With Sapphire Now, SAP’s annual gathering coming to a close later today, it’s hardly surprising that there is a bit of something for everyone. There’s cloud, mobile and databases, with the ERP king announcing the release of around 70 apps that do different things with different systems.
The idea behind the new releases is to make people more productive by enabling them use their enterprise systems on the road and on-premises.
SAP's Mobile Stratergy
Over the course of the three-day Orlando meeting, there were numerous references to the difference this is going to make in people’s working life.
But SAP said that last year, too -- and probably the year before that, but I’ve no record of that -- so it’s not exactly breaking news.
What is new is that SAP has released a bunch of mobile apps that will interact with its software in such a way that users will be able to access and work with that software remotely.
But that’s what many of the apps that are being released by many different companies at the moment are supposed to do, so no prizes there.
That is not to dismiss the apps in any way whatsoever; just to say that there is nothing new in SAP’s mobile strategy here except to make as many systems accessible through mobile devices as possible.
We can’t possibly go through all 70 here, but SAP says that with the help of a thriving partner ecosystem, the new SAP mobile apps provide real-time mobile access to human resources, sustainability, finance, sales and mobile commerce functions.
This includes updated versions of existing SAP mobile apps available on more mobile platforms, including Android and RIM BlackBerry.
Areas covered include apps for customer interactions, for entering expenses, a whole pile of mobile commerce portfolio apps from Sybase 365 -- a key SAP mobile platform for powering business -- as well as business-to-business and business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile apps and services.
SAP in the Cloud
One of the things that people were looking to see from this year’s event was what SAP was going to do with the cloud and, sure enough, SAP didn’t disappoint.
It unveiled four lines of business to manage people, money, customers and suppliers that will be offered through the cloud and will have integration with the enterprise resource planning software.
SAP’s strategy in the cloud has been developing since it bought out SuccesFactors in February this year. As soon as the deal was inked, SAP brought it in under its wing and combined it with SAP’s abilities in the business process software development space.
The result is a unit that consists of 5,000 people dedicated to designing, building and delivering cloud solutions that enable people to work and perform at their best.
The newly formed Cloud business unit will deliver its multitenant cloud solutions as a loosely-coupled suite of best-of-breed applications.
SAP says it will offer customers the choice and flexibility to adopt these applications at their own pace and as business needs evolve.
When used together, these applications aim to offer the value of one solution with a consistent user and customer experience, process and data integrity. However, this is still a strategy that seems only to be emerging, so we’ll be looking at that later.
SAP Offers HANA Support
Needless to say, as it's the yearly gathering, it was always expected to push the virtues of HANA, its Big Data analytics platform upon which it has built a whole array of applications.
Progress on that continues with the announcement of another eight applications built around the platform that adds advanced reporting analysis and planning capabilities into those applications.
These applications take advantage of detailed and fresh data, doing complex analysis on-the-fly to power interactive decision-making on mobile devices and in the cloud," Dr. Vishal Sikka, a SAP executive, said.
Keeping to the Big Data theme, SAP also announced advanced support and integration with Hadoop environments including an expanded “big data” partner council and customer showcases.
These “big data” integration capabilities are planned in SAP Data Services and SAP Information Steward software with the release of service pack 4 for the SAP HANA platform.
The SAP real-time data platform, based on HANA, includes data management capabilities from SAP Sybase IQ, SAP Sybase ESP, SAP Sybase ASE and SAP Enterprise Information Management.
It offers real-time decision support within the window of opportunity with extreme capabilities to ingest, store and process big data in real-time. More on these products as it emerges.