Simplifying the Mobile Journey

At SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, we announced that SAP will be simple from now on. What does that mean for our mobile business?

Complexity seems to be the bane of our day and age. It’s everywhere, and it’s quite mysterious, because it is not a callout on a balance sheet, and no one is accountable for it.  It creeps up on you, spawning new challenges at alarming rates. Enterprise mobility started off simply enough. It was relatively easy to manage devices within the enterprise 10 years ago when BlackBerry was the only device in the enterprise. Companies with a good mobile device management program were in a strong position. But with trends like BYOD, the outburst of consumer apps, and the arrival of Android which now has over 11,000 device variants, there has been a major shift in the mobile landscape.

Today’s landscape is complex and fraught with challenges including security and lifecycle management. The mobile device landscape has become massively fragmented. I believe that this will continue. Device centric approaches to managing enterprise mobility will be increasingly challenged to keep up with the scale and variability of available options. One need only look at the commoditization and related consolidation that’s happened and is happening within the MDM (Mobile Device Management) market to see that a different approach is required. Enterprise customers are beginning to understand that investing in spot solutions for their Mobility requirements, including security, applications, application development, analytics and messaging may not be the best, most cost effective strategy. Enterprises are now investing in platforms to support their broad requirements. Why is that?

Coping with complexity requires clarity and adaption

The way to cope with complexity in today’s business environment is to build the capacity of employees and the organization to continuously adapt and to quickly learn. That’s the best way to maximize the chance of seizing fleeting opportunities. The new version of our mobile platform does exactly that. SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 helps enterprises build their capacity to adapt and address complex issues in innovative and powerful ways.

SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 helps enterprises simplify in three key areas. First, it consolidates three development platforms into one. Second, it embraces the most widely used open source development tools to make it easy for any enterprise customer to adapt existing applications to meet specific mobile needs and develop new mobile applications as their business evolves. And lastly, it provides consistency in mobilizing all SAP apps.

These areas of simplification also map to the milestones of the journey every enterprise takes as they mobilize their business. Milestones provide clarity regarding the road ahead. First, you need to learn the basics, and then you gain expertise before you are finally ready to explore new horizons. If your enterprise is just starting out on the mobile journey, there’s good news: you’re not alone. In a recent survey by Lopez Research over two-thirds of companies said only their e-mail, contact, and calendar applications are mobile-enabled. However, as the world shifts toward becoming more mobile, you can’t afford to sit still.

Your next step into the mobile world should be to extend your current business applications, but which ones should go mobile first? Applications that gain value from location and real-time data capture offer a logical starting point as you move existing systems into mobile applications. Start small and execute against a plan, with security being at center stage. Make sure to engage all stakeholders in developing a mobile management strategy that secures corporate data.

Once you have a couple of mobile apps behind you, look to your users to point the way ahead as you move to the next stage focused on gaining expertise. For example, many companies start off mobilizing with SAP Fiori as a means to create a great user experience. They then discover that additional functionality tied to our new mobile platform greatly enhances the user experience with security (Single Sign On, Logging), push, deep offline capability and lifecycle management. SAP Fiori coupled with the SAP Mobile Platform enables you to move to the next stage seamlessly. Because SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 embraces open source technology and connects to the SAP HANA database, it allows you to build and manage the apps you need to drive productivity in your workforce with unprecedented performance.

Pioneers in simplifying mobility

Companies like T-Mobile are already consolidating systems and running simple with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud to accelerate marketing campaigns and real-time product recommendations. Since implementing their customer touch program, they are using SAP Mobile Platform to develop apps that help move the customer to the center of the business. It took them just three days to develop an inventory app that allows them to react immediately to customer demand for any model in any color in any store. Previously, they would have had to tell the customer the model is currently not available. Who wants to hear that in the middle of a shopping experience??

It has never been simpler. Now is the time to think about mobilizing your enterprise with the right platform and applications to improve productivity by enabling individuals to access information and workflows anytime, anyplace to better serve your customers.

@rickcostanzo

This post originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Photo: Shutterstock

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