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