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Author's profile photo John Moy

What I learned at Mastering SAP for Mobility 2013

A few weeks ago I attended the Mastering SAP for Mobility event in Melbourne, Australia.  I always enjoy the ‘Mastering SAP’ series of events, which are produced by the Eventful Group.  There is a level of intimacy in a conference with only a couple of hundred attendees, which allows you to exchange ideas and thoughts with like-minded professionals without feeling lost in the crowd.  There were some fantastic individuals who attended the conference, and I decided to attend when I discovered some respected international mobility professionals would be there, including Benjamin Robbins (named one of the top 50 #mobile twitter influencers in 2012), and Oliver Betz (Global Head – Custom Mobile Business – SAP Mobility Design Center).  It was also a great opportunity to talk face to face with SAP customers, partners, and SAP representatives (including Nick Brown, SAP’s SVP of Mobile Solution Management & Strategy).  My reading was that the strongest stories SAP customers were able to share centred around the implementation of Syclo-based solutions for field services.  That’s not surprising to me, given the relative maturity of this solution (and if you are not aware, since SAP’s acquisition of Syclo this is now part of the SAP Mobile Platform).  I didn’t see any stories relating to lightweight mobile-enabled implementations of HTML5 Fiori apps by customers, but that solution is very new in the marketplace and in any case SAP did well to demonstrate some examples in its mobile roadmap presentations.  I did sense that SAP has a heightened confidence and spring in its step around its mobile story and offerings.  Much moreso than in the early days after the Sybase acquisition.  SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 is not far away, there are good stories to share around Syclo implementations, and it seems SAP is covering all bases for mobile enablement, whether it be offline native apps, custom consumer apps, or HTML5 Fiori apps.

Here were some of my favourite presentations from the conference and some key learnings ..

Opening Keynote – Monetising Mobile – Mobile Strategy and Beyond (Benjamin Robbins, Palador)

Probably the best mobile strategy presentation I’ve seen. Too often I’ve seen mobile vendor specific presentations for which the strategy is clearly tailored towards the product as being the answer to the strategy. Instead, Benjamin was able to interlace his real-world experience and advice with engaging slides, to give the audience food for thought and give us a great start to the event.  Two quotes I really enjoyed from him were … ‘ROI starts with WHY’, and ‘when designing UX for mobile apps, your goal should be ATM stupidity’.


Real World Innovations from the SAP Mobility Design Center (Oliver Betz, SAP)

I found this fascinating, seeing some of the hand crafted custom mobile solutions produced by Oliver’s team.  I guess I’ve seen too many stock standard SAP mobility presentations and so this one was a breath of fresh air.  Oliver did well to reinforce the importance of mobile UX design (something you source from dedicated professionals, not necessarily developers), use of wireframes, scrum methodologies, and iterating with end-users. 


I also enjoyed a presentation by Jorgen Rasmussen on ‘The Anatomy of a Mobile App’ where he showcased quite possibly the best hand-crafted demo I’ve seen of a responsive HTML5 mobile app running on HANA XS (I asked him what HTML5 libraries he had used, and he responded that he’d used jQuery Mobile along with Fusion Charts for the demo).  Also a great presentation by Danielle Cullen from Clarimont on ‘Why Security Isn’t Just Techie Business’ where she shared some real-world case studies of how uninformed security demands can interfere with the usability and consequently success of a mobile solution.

This conference was a two-day event, running 3 presentation tracks in parallel.  So sadly I wasn’t able to attend all the presentations that I wanted to.  Fortunately the conference included networking drinks at the end of the first day, and this was a great opportunity to talk to more of the attendees.  Of course, the Eventful team think of everything.  This was what greeted us on the morning of the second day for those in need of it ….


For my own presentation, I wanted to answer for the audience a question I heard several times when involved in some customer round-tables earlier in the year.  If you are not familiar with them, the Eventful Group conducts these round-table workshops with customers to find out what is top of their minds in a particular field, such as SAP Mobility.   The learnings from these round-tables are used to prioritise and craft the agenda for the subsequent conference.  The question I heard often was … ‘what is HTML5 all about, anyway?’.  Bear in mind that a decent proportion of audience members at the mobility event are non-technical.  So I crafted a presentation to answer this for those people.  At the same time I thought I would challenge myself by using HTML5 itself to deliver the presentation.  Firstly, I chose as a baseline the excellent open source HTML5 presentation framework ‘Reveal.js‘ created by Hakim El Hattab.  Then I spent a few nights crafting the presenting by marking up HTML, and coding a little JavaScript to drive some HTML5 elements (such as the Canvas element).  I also linked to some awesome third-party HTML5 demos that I’ve come across over the years.   Note that I intentionally avoided any deep dive into SAPUI5 or Fiori apps given that I expected this content to be provided by SAP in it’s own presentations.  You can find an on-line version of my presentation below (and since it’s HTML5, you probably don’t want to open it using older versions of IE.  I recommend Chrome browser) …


Notice the Star Trek theme in this presentation.  Why?  Because HTML5 will deliver the ‘Next Generation’ of mobile web applications for us, of course!

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      Author's profile photo Jitendra Kansal
      Jitendra Kansal

      Hi John,

      To be honest I never heard "mastering sap for motility" but yes I will explore it now.

      I went through your blog. Got to know about mobility experts. Its totally worth reading. Presentation was fabulous.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi John,

      Good article - I am also looking for SAP HTML5 coverage as I believe this is the future of all mobile apps, not only as per the conventional thinking which leads customers to believe HTML5 is suited for "lite" apps only. Understandably so SAP wants to get some miles out of Syclo but I am a die-hard HTML5 fan, having done all the development in this area over the past couple of years.

      You can check out the Masterkey Mobile.pdf document which is a pure HTML5 app, abstracted to run on any back-end. Go to web site (Demo System page) to see what is possible with HTML5.



      Author's profile photo Tahir Öz
      Tahir Öz

      Hi john, I think, its a great opportunity to have "mastering sap for mobility" event. Meeting with professional mobility experts and hearing their experiences would be great. I wish that SAP Global arranges kind of event in each country and make developers meet with the mobility experts sharing experiences.

      I like your presentation well prepared 🙂

      Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Clicked through your HTML5 presentation. Very cool that you created the presentation with HTML5 and added the demos inside!

      Author's profile photo Jeff Faulds
      Jeff Faulds

      Wow,  great presentation !  I've never seen an HTML5 based presentation before. 

      You have inspired me to do one of my own the next time I am required to deliver a presentation. 

      Thanks for constantly showing us what is possible if you are willing to embrace constant learning.


      Author's profile photo John Moy
      John Moy
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for your response. I actually picked up the idea of a HTML5 presentation when I went to this conference earlier in the year.  Practically everyone at that conference was using HTML5 presentation frameworks (there are many).  I made it a point to talk to the speakers and ask them what they were using.  So compared to those folks, I consider myself a laggard.

      It really helps every now and then to pop our heads outside of the world of SAP to see what else is going on.  That's why I was an early blogger about using jQuery Mobile on SAP (in fact, I blogged about it a couple of weeks after the first Alpha release was published). 

      I think all of us would do well to go to a non-SAP conference every now and then.  And on that topic, will you be at SAPTechEdLV this year?  I remember talking to you when I last went in 2011.