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SAP has gained 60 million mobile users in the past 15 months and aims to double sales of mobile software to $285 million in 2012. In Q3 SAP reported mobile revenue of $61 million, SAP Mobility.jpgwhich keeps SAP on track to meet its full-year expectation. According to SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott, the company will probably maintain 100% revenue growth in mobility for “the foreseeable future.”

Mobility is a core component of SAP’s growth strategy and will play a vital role in SAP achieving its stated goals of doubling its footprint and increasing the number of SAP users to one billion by 2015.

Driven by the meteoric rise of smartphones and tablets, the consumerization trend has hit IT as an unstoppable force. SAP has built out a formidable mobility offering, but will SAP’s recent mobility moves have impact enough to help propel the company over the one-billion-users mark?

Mobility by the Numbers

  • NPD Group predicts that global smartphone shipments will reach 572 million units by the end of this year and surpass 1 billion units shipped by 2016.
  • IDC forecasts the worldwide tablet market to top 117.1 million units in 2012, 165.9 million units in 2013, and 261.4 million units in 2016.
  • Forrester predicts that global tablet sales will rise from 56 million in 2011 to 375 million in 2016, while Gartner reports worldwide tablet sales will reach 369.2 million in 2016.
  • According to the Consumer Electronics Association, tablet computers are the fastest growing category in CE history, and Yankee Group predicts tablet sales will eclipse those of PCs by 2015.

  How will this tsunami of mobile devices, especially tablets, impact businesses? Here’s what leading analysts have to say: 

  • According to the 2012 Gartner CIO Survey, 61% of respondents plan to enhance their mobility capability during the next three years and 48% believe they’ll become leaders by fully adopting innovative mobile solutions.
  • Gartner also reports that two-thirds of the workforce will have a smartphone or tablet device by 2016, and that tablet purchases by businesses will grow 3x by 2016, providing a “key accelerator to mobility” for enterprises.
  • Tablet purchases by businesses will reach 13 million units in 2012, according to Gartner, and will top 53 million units in 2016, by which time 40% of the workforce will be mobile.
  • According to Forrester, more than 70 million information workers in the U.S. and Europe will be using tablets for work by 2016.

  SAP Mobility Moves 

  • SAP had 200 mobile apps in 2011. It’s shooting for 1,000 in 2012, the majority of which — about 800 — will be developed by partners. Leading by example, SAP has deployed over 14,000 iPads internally.
  • SAP will boost mobile app development through its $155 million venture capital fund, investing in mobile startups — with a preference for startups writing mobile apps that use HANA.
  • At SAPPHIRE® NOW + SAP® TechEd in Madrid, SAP announced plans to deliver six new SAP mobile apps for Windows 8. SAP also announced plans to add support for Windows 8 mobile application development for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 through its SAP Mobile Platform.
  • Last month at SAP® TechEd 2012 in Las Vegas, SAP announced the availability of the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 10.0 application on the SAP® EPM Unwired mobile app, which SAP launched in September at the ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference in conjunction with the Enterprise Performance Management OnDemand (SAP EPM OnDemand) solution.
  • SAP Business Planning and Consolidation on SAP EPM Unwired provides access to decision-critical information on mobile devices, enabling managers to not  just access information but also input information.
  • SAP EPM Unwired is the mobile entry point into the SAP EPM OnDemand solution and provides businesses a mobile front-end on devices of their choice to access the EPM suite to plan, budget, forecast and consolidate anywhere, anytime.
  • In September, SAP announced its new SAP Mobility Design Center to help companies rapidly conceptualize, design and build mobile solutions
  • Tying the HANA database into mobile apps and dashboards to allow business users to perform data analyses instantly while outside of their offices is gaining momentum — which Optimal demonstrated during HANA Real-Time Race at SAP TechEd and the ASUG Developer Wars at the 2012 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects Users Conference. (For more on this read SAP Quick Wins: BPC on HANA & Analytics/BI Dashboards)
  • Last but not least, SAP will develop fantasy fan apps for the NFL and the NBA.

Taking into account the ubiquity of mobile devices in the work place, the rush of consumerism, and the strong and growing momentum generated by SAP’s latest mobility moves, it appears that SAP’s milestone of one-billion-users by 2015 is achievable.

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