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Russia’s Rapid Move to Mobile Opens Opportunities

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.  

/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/tony_312164.jpgWhat 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!

Follow me on Twitter: @AReynolds5796


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      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Anthony,

      your blogs energise the rest of us.

      Thanks for the insight.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi, Anthony!

      A lot of thanks for good words. We are really trying to change Russia and make the life better here.

      Everybody are welcome to Moscow and, of course, looking forward to having you back soon, Anthony! We had very interesting two days!

      Pavel Deverilin

      Head of Mobility Dept, Russia.

      Author's profile photo Oliver Betz
      Oliver Betz

      Hi Anthony,

      Fully agree: There is a tremendous business opportunity for mobile in Russia. Just another glimpse of this: One of my colleagues supporting russian customers for their ERP implementation got a chance to visit one of the big steel plants some hours away from moscow. The owner was not only showing him how they make steel but also how he operates the plant. And you would not believe it - the guy running the plant is able to control all critical process steps from him his mobile android device even from his datcha on the weekend. Stunning. And yes, security is one of the key concerns he has. They are not (yet) on SAP Mobile



      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Oliver,

      the security aspect is becoming one of the biggest contempory challenges for many customers wanting to get on the move value from the SAP investments and something we have been discussing over here in the new Netweaver Architecture Category.

      Securing SAP for PC Web Browser and Smart Phone and Tablet User Interfaces is the challenge for a lot people these days.

      Best regards,