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Author's profile photo Pete Lagana

The Mobile Matrix

Recently at the SAP Admin and SAP CRM shows, I had a chance to speak at both conferences.  Usually I have a well rehearsed presentation, that provides some great detail on our experience with implementing a particular SAP solution for a customer. 

And that was the intent these last few times as well.

However I simply could not get past the first content slide, where I depict a matrix of sorts, that outlines the myriad of mobile choices that inquiring minds are faced with in today’s mobile landscape.  I depict and describe on premise and cloud mobile offerings, platform versus, native, and hybrid vs mobile web.  All hot topics to be sure, but then more interestingly enough it gets deeper when you layer in the SAP branded offerings for each group, such as SMP 3.0 for platform, Capsel for Hybrid, and UI5/Fiori for mobile web.

And the way I like to conduct my speaking sessions is more inline with quid pro quo – I like to frequently poll the audience, ask questions, solicit feedback, and not just turn the dial to transmit only.  This particular cocktail was a great recipe for such hot topics, and certainly the question / answer was strong.  As I began to discuss all the options, most folks would raise their hands, and as I called them, they gave specifics of their mobile impasse at their own company they were currently experiencing, or simply asking which direction to go. 

Here are some specific questions I was asked —   “What should I do, my company has CRM and SAP tells us to move to Cloud, but the functionality we need is not yet available” or “How do we leverage our on prem CRM with a mobile direction, do we need a strategy?” or “What is the difference between UI5 and HTML5, and when do I need to use one vs the other”… and of course many questions about Fiori, the most common being “What is Fiori” or “Is Fiori a mobile app?” and “how do we build our own Fiori apps?”…

And this is a common theme.  There are so many options today, both SAP and NON.  People are simply inundated, and overwhelmed, and just want to make the most informed decision.  Buy. Build, Customize. Cloud.  On Prem.  etc etc. 

So I did my best to demistify the mobile landscape through show and tell – using specific examples from customer implementation of SAP branded products such as Fiori, SMP, SYCLO, custom UI5, but also for context gave specific examples of HTML5, JQuery, Native implementations and projects for some customers.  I think combining the overall landscape of options that companies out there are employing today to satisfy mobile was well received, be it an SAP or NON SAP branded solution. 

Typical attendees are already mostly invested in SAP, but aren’t necesarily looking for an SAP branded solution to a mobile use case.  Sometimes its a mix of SAP vs NON that may work in a particular scenario.  Consulting across many projects and having implemented SAP and NON SAP mobile solutions really helps give attendees a good idea of not only what SAP has to offer, but also how the attendee can solve their own problems potentially with a technology they already have in house. 

Here’s an example of a recent blog on the conference.\

In any event, the answers aren’t always straightforward on what to do with mobile today.  But one thing is for sure, its all about enabling the use case.  If an out of the box SAP branded solution does that, then great.  If not, then lets discuss how to satisfy the use case.  Often, its the use case that dictates the technology decision, and its refreshing to attendees, prospects, and customer to speak across both SAP, mixed, and alternative options to satisfy each use case. 

Mobility options at SAP will continue to churn and change, but keeping in mind that enabling your specific use cases is job number one, it should help to clarify the landscape a bit more for you.  In the end, its all about leveraging existing investments in SAP, and figuring out the best way to do that, through software or solution.

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