Tag Archives: SAP

What’s so special about app wrapping?

Got a chance to catch up with Milja Gillespie today at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas to discuss app wrapping and it’s advantages in the enterprise.

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October 22, 2013 · 4:58 pm

Mobile Master Oliver Bussmann on the Future of Enterprise Mobility

What have you done lately on your iPad? Can you run one of the world’s largest enterprises on it? What’s going to happen when Mobile and Big Data collide? I got a chance to sit down and disucss these questions with CIO of SAP, Oliver Bussman. Bussmann shared some great insights on  mobility, the enterprise, and the future. Be sure to check out what he had to say in the first Mobile Masters post on the Guardian Mobile-Only site. Feel free to ping me if you have a nomination for other mobile masters – those who excel in the use of mobility in the enterprise.

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Filed under Future, Mobile, Mobile-Only

SAP EPM Unwired Announcements from SAPTechED in Las Vegas

SAP today had a couple exciting announcements around the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Unwired mobile app. The first announcement is that the EPM Unwired mobile app is now available on iTunes. The EPM Unwired mobile app currently consists of three apps:

Capital Project Planning
Real-Time P & L
Expense Insight

The apps are on demand, run on Hana, and are in the cloud. Customers who currently own any of the EPM Unwired apps can download the mobile app wrapper and will have the rights to access their data via the mobile device immediately.

The announcement today also included  that SAP will add Planning and Consolidation 10.0 as the next app that will become available in the EPM Unwired app. Planning and Consolidation will be available in the December 2012 timeframe.

Below is the full press release.

SAP to Up Ante in Mobile Analytics With Planning and Consolidation App

SAP to Continue to Deliver on Mobile Analytics Road Map With SAP® Business Planning and Consolidation Application on SAP® EPM Unwired Mobile App.

LAS VEGAS —Oct. 16, 2012 — SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced upcoming availability of SAP® Business Planning and Consolidation 10.0 application on the SAP® EPM Unwired mobile app. SAP Business Planning and Consolidation is one of the latest planned additions to the library of apps available on SAP EPM Unwired. The application aims to provide access to decision-critical information through next-generation user experiences on mobile devices. The availability of financial planning and analysis data enables managers to go beyond simply accessing information to inputting information. This offering is part of a series of mobile innovations announced over the last year in business intelligence (BI), cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM), governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and applied analytics. The announcement was made at SAP® TechEd 2012, being held October 16-19 in Las Vegas.

SAP EPM Unwired, available now on iTunes, is the mobile entry point into the SAP® EPM OnDemand solution. Applications like SAP EPM Unwired provide users a mobile front-end as part of the EPM suite on the device of their choice. This gives users the ability to plan, budget, forecast and consolidate anywhere, on demand.

On-the Go Information from the Nordics to Nepal Network access and telecommunication services provider TeliaSonera is using SAP BusinessObjects Mobile to help executives, sales teams and line-of-business managers keep track of their sales pipeline.

“TeliaSonera is committed to mobilizing our workforce in the same way we help mobilize our customers,” said Tito Toivola, head of Large Enterprises and Public Sector, TeliaSonera. “We want our employees to have the same experience at work as they have in their personal lives. This means we have to give our employees access to the tools needed to do their jobs on mobile devices. With mobile analytics from SAP, people across our lines of business can make more informed decisions in real time.”

Helping Users Keep a Finger on the Pulse of Their Business SAP intends to continue momentum and product innovations with planned quarterly releases of mobile analytic apps. Some examples of innovations to mobile analytics announced over the last 12 months include:

SAP BusinessObjects Mobile: The mobile entry point for BI content, including SAP® Crystal Reports® and SAP® BusinessObjects ™ Web Intelligence® software. Users can easily understand business impact, collaborate with stakeholders and take action directly from the software. The most recent 4.3 release has extended visualization capabilities and language support for French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Polish.

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer® mobile app: “Big data” can be searched and explored through dynamic exploration views that feature Google maps integration, augmented reality and the ability to personalize visualizations.

SAP® TechEd 2012 in Las Vegas, Madrid, Bangalore, and Shanghai

SAP customers, partners, and technical experts are expected to convene at SAP® TechEd 2012, the company’s premier technical conference. Hands-on workshops, demo-driven lectures, and Q&A sessions on the latest developments in analytics, mobile, cloud, database, and in-memory computing enable SAP TechEd attendees to enhance their skills while making valuable connections with peers and IT experts from the SAP community. SAP TechEd is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from October 15-19, and will be held in Madrid, Spain, from November 13-16; Bangalore, India, from November 28-30; and Shanghai, China, from December 4-5. Follow SAP TechEd on Twitter at @SAPTechEd and join the conversation at #SAPTechEd.

About SAP As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 195,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of SuccessFactors) to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit http://www.sap.com.

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Filed under Mobile, Productivity

SAP Mobile – Breaking the Mold

Changing company culture in a large enterprise is a tall order. Once a mindset has congealed, it becomes very difficult to get people un-stuck from a certain way of thinking. However, when it comes to mobility, SAP is turning the ship around. David Brutman, Senior Director of Developer Relations at SAP, shared with me this week just how SAP is making huge strides in rooting out big, lumbering enterprise thinking with their approach to mobility.

There are a few key areas where SAP is making a significant shift in lowering the barrier to entry for enterprise app developers. Brutman stated that, “We’re introducing a new free developer license that is unlimited in time with full development capabilities.” He further explained, “We had a 30 day free trial but we are elevating that significantly by removing any time restriction.” This free license will provide developers unfamiliar with the SAP mobile platform a chance to develop against it without monetary commitment. Developers can then publish apps to their platform of choice.

Besides the free developer license, SAP is providing additional support for development integration with the leading mobile software development frameworks.  Brutman told me, “Another component I’m especially excited about is the partnership with Sencha Touch, Adobe PhoneGap, and Appcellerator Titanium.” Those frameworks are quickly becoming the de facto development mobile platforms because of their ability to develop one code-base that works across multiple different platforms. As Brutman put it, “SAP wants to take advantage of those platforms, with their ability to create beautiful UIs [user interfaces] and merge it with SAP capabilities in secure and managed way.” Those development platforms make perfect sense for enterprise mobile requirements and SAP is taking full advantage of that fact.

Historically, SAP has maintained a complex partnering process that all but excluded smaller development shops. This focus on opening the platform to the masses represents a major shift in partner thinking for SAP. As Brutman explained, “Typically we worked with larger companies and larger partners. Engagement was high-touch.” That kind of thinking represents the classical method of large enterprise engagement that SAP is moving away from. “Now we are accelerating the [partner] program to be able to scale. We want the ability to support a large number of developers. Those developers don’t have experience with SAP applications and they want to enter the enterprise space.”  This is a win-win situation, as developers get to create solutions and SAP expands their mobile capabilities.

My conversation with Brutman only further confirms that SAP gets mobile. They get that success in this space requires solutions that are simple, play well with others, and fit into a bigger picture. They are positioning themselves to take advantage of the milieu of open platforms and integrated ecosystems. It is amazing to see such a large organization have such sustained commitment to change in the right direction. The change isn’t going to happen overnight and isn’t going to be without some bumps in the road. However, I foresee that this commitment will allow them to prosper well into the future.

For information on the announcement from SAP visit:



Benjamin Robbins is a Principal at Palador, a consulting firm that focuses on providing strategic guidance to enterprises in the areas of mobile strategy, policy, apps, and data. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

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Filed under Apps, Ecosystem, Future, Mobile

Mobility Inside SAP – Drinking Their Own Champagne

As one of the global leaders in enterprise apps and platforms, SAP is taking its position in regard to mobility seriously. So seriously in fact, they are leveraging their own enterprise mobility management solution, Afaria, to enable both a corporate provisioned and BYOD policy. I got a chance to sit down with Oliver Bussmann, CIO of SAP, at SAPPHIRE NOW to discuss SAP’s approach to mobility. Bussmann’s breadth and depth on the subject of enterprise mobility was made clear by his very thoughtful and articulate responses.

We began by discussing SAP’s position on corporately provisioned devices. In the past, SAP had standardized on a single device. However, that is no longer the case. As Bussmann pointed out, “We changed completely. We now provide choices; not unlimited choices, but there is a choice.” Presently, SAP allows users to select from Apple, Android, and RIM devices. For each platform there are several options. I asked him how he decided on which devices make the list.  Bussmann replied that “the key motivation for me is that my users are excited. They want to have that device and that they are excited to use it. That is the moment I’ll jump on it. At the end, I am not saying our entire sales- force has to use iPad devices. They can pick and choose.”

There are some categories of employees at SAP who do not qualify for a corporate provisioned device. “We are generous in giving out corporate devices.” Bussmann noted. Those who don’t get them are roles within the company, such as finance and HR, that are typically on-premise. Even so, they see great value in providing the mobile experience for all their users.  This lead to enabling BYOD within SAP. “The motivation is all about this mobile experience. We had a discussion on the board level with Jim and Bill and there’s a strong belief that even those people should have access to those mobile apps. Everyone should have that experience.”  And it isn’t just the experience that is of concern to Bussmann and SAP.  He understands the prominence implementing BYOD brings the enterprise as well.  “I think from a brand value, a brand perception, it is critical. I have to, we must.”

BYOD in a global organization brings on many added challenges. Even with the challenges of the laws in Europe, Bussmann thinks it is worth the hassle of setting up the policy to allow BYOD. “Absolutely. You’d be surprised how many emails I’m getting from German users who want to use personal devices. There’s definitely feedback from the different communities. People are saying they want to bring their devices into work.” Since last September, they have brought on about 1,100 personal devices. “We thought we would do a global deployment but decided to do it country by country because the global laws are so specific. We started in Asia and North America and we are now going to Europe. It’s a big push and we are using the same infrastructure [as the corporate provisioned devices]. He continued on to explain that BYOD is done on a voluntary basis and they sign a consensus form to participate. This also means that their device will be managed by Afaria.

There is nothing like using your own platform to understand how it could better serve your clients. In discussing Afaria, Bussmann gave insight into which functionality he would like to see enabled in their solutions. “We need a third email client integration for devices.  This is a particular issue for Europe to have a separate email client, a separate password.  We have third party vendors who would like to integrate with us. That is something that we want to see. That’s the number one topic. The other topic is that we want to see Afaria integrate with SAP Box. In all my customer meetings it comes up…people love it.”

Mobilty also raises many security concerns, not just with SAP, but all organizations. Bussmann is brokering the interchange between the business need and IT’s concern. Bussmann keenly invited IT staff to a board meeting to discuss their concerns and hear from the top about the business need. “You need, in these cases, executive support to push back and say ‘guys do a risk assessment, find a way to work around and see if it is possible’.”

Bussmann is ushering in fresh perspective into traditional approaches to security at SAP. He pointed out that, “In the end, security has become a case by case risk management topic. I transformed my security guys because they were always thinking ‘kill it or we’ll all bleed.’  I said, understand what’s the benefit, what’s the probability, and what’s the worst case?  If it meets the threshold then we’ll have to bring it up to the board and they will make the final call. But we have to move away from people locking everything, everything has to be 150% secure. That’s the old way. That’s not risk management. I can guarantee you that the appetite on the business side to take on more risk is there. If IT isn’t willing to find a way to balance that, the business will find a way to bypass us, no question about it, no question about it.”

This does not mean abdicating all control to the business side’s desires. He believes IT should drive the security analysis. “The experience and sensitivity to understand what it means to be in the worse-case is not there on their [the business] side. They see the pure business benefits. The risk potential, the security threat, is sometimes underestimated. We are the opposite side, the IT folks. We are too pessimistic, too risk averse.  Finding that balance, finding the workarounds, finding what’s the acceptable risk level, and making that transparent to everybody so they understand that. You need the risk management procedures in place. We have procedures in place on how we qualify and quantify risk probability; depending on the threshold that gets escalated to the next level. The risk of a million or more, then the board has to walk through and understand and document that. In our case having a combined risk and IT security function is absolutely critical.

SAP’s adroit implementation of mobility within their own organization can only further provide to their wealth of enterprise experience. The willingness to leverage their own solutions and address experience and security in fundamentally new ways, speaks volumes of their commitment and understanding of mobility. I think we can continue to look to SAP to be a leader in mobility for the forward thinking enterprises.

Benjamin Robbins is a Principal at Palador, a consulting firm that focuses on providing strategic guidance to enterprises in the areas of mobile strategy, policy, apps, and data. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.


Filed under Management, Mobile, Strategy

SAP MDM Platform Afaria Now Available on Amazon Web Services


SAP just announced that their MDM solution, Afaria, is now available on Amazon Web Services. This will allow Safaria clients the ability to manage and secure their enterprise mobile applications from the cloud.

“As the cloud rapidly becomes the IT deployment model of choice for businesses of all sizes, Amazon Web Services is excited to be working closely with SAP in bringing enterprise solutions to the cloud,” said Andy Jassy, senior vice president, Amazon Web Services. “Adding SAP Afaria to AWS Marketplace provides customers a fast, simple, and trusted way to shop for and implement and enterprise-ready mobile solution.”

What does this mean for existing customers of Afaria? Those customers with licenses for existing versions of SAP Afaria can use the same licence for the AWS cloud version. Those who don’t have licenses can received a licence that permits a free 14 day trial. This includes assistance from SAP mobile experts.

“By offering SAP Afaria, on the secure, scalable AWS cloud infrastructure, we are extending our existing close relationship with AWS and making it as easy as possible for customer and partners to test and deploy the industry’s leading mobile device management solution in an economical and reliable fashion, ” said Sanjay Poonen, head of SAP Mobile. “This announcement is just a sneak preview of what’s coming from SAP as we lay the ground work for long-term innovation around our comprehensive, unmatched B2B and B2C mobile platform – both on premise and in the cloud.”

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Filed under Management, Mobile