Back in 1997 at the first company where I worked after University, the IT Manager
was totally committed to the Internet, Intranet, Web, Unix and Web Browsers.
The company ran Unix servers and thin desktop clients, Tektronix Terminals.
There were no pc’s at that company.
The IT Manager was committed to thin desktop clients and the client/server
principles and minimal local processing or applications.
Even at that time, the company was experimenting with products promising online
office suites which ran through Web Browsers from remote servers.
The IT Manager always said,
‘in the future everything will be through the Web Browser’.
And to this day, I still do not get it, why, especially the large companies with
thousands of employees are not using thin clients and server based online office
suites applications running through Web Browsers.
SAP can be considered as a classical example of a pioneer of these principles,
looking back, the classical SAP Gui was a thin client to a backend server, if you
think of the Transaction bar in the SAP Gui as an address bar you can think of
the SAP Gui as a Browser.
Moving forward and still with SAP, the progression has moved to the SAP Portal, this
is classical thin client principles, with the SAP Portal, the door to the SAP Landscape
providing out of the box access to any SAP system from any connected device any time
any place any where, the Web Browser principle of client server is brought right up to
Stick an Online Office Suite server next to the SAP Servers, and put the access to the
Online Office Suite behind the SAP Portal and voila, the puzzle is complete, all that
is required is a thin client to enable end User productivity.
The advantages of thins clients are easy to see:
. Cost – low cost thin Unix clients running Web Browsers for all employees
. Security – nothing stored locally on the client
– nothing transfered from the desk to the client
– less vulnerability to virus based intrusions
. Support – thin client means less to go wrong on the end User side / client end
The Return On Investment is easily calculatable, a company with for sake of argument
100,000 employees buying the latest thick laptops every three years
100,000 employees x 1000euros = 100,000,000euros every three years
100,000 employees x 200 euros = 20,000,000euros every three years
+ backend software, hardware and support and licenses
As already stated the beauty of the thin clients running everything through the Web Browser
is that the large companies can keep all access tidy through a single url, a single point
of access to IT….
the SAP Portal, the single point of entry securing the company’s IT.
Perhaps this is a perfect opportunity for the SAP Hana Cloud Portal , an Online Office Suite is the
perfect cloud application and why not to secure it behind the SAP Hana Cloud Portal’s single url
encapsulated in the On-Premise SAP Portal strategy.
I wonder when the penny will drop and the large companies will move to thin clients
and reap the obvious rewards of client server applications running through Web Browsers
on thin clients for all of the employee’s IT needs ? And therefore saving millions of $ on thick
client pc’s with the common desktop office application suites.
Looking forward to feedback and answers to these questions.
All the best.