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What I Learned at SAP TechEd 2012 about Enterprise Mobility


I learned a lot at SAP's TechEd 2012 this week.  Here are some of my impressions and notes.  SAP, if I have any of this wrong please correct me!

  • SAP hired a new M2M leader that reports into Sanjay Poonen.  
  • SAP's Vishal Sikka and Sanjay Poonen both spoke about the "Internet of Things", also known as M2M (machine to machine) communications.  This is a huge emerging technology trend.
  • Vishal Sikka hinted at the potential of using Hana on Ariba.  Very interesting!
  • Learned SAP's SuccessFactor has a mobile application
  • SAP Mobility Platform will be the brand for all mobile technologies.  The mobile middleware you ultimately choose under the SMP brand could be NetWeaver Gateway, Syclo's Agentry or SUP.  It will all be there and serve different purposes in the near term.  Long term there will be more convergence.
  • 50% of Syclo's customers were IBM Maximo customers (random I know)
  • Phase one of the Syclo and SMP (SAP Mobility Platform) convergence will happen Q1 and a roadmap has been defined for the rest
  • SAP is now fully embracing partner solutions for developing mobile apps (think ClickSoftware, Sencha, Appcelerator, Cordova, etc.)
  • SAP Box, a DropBox like solution, is being developed by SAP and secured with Afaria, is coming soon.
  • SuccessFactor's social networking platform JAM, will be the social and collaboration platform of choice from SAP - bye, bye StreamWorks.
  • SAP now has 18,000 iPads, 16,000 iPhones, 2,000 Androids and 4,000 BYOD supported mobile devices.  These are all secured and managed through Afaria.  Oliver Bussman and his team truly speaks from experience on issues related to mobility.
  • SAP's BYOD policy is bettered called BYODALAIIOOTT - Bring your own device as long as it is one of these ten...
  • Sanjay Poonen referenced that Afaria could scale up to support half a billion devices...
  • SAP's internal support of Android is still limited to Samsung devices.  SAP and Samsung have a special technology partnership that enables SAP to better secure Samsung Android devices
  • SAP is talking a lot about Afaria and SAP Mobility Platform in the cloud
  • Sanjay Poonen mentioned a home design app, that allows users to design their own home by choosing colors and other decorations.  The app data is aggregated and analyzed to predict the popularity of various items and colors by the retail stores and manufacturers.  Very cool example of integrating social networking tools with sales forecasting and SCM. 
  • SAP has set-up internal "Apple Genius-like" bars in their offices to help employees with mobile devices and apps.
  • I heard a lot of excitement from many SAP people, and other CIOs about Windows 8.  There is a lot of pent-up demand and hope.
  • Developing a mobile strategy is still the big bottle neck at companies
  • Afaria was referenced as extending out to secure M2M devices
  • With new UI designs from Microsoft (think Metro) developers may want to design the same app with completely different UIs instead of just simple OS changes...hummm more work and components to manage
  • Heard a CIO say a rule of thumb is that each new mobile apps will require 1 FTE to maintain it
  • Heard of an effort inside SAP to connect their GRC (governance and risk?) to Afaria so mobile policies could be automatically enforced
Did you miss SAP TechEd 2012?  I have many video interviews of mobility expert that I met there!  More will be published next week.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC (Social, MOBILE, Analytics and Cloud), Cognizant
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Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.

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