Here I am in the middle of the Red Square in Moscow (pictured, right) thinking about the massive mobile momentum happening today in Russia. It’s my first time in this boomtown city, home to the largest number of millionaires and billionaires in the world, and I’m blown away by the incredibly modern infrastructure and the open-hearted hospitality of the people.
What strikes me most is the willingness to listen and learn. Whether speaking to customers, partners or our own employees, when I talked about SAP’s mobile vision and strategy, I spoke to deeply attentive audiences. When it comes to mobility, Russia is not just catching up to the rest of the world, but leapfrogging ahead to blaze trails especially in strategic industries.
Russia is a vast country, almost twice the size of the United States. About one third of the population, 38 million, is rural, and according to a recent Nielsen study, rural Russia is transforming rapidly. Disposable income of rural households has grown by 10% in the last 5 years, and internet usage has increased by 30%. The maturity of telecommunication infrastructure and mobile phone penetration rates in Russia are key indicators that like everywhere else in the world, mobile is transforming the way people shop, work, and bank. This makes enterprises in industries like retail, banking, telco and transportation keen to implement sustainable, long term mobile programs.
I met many customers. A large wholesale enterprise that is already building custom retail execution applications on our mobile platform is eagerly awaiting availability of SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 to expand their development capability to support their mobile workforce. I spent time at one of Russia’s largest oil and gas companies sketching out a portfolio of short term and long term initiatives that will mobilize everyone from their senior management to their field workers in even the most remote corners of the world.
Not surprisingly, security is top of mind for everyone, so I was really glad to reassure them on this critical point. Russia’s largest bank, for example, asked me how banks elsewhere in the world deal with security. I told them SAP Mobile Secure portfolio, which now includes the cloud edition of the SAP(R) Mobile App Protection solution by Mocana with app wrapping, a new secure mobile browser and enhanced capabilities for mobile content management, is unparalleled as the globe’s most comprehensive mobile management and security portfolio.
Another key component, SAP Afaria, generates a lot of interest with customers contemplating a mobile program or a BYOD policy because it is used for managing and securing large scale deployments of mobile devices. All this together with our mobile app development platform, mobile apps, analytical and messaging capabilities give enterprises of all sizes in all industries and geographies everything they need for a successful, long term mobile approach.
I’m leaving Russia inspired and energized. I’ll be back soon!
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