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Mobile: A Modern Day Gold Rush of Opportunity

Mobility is about more than shifting employees away from their desks and putting mobile veneers on existing business processes; it’s about transforming the way we work and inventing new possibilities for the mobile worker. More than a third of the global workforce is now mobile, and we’ve just scratched the surface.

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I’ve just returned from Australia and New Zealand, and I’m totally amazed by the modern day mobile gold rush of opportunities developing in sectors like retail, banking, utilities, metals and mining, and oil and gas.  Every CIO I met had a genuine interest in developing their mobile strategy and figuring out how they could partner with SAP. They also wanted to know how other companies use mobile solutions to grow their business, so I gave them a few examples.

Making it Easy on the User

Organizations in asset-intensive industries such as utilities, mining, and oil and gas, usually have thousands of employees spread across many locations, some quite remote and hard to access. Employee productivity is a high priority for these companies. One way to improve productivity is to improve the user experience, making it easier for people to interact with systems.

National Grid, which supplies gas and electricity to millions of homes in the U.K. and the U.S., reported a 20 percent increase in employee productivity since implementing SAP Work Manager by Syclo. The field teams worked hand-in-hand with developers to design new screens for custom made apps. As a result, employees felt empowered by the way they could influence work, instead of feeling hampered by technology.

Another way to improve productivity is to make internal processes simpler with self-service functions available on any device, anywhere, and at any time. Most employees access tasks like leave requests only occasionally, and they expect to be finished within minutes. Employees at Colgate-Palmolive like SAP Fiori enterprise software apps because of the fast response time and intuitive user interfaces that require no training.

Making it Easy on IT

Employees are also bringing their own devices to work. So every CIO who is responsible for a BYOD program must solve device management issues — especially around security — with solutions such as SAP Mobile Secure portfolio. SAP has secured more than 50,000 iOS devices used by our employees worldwide. We use iPhones and iPads across all business functions including sales, marketing, services, development and operations. SAP is supporting enhancements to Apple’s iOS 7 so we can better serve our employees, who rely on more than 60 iOS mobile apps to succeed in their day-to-day jobs on both BYOD and corporate devices.

Since the consumerization of IT drives enterprise decisions, Apple’s success in the consumer market will be a key indicator for enterprise adoption. This is directly in line with our goal of enhancing, securing and simplifying the end-user experience for ourselves and our customers!

Making it Easy for Consumers

When Québécois mass transit system Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) needed to increase ridership, it came up with a clever way to engage customers that gives them more compelling reasons to use public transport. Marketing head Pierre Bourbonniere and his team decided to use the SAP Precision Marketing app to connect several hundred retailers and other venues to their customers in real time using mobile and in-memory ccomputing to deliver compelling, personalized offers. I’m very proud to note that Bourbonniere has been shortlisted as one of the finalists for the Super Nova 2013 Award in the category of Digital Marketing Transformation.

That is because STM commuters who sign up for the loyalty program get real-time info and offers about product and services personally relevant to them  based on their profile and location. This is a win-win for both retailers and service providers near the subway stations and bus stops, and of course, for people who can save time and money by incorporating shopping in their commute.

Enhanced usability, improved user experience, tighter security and targeted advertising are just a few examples of how mobility is changing the way we live and work in a way that nothing else can.

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  • Hi Anthony,

    the SAP Precision Marketing solution using SAP Hana which Societe de Transport de Montreal implemented, this really deserves more coverage.

    This is precisely the kind of argument that the SAP Hana movement needs to publicise and show case as an example to other companies and inspiration for even more creative uses for the technology to create value.

    Can we have a blog (or blog series) on the Societe to Transport de Montreal SAP Hana backed SAP Precision Marketing solution ?

    This deserves a spotlighted  showcase.

    Thanks and all the best,


  • hi Andy,

    Thanks for your post.  The SAP Precision Marketing story will be featured in a SAP INFO article about the Mobile Consumer which will be posted tomorrow.  We will share the link as soon as we get it posted.  Furthermore, SAP is sponsoring a media tour in Montreal for a group of international journalists who will write extensively on this topic in early October. Please contact Amisha Gandhi ( for further information.


  • Hi Anthony,

    taking the Precision Marketing concept to another layer, and really utilising the real time nature of SAP Hana,

    One has to wonder if there is a possibility for SuperMarket's Loyalty programmes to use SAP Precision Marketing (and the real time power of SAP Hana behind it) as the shopper (who is known to them through the rewards and loyalty programme) is walking around the supermarket.

    And use the Precision Marketing to highlight products as the shopper walks around the supermarket based upon the shopper's unique purchasing history.

    If there is any business who really knows their Customers and their Customers habits and spending patterns and likes and dislikes then it is the Super Markets.

    This is an opportunity waiting to happen.

    That would be cool, Tesco's, Asda, Waitrose etc etc.


    • And it doesn't only have to be for Loyalty Programme members,

      Imagine a Smart Phone app, which when you are lost in a supermarket trying to find the salt and vinegar crisps, would tell you where the salt and vinegar crisps are

      And then, as the system had got you locked in, could then offer you related products on the journey to the salt and vinegar crisps and from the salt and vinegar crisps to cash register.

      How cool would that be ?

      Have you ever run into a supermarket for something small and not been able to find it ?

      Ok one step further, you put your shopping list into the app and the app navigates you around the supermarket and on the way offering you other related products to what is on your list - guided shopping.