, my suggestion to you is to reach out to Seung Chan Lim (Slim). He gave a very insightful workshop on empathy at SAP TechEd, and a little more empathy to the customer pespective, not only in design thinking but also in the pricing model, seems to be indicated.


  • Hi Frans,

    This is a great blog and maybe you didn't deserve some of the comments 😉

    Despite the solutions seeming like they are very good, SAP's pricing strategy needs some work if they want to meet their objectives with customers who are not using SuccessFactors. I hope SAP looks into it asap because even key strategic partners like Nakisa are not leveraging the SUP and Gateway infrastructure: Nakisa OrgHub™ for Mobile app

    Keep up the great work!

    Best regards,


  • Hello all,

    I'm the COO of SAP's mobile business unit, and I am responsible for pricing.  We are very interested in your feedback. 

    The pricing model has evolved over the last 2 years.  In late 2011, when the HR mobile apps were first released, we created a new licensing model for the reasons you've mentioned.  If a user is only using productivity apps, like the HR productivity apps, a "full use" SAP mobile platform license is unlikely to be the correct fit.  As a result, SAP created a runtime mobile platform license which allows a user to license the mobile platform (SUP) for a small fixed percentage of the price of the mobile app. This makes the TCO for the HR apps very compelling.

    Best regards,

    Sharon Ruddock

    • Hi Sharon,

      Glad to hear from you. If this is something we can take "offline", I'm happy to have a larger discussion about this from a partner's perspective. Glad to help where needed. I want this partnership to work just as much as SAP does.

      email is michael DOT bestvina AT xoomworks DOT com



    • Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond. I would love to see more details about pricing. Many of your SAP colleagues are blogging right now and it would be great to see you pull something together that outlines the pricing strategy and details.

      As with Mike, I would be happy to work with you guys on this and I know Jarret Pazahanick would also be happy to be involved.

      Best regards,


    • Hi Sharon

      Thanks for jumping into the conversation and you did a excellent job at explaining the "Productivity App" runtime license at the SAP Briefing - Cloud, Mobility and HCM I attended a few months back although I think it is still not a very understood option in the marketplace that could be better explained

      At the core some of the Mobile Apps such a Managers Insight definitely qualify as a "Productivity Apps" as they provide functionality that is not in the Business Suite therefore the runtime license could be a viable option although it was never quite clear what the rough $ cost would be for a customer to get 1 app like this. 

      The bigger issue is that mobile apps such as approvals, time entry, viewing payslip, employee lookup are NOT added "productivity" as mostly duplicate functionality that is in the Business Suite and that happens to be the area that many HCM customers want initially and I personally dont believe ANY licensing should be charged since they are already paying for it in the business suite.  SAP HCM SaaS competitors and even SuccessFactors offer these types of apps as part of the base subscription so it is a double standard to try to charge SAP customers.  It is an important area and one that at least in the HR area should be reviewed.



    • Hi Sharon,

      So the price quoted on the SAP app store isn't the runtime license?

      I thought the aim of the app store was to be able to easily pick from the available apps, but the prices being quoted (typically $38 per employee) just don't make sense. Would it be possible to show the runtime price or link to it?

      As a customer we already deploy ESS/MSS and eRecruitment services to our employees so trying to make a business case for scenarios that are already delivered via the web products is nigh on impossible. Since not every employee will have mobile devices the organisation still requires the web solutions and the mobile costs come on top of these.

      • Hi Sharon,

        Thanks for commentating, following on from Georges, comments above, lets take the simple leave request app which has a user licence of $38 / user according to the SAP store.

        $38 * 4000 people out of our 6000 strong employees, gives us a cost for one mobile SAP application of $152,000 according to the SAP store model.

        If everyone decided to download the leave app, that's $228000

        For deploying one application, never mind if we wanted to investigate cart approvals, HCM approvals etc.

        There is no way we can make a business case for SAP Mobile / SUP deployment based on the list prices on the SAP store, unless that price isn't the runtime model ?

        As I've said before the apps look brilliant, but unless we are all working out the costings completely wrong, then i can't see many medium / large customers deploying the mobile solutions. Perhaps a really good informative blog post around the mobile license / runtime licence would help a lot of your customers.



        • Hi James,

          The prices on the app store are list prices.  When you push "Buy Now," if this is the first time your company has attempted to purchase from the store, you will be asked to email  They will then set your account up, so in the future, you will see information specific to your account with SAP. 


  • Hi all,

    Mike, the idea of posting more information on mobile licensing is a good one, and I will develop a document to share. 

    To George's question, a user would purchase the SAP mobile app and purchase the SAP mobile platform runtime license.  The reason they are priced separately is that many of our customers have licensed the SAP mobile platform full use license and therefore would not need to buy the runtime license. 

    Best regards,


    • Hi Sharon

      Just for clarity once a customer has purchased the "SAP Mobile Platform Runtime License" do they then have to set up the appropriate infrastructure and install SUP before they can run the Mobile App or is there a cloud version that comes as part of the license?



    • Sharon,

      you are talking about the problem without recognizing it as a problem:

      a user would purchase the SAP mobile app and purchase the SAP mobile platform runtime license

      Why does SAP want a customer to pay for the app AND additionally charges a runtime license? When I buy an app on Play or iTunes, I do not have to pay a runtime license to be able to use the app. I have to pay once the money and that's it.

      Why is SAP believing that charging additional fees is OK? It's not like SUP is a uber platform that solves all your problems. And it's not like the apps in the SAP App Store fit the needs of a company. Right now, the app store is directing (forcing) a company to use iOS based devices.

      As soon as users start demanding more custom apps, companies may want to develop approval apps using HWC. Now, as this is a custom app, the Platform License is needed. Even with a discount only someone that has more than enough money will do a HWC app, even when the business case makes total sense. Result: companies are not going mobile. While the outside world is moving on, they do their business the same way as 10 years ago: using a computer and when connected to corporate LAN (Wifi)

      As Jarret Pazahanick pointed out: most of the functionality a customers will have to pay for is already there. Considering that tablets are getting smaller and more feature complete, why should a customer spend money (to make this clear: a LOT of money) when the alternative can be: a slimmed down WDA/J version of the standard application, and use a surface tablet running Windows 8 and IE 10, connected using VPN? The license issue is already solved and for the majority of the users this use case is more than enough to be called: I'm mobile. This will limit the potential SUP user group even more, and without a minimum number of users, SUP is just too expensive.

      That said: reconsider if it is really a good idea to bundle the runtime license for apps bought from the App Store, lower the price for the platform license, give every customer the option to receive a free number of platform licenses (like 10% or 20%) or make HWC apps cheap (like 1$ per HWC app/user).

  • Hi All,

    I must admit, the comment stream on this blog is even more interesting than the blog itself!

    Notwithstanding all the challenges mentioned earlier in this stream, I should add that the implementation cost of these apps needs to also be factored in, not just the licensing cost. To get a feel for it, read the installation guides for the apps themselves.  They are large documents, and there is a decent amount of plumbing and setup work to be accomplished.  Many of the apps come with their own BAdIs, so you can code enhancements to do things like filter the result set shown to users, based on your own business rules.  The upshot of all this is that the implementation is certainly not as trivial as pressing the 'install' button on your mobile device.  I have had system integrator quotes of $US100K+ for a single app (a proportion of this can probably be attributed to SUP setup costs, as well as the SAP ecosystem's attachment to large dollar consultancy projects).  To make this worthwhile you really need to be committed to taking on many apps to apportion the setup cost - but that is a difficult leap for many customers to make until they are confident with their experiences with the first app.   Partly this is why I am a proponent of the mobile platform in the cloud offered as a service because that setup cost hurdle dissolves into a monthly per user charge.  I think the best thing SAP could do is to offer the mobile platform in the cloud themselves (rather than just via partners), and coupled with competitive runtime pricing for apps I think this might just tip the value equation in the right direction.



    • John,

      Totally agree. Do I dare say that mammoth mobility costs become the cost tipping point for the switching from ERP on-premise to cloud?

      In other words, lowering TCO should not be included in the mobile discussion.


      • Do I dare say that mammoth mobility costs become the cost tipping point for the switching from ERP on-premise to cloud?

        I have been thinking about this. For HCM, I have a kind of conspiracy theory that SAP are leaving mobile apps to stay expensive so customers switch over to SuccessFactors. However, this is without any foundation other than SAP's strong push to get customers to run their talent management through SuccessFactors.

        • The major problem with this approach Luke would be what stops SAP customers from being pushed to Workday who has a more advanced core HRMS offering than SuccessFactors Employee Central.

          It is a dangerous game if you asked me as there is a real double standard around mobility costs for SAP HCM customers vs SuccessFactors and SaaS competitors such as Workday and I believe it is something that SAP has to address to stay competitive.

  • Very interesting comments here. The mobile transition is obviously going to be a rocky one for SAP HCM. Customers are going mobile with HCM already, in a number of different ways, regardless of what SAP offers. With the alternatives, it's hard to see why customers would pay much extra for SAP's current SAP HCM mobility offering.