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Mobility is the New Ubiquity

I recently talked to Reseaux & Telecoms online in Paris about the current state of the enterprise mobility market and was a bit surprised to see the article titled “The Big Jump In SAP Mobility And Cloud.” That big jump was actually a long, steady climb.

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There is a huge effort underway in the industry to go from MDM (mobile device management) to EMM (enterprise mobility management). SAP already accomplished that move two years ago. While SAP has had a mobile strategy for over 15 years, our success in enterprise mobility started with the acquisition of Sybase in 2010. That sent the first clear signal to the market that we would not start from scratch by building everything ourselves. Instead, we would adopt a more pragmatic approach to buy as well as make. In 2012, we bought Syclo, a move that reinforced SAP Mobile with apps, services, and especially human resources  with the essential knowhow to position the growing portfolio to our industry and LoB customers. Today, SAP is the market leader  according to leading analysts from IDC, Gartner, Yankee and Forrester, and customers, partners and influencers buy into SAP’s vision for building the mobile enterprise.

Consolidation is the name of the game

I see the industry consolidating; Fiberlink was acquired by IBM, Boxstone was purchased by Good Technologies, and Citrix bought Zenprise. I would not be surprised to see some venture capital backed organizations merge with others as they struggle for differentiation. With this consolidation, enterprise customers are understanding that investing in spot solutions for their Mobility requirements spanning Security, Applications, Application Development, Analytics and Messaging may not be the best strategy. They are realizing that the downstream integration efforts and related expense of making these spot implementations work together woud be cost prohibitive. Customers are actively evaluating investing in platforms to support their broad requirements.  This has been a huge area of focus for SAP over the past several years backed up by a demonstrable track record of success with customers.

Inhibitors for complete ubiquity

For the last 5-10 years, enterprise mobility has consistently been regarded as one of the most significant IT trends. However, it’s no secret that companies are still grappling with successful implementations. Fragmentation is one of the main inhibitors to success.  There are many challenges here including device OS versions and hardware choices. Most enterprises are eager to move to the Cloud, but one of the top concerns is security and the related concern of privacy. A single security flaw can be cause significant damage to an organization. Think about the issue of  BYOD that has already pushed enterprises to confront the topic of security, and we know the next logical step is bring your own anything (BYOx) which raises a number of additional issues such as agility, compliance, complexity of app development, and integration across platforms and backend systems. And let’s not forget that CMOs and LOB leaders are becoming more interested in working with IT to help make technology decisions.

What a winning mobile approach looks like

People often ask me where I see cloud and mobile intersecting.  I see it right here at SAP. Cloud is mainly about delivering a set of on demand services in a very capex friendly way. The most popular user consumption paradigm for these on demand services is mobile. This is a key point in our Mobility strategy at SAP. Our vision is to extend our Enteprise Mobility leadership to enable and deliver the best, most secure, most scalable HANA based user experience for SAP Cloud services.

Here’s a good, real world example of Enterprise Mobility and the Cloud at its best. The Societe de Transport de Montreal (STM), one of the largest public transport systems in North America, was losing riders and revenue. They worked with SAP and developed an idea to use their loyalty program to connect businesses and passengers via an award winning mobile app named STM Merci. The app leverages the latest innovations in cloud, big data, analytics and mobile to analyze the situational context of 1.3 million daily passengers along with their shopping preferences and interests. It then examines what local businesses have on offer and sends passengers highly personalized, relevant promotions and recommendations in real-time to their mobile devices as they ride the trains.

Not only has STM completely changed the rider experience, but they are generating revenue for themselves and the ecosystem while saving money for their customers thanks to a new mobile experience.  In fact, mobile is all about experience!  Mobile is the way we experience the Cloud and the services that it delivers. At SAP, we’re starting to talk about ubiquity instead of mobility, because it’s like the air we breathe. It’s everywhere.

We’re just launching SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) 3.0, the platform that allows enterprises to develop new, innovative apps like STM Merci  and run existing apps at the same time. I’ll be writing about that in more depth in the weeks to come.

I look forward to continuing this dialogue about ubiquity at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando where you can experience mobile technology that addresses today’s business challenges and IT requirements.


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