Two tech powerhouses are partnering to bring you a new generation of workplace apps — the kind they claim you haven't seen before, especially if you're employed by one of the 310,000 enterprises worldwide that use SAP applications to run their businesses.

Cupertino, Calif. based Apple entered into a partnership with Walldorf,Germany based SAP with the goal of transforming the mobile work experience for enterprise customers. The companies plan to work together to bring iOS to SAP users.

"Business users will be closer to the mission-critical enterprise data they need to get their work done on the elegant devices they like to use, from wherever they happen to be," Kevin Ichhpurani, executive vice president, strategic business development, office of the CEO, told CMSWire.

When you consider that 73 percent of the world's transactions are run through SAP, the potential impact of the SAP, Apple relationship can'tbe overstated.

Apple + Sap = Big Deal?

Analysts can't predict how many apps might be built, beyond using broad terms like "massive".

"SAP runs the entire enterprise. Everything from the reception desk to the kitchen sink that was installed next to the landing ramp at the end of the building," Constellation Research analyst Holger Mueller told CMSWire. 

He wasn't exaggerating. The list of business processes SAP runs is extensive, including customer relationship management (CRM), SAP Jam, hybris, enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM), suppler resource management (SRM), human capital management (HCM), business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Travel and Expenses (Concur), Contingent Workforce (Fieldglass).

"Workers will be able to access enterprise applications on a mobile device with a fingerprint," said Ichhpurani

Mission Critical Information, Reports, Data

Steve Lucas, president for SAP's digital enterprise platform, showed even more enthusiasm. "Just imagine getting mission critical information, reports and data when you need it, where you need it, without being tied to the desktop. That's the kind of capability that drives a digital enterprise,"he said.

Learning Opportunities

SAP executives said the apps will be "simple, beautiful, intuitive, logical," allowing for the dragging and dropping of data. When you consider that 11 million Apple developers and 2.5 million SAP developers will have the chance to work on the apps, they could be right. And SAP is doing what it can to insure it.

The company has not only built an SAP HANA Cloud Platform software development kit (SDK) specifically for the purpose, but SAP is opening SAP Academy for iOS to provide its ecosystem with the training, education and tools needed to leverage the new SDK, SAP HANA Cloud Platform and Fiori (SAP's UX) for iOS.

Why the Apple-SAP Partnership?

Why do technology companies enter into partnerships? To serve their customers and "shape the future," a term SAP CEO Bill McDermott likes to use. McDermott said that this initiative will "make the world run better and improve people's lives."

Constellation Research founder R Ray Wang offered a different evaluation.

"SAP is looking for sexy. Apple is looking for enterprise," he told CMSWire, noting that iPad sales are flat in the consumer sector, but that their potential in the enterprise is substantial. "The enterprise is the biggest market for Apple in insights, identity, user experiences."

Mueller concurred, noting it was a good move for both companies. "But why did it take so long to make?"