In the recent ISUG (Israeli SAP User Group) annual conference, I had a session about extending your SAP Portal to Cloud and Mobile. The slide can be found below:
However – the point of the blog post is not to talk about how amazing my slide-fu is, its to tell the story of why I almost didn’t use the slides. In the two sessions before me in the “mobility and cloud” track there were two customer cases. The first one was from Coca-Cola Israel (CBC) who show cased a mobile application they developed using SAP NetWeaver Gateway (together with Yaad Oren)
The second one was from ORL (www.orl.co.il) who showed the amazing process (very similar to design thinking) they did to create four (4) mobile apps, using the Sybase Unwired Platform. Both customers did an awesome job in designed and implementing mobile application for their users.
And here is where I thought about ditching my slides – I asked the audience – what was common to both (success) stories? They both created an app. Maybe four. But that’s about it – The integration of this app into the rest of the employees’ content world was simply not there. In one case they just placed the app on the employees phone, hidden between “Angrry Birds” and “Temple Run 2” and in the other case they did the same, only did provisioning with SAP Afaria.
Using the mobile portal (at least ORL have an amazing NetWeaver Portal implementation) both could have tied their existing investments, their existing content management and unstructured content together with these cool new apps. Creating a mobile homepage from which you could launch these apps, in the context of your company news, mobile UWL and your documents is easy (see Aviad Rivlin ‘s latest blog).
I think that looking at the mobile portal as this orthogonal delivery channel for your mobile apps in addition to so much more solves a lot of questions as to when to use what. Use your mobile development platform of choice (hopefully its an SAP one 🙂 ). Bring together these applications with your existing roles and existing content, using the mobile portal.