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In my 17 years at Sybase and SAP, 2014 has been one of the most interesting and most challenging years that I can remember. It was a year of change, a year of acceleration and year of great recognition. Here is my list of highlights from the Mobile Secure team.

1. Leadership2014 was a busy year as many analyst firms released their annual reports on the enterprise mobility management market. Analyst firms IDC, Forrester and Ovum Research each published reports that assess vendors in this. SAP has achieved a Leader Position in all three reports. Get a full copy of the Forrester report here. Check out the leadership page here for more information.

2. Move to the SAP Cloud – 2014 was the year that we moved aggressively to the SAP cloud. We had a significant base of customers move from our on-premise mobile device management solution to our new SAP Mobile Secure offering in the cloud. And we didn’t disappoint with 7 product releases this year – an outstanding pace of innovation. By moving to the SAP Cloud, we brought together our vision for strong security with a focus on simplicity. One of our major global Pharmaceutical customers described the required mindset change of mobile and cloud perfectly; “The realization of both a Cloud First and Mobile First IT strategy is manifested in switching collective mindsets to establish a fundamental change to how applications are deployed and consumed.” Our cloud trial is available at sapmobilesecure.com.

3. Improving the User Experience – I spent a lot of time this year focusing on how security done well positively impacts user experience. As our customers download and deploy SAP Fiori like mad, they often come across some challenges – not from an app perspective – but from a network access perspective. This year has abounded with customers in the same boat – wanting to provide a consumer level app experience with strict network and app security that is invisible to end users. Check out this blog and video interview I did with four security experts on user experience.

4. Great Research – SAP recently licensed a great Gartner research note written by analyst Jason Wong titled “How to Choose Among MADP, MAM and EMM Security Controls for Mobile Apps”. The research note provides great summary of the security capabilities in each product and also features a case study on an SAP customer who went through great measures to revamp their mobile app security strategy. The strategy needed a facelift when the company switched from BlackBerry to iPhone and Android devices (as many companies have). In order to meet all of their security guidelines yet keep the apps simple, they selected a combination of products to meet their needs. Get your copy here.

5. Making Fiori EasyOur brand new mobile app configuration service is a mobile app management (MAM) feature designed to help companies easily to build, configure, wrap and deploy mobile apps. This first release is specifically for SAP Fiori and Web apps but will be expanded over time. Now, a Fiori app can be deployed to a mobile device by passing the Fiori endpoint URL to the configuration service which packages the URL into the configuration of a SAP Fiori Client application, builds and signs the app and finally makes it available for deployment through Mobile Place. Read the blog here.

6. Mobile Security needs to be Simple – Airport security used to be a painful process – I recall once after 9/11 it took me exactly 2 hours to get from the curb to my gate. Today it’s much easier. I can go from curb to gate in about 10 minutes with TSA Pre and a Nexus card. My personal experience going through security has been simplified and I am a much happier traveler. The same is true when it comes to mobile security. If your users have to jump through hoops to get their app to open (or get to the gate) then they won’t be happy about it. Multiple logins, SSO, and VPN can complicate the process and make it too long when you simply want to access an app for 30 seconds. If you simplify the process and improve the experience then your users will be happy.  Check out this video discussion I had with Scott Bonnell on the topic.

As we end 2014 ad embark on a new year I am excited about what lies ahead. Looking forward to continuing the conversation with you in 2015!

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