Where SAP meets Mobile

Exploring SAP and SAP Mobile

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Micro-apps seems to be the hot topic now days at SAP. These are small mobile applications for iPhones, Android, Blackberry and Windows mobile. These applications can be limited and provide access to one part of one SAP application and business process, or expose an entire business process. For example, travel requests and expense report approvals can be part of a business process that is exposed in a mobile micro-apps. In the case of an Expense Report approval, a manager can be alerted to an expense report that needs approved before it can be paid. The manager can access the report through the micro-app on his/her iPhone, review it and approve or reject it. There is not much to these applications, but they are novel today and will continue to evolve into more powerful mobile applications. SAP has some big ambitions about adding mobile users to their systems. They ar... (more)

Mobile SAP CRM

In a recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan called, European Mobile Sales Force Automation (CRM/SFA) Markets, it is stated that mobile SFA is the largest application segment after wireless email, and this segment will grow close to 300% between now and 2013. SAP seems to be making a big push in this area with mobile CRM partnerships, either reseller or co-innovation announced with Sky Technologies, Sybase and RIM in this area. What are the key areas covered by mobile CRM? Activity management – Phone call, email, cold calls, what to do each day Lead management – receive leads, contact, qualify Opportunity Management – define, document and manage specific sales opportunities Account Management – organizational charts, people, budgets, plans, needs To me these are obvious needs for the mobile sales force. They work and travel in mobile environments so provide mobile tools ... (more)

Legacy Modernization and Transformation: Part 1 of 2

“Modernization,” or “Legacy Transformation / Modernization” is one of those catchy business propositions that everyone agrees with. Who does not want to modernize? The term “legacy” connotes rigid, difficult to maintain, and almost impossible to change without a long highly costly engagement. Legacy pertains to systems and applications that are either home-grown or point solutions that were acquired and extended. Legacy also deals with the increasingly aging baby boomers that are approaching retirement age. Maintaining legacy systems will become increasingly expensive as the knowledge to upkeep legacy solutions is also retired with the workforce. Costs, as well as agility for change, are the main driving forces for legacy modernization and transformation. Yet, many modernization efforts in the private and public sectors fail. For example, a recent memorandum by Pet... (more)

The Transformational Power of Mobile Enterprise Applications, Part 2

This is Part 2 in this series. Last week I read an announcement from SAP mobility partner ClickSoftware, the company that developed the SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization solution, concerning their new Facebook integration.  Here is an excerpt, "ClickSoftware announces tight integration between Facebook and its ClickContact self-service customer portal - helping service businesses deliver a high-value customer relationship online . . . customers can book and change service appointments directly on a service organization's Facebook page, receive reminders and notifications on the expected arrival time of the service engineer to minimize wait times - and reduce the chance that the service engineer will not find the customer at home."  You can read the full press release here.  ClickSoftware's solutions also come with mobile enterprise applications that are int... (more)

SAP's Perfect Plant and Enterprise Mobility

Enterprise mobility is a term often used in the context of remote and traveling workers, but it can also be used for situations inside the four walls of a manufacturing plant.  This article explores the use of enterprise mobility solutions within the four walls of a plant using SAP. First, let's review what SAP says about their "Perfect Plant" initiative.  SAP is enabling companies to create a framework for the “Perfect Plant” by integrating planning, asset management and execution with real-time visibility.  As a result, manufacturing networks are more agile, responsive and operationally efficient with SAP solutions.  Manufacturers embarking upon the journey towards a “Perfect Plant” gain visibility into all aspects of manufacturing operations, providing the ability to respond faster and minimize impact to the business and bottom line, driving increased yields, ass... (more)

Execution in Enterprise Mobility

This weekend I read an article written by Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, called Africa Needs Aid Not Flawed Theories in the November 27-28 edition of the Wall Street Journal.  In it he criticizes author Matt Ridley’s ideas (found in the book The Rational Optimist) by saying, “He seems to think that innovation involves simply coming up with a new idea, when in fact the execution of the idea is critical.” This got me thinking.  If the execution of the idea is what is critical, how does this relate to enterprise mobility vendors? I receive calls and emails from mobile start-ups weekly.  Many are convinced they have a better mobile application, a better strategy and a better team.  However, they have no money, only three people in the company, no brand recognition, and no global sales, delivery or support infrastructure.  I usually ask a few additional questions to learn... (more)

Oracle Fusion Applications

The release of the much-anticipated Fusion Applications from Oracle will be made available on a general basis beginning in the first quarter of 2011. Fusion Applications is designed to be a next-gen combination of Oracle’s mainstream offerings, including PeopleSoft, the E-Business Suite as well as Siebel. This has been no small feat. Oracle Fusion Applications has been five years in the making, and is a tremendous effort of engineering. They design team had to take the best features of those applications and try to implement them onto Oracle’s Fusion Middleware infrastructure. A Massive Undertaking When we say it’s been no small feat, we mean it. Oracle Fusion Applications will have more than 10,000 unique business processes, according to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. As a part of the general release, there are literally 100 different products that will be put on the ma... (more)

Software AG Acquires Terracotta Inc.

Software AG on Monday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Terracotta Inc. This acquisition will allow Software AG to provide innovative cloud solutions and dramatically increase the performance and scalability of its Business Process Excellence platform. Terracotta’s product portfolio provides leading edge in-memory technology and is the de facto caching standard for enterprise Java. Terracotta’s in-memory processing will provide the foundation technology for Software AG’s cloud offerings. With in-memory data access up to 1,000 times faster than database access, this will enable Software AG to increase revenue with existing and new customers through significantly larger business process excellence projects encompassing complex event processing, mobile technology, cloud distribution and virtualization. The acquisition also extends Sof... (more)

Cloud 2.0 Applications

Although Cloud Computing represents a shift from fixed cost, on-premise software model to a utility, online pricing alternative, it’s also the nature of software engineering itself and how that is delivered that is changing, and it’s this combination that offers the biggest value to IT consumers. The Cloud Application Platform Central to this strategy is the concept of the Cloud Application Platform, like the VMware offering among others. ‘DevOps’ represents the merging of the two worlds, enabling a more agile, modular approach to building software solutions for clients. For example the principle difference is that in the traditional IT world you purchase a software-centric package, like an ERP system from SAP, whereas the emphasis in the Cloud is process-centric and modular. And that doesn’t just mean SaaS, ie. you don’t simply rent the entire package with the only... (more)

Flexera Software Launches Workflow Manager

Flexera Software, the leading provider of strategic Application Usage Management solutions for application producers and their customers, has announced the launch of Workflow Manager for Enterprise License Optimization. As part of the FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises, Workflow Manager helps IT management automate and enforce best practice business processes around software license management. "Organizations that apply Software Asset Management principles and disciplines can achieve significant savings in comparison to unmanaged environments or those that are counting software assets in a spreadsheet," said Patricia Adams, Research Director at Gartner. "Processes, especially those that are best practices, are essential to the success of a software license management program. Integrative workflows can automate those processes, thereby yielding rapid savings and ... (more)

SAP Reports Record Third Quarter 2011 Software Revenue

SAP AG on Wednesday announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2011. "We are very pleased with the exceptionally strong top-line growth this quarter. Continued efficiency gains combined with operational excellence led to a very strong operating margin performance," said Werner Brandt, CFO of SAP. "Our momentum puts us on pace to achieve a record cash flow year." "SAP's third quarter software revenue grew at its fastest rate in a decade because customers are shifting their investments to software that helps them grow and innovate. Our core solutions together with our industry-leading innovation in mobility, in-memory computing and cloud deliver exceptional value to our customers across all regions and industries," said Bill McDermott, Co-CEO of SAP. "This is a growth company executing on a powerful vision." "Our strong performance and ... (more)