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SAP Influencer Summit Preview: the 'Force Multiplier' Effect on Mobile

SuccessFactors will no doubt be the star of tomorrow's SAP Influencer Summit. The future is always more fun to talk about.

SuccessFactors will no doubt be the star of tomorrow's SAP Influencer Summit. The future is always more fun to talk about. But if you want to hear about victories in the last 12 months, may I suggest that enterprise mobility is your topic?

When SAP bought Sybase in May 2010 for $5.8 billion, there were plenty of doubters. Some of that was based on misinformation - that Sybase was still only a database company, not, as in reality, a leader in multiple emerging markets including enterprise mobility, analytics and mobile commerce - held by those who really should've known better.

But there was also legitimate doubt about the "force multiplier" effect promised by co-CEO Bill McDermott from taking Sybase's software to SAP's massive customer and partner ecosystem.

There was also uncertainty whether SAP and Sybase together could deliver the mobile apps it promised to bring to market.

Indeed, what SAP focused on at 2010's Summit was the opportunity - how mobility was a key ingredient of "the real-time enterprise."

[To see what else was discussed at last year's Summit, read this.)

My prediction is that tomorrow we'll hear all about the tangible proof of progress. Some of these details are out, some will be entirely new, such as:

- hundreds of new corporate customers, including Tommy Hilfiger, toy maker Simba Dickie, Computer Sciences Corp., hospital Charite Berlin,  Boston Scientific and more.

- many millions of customer seats;

- the hundreds of SAP-related mobile apps now or soon available, including 30+ built by SAP;

- our new SAP Store for Mobile apps;

- continuing improvements in the Sybase Afaria mobile device management software and the Sybase Unwired Platform for developing enterprise apps;

[To keep up with what's happening inside the SAP mobile ecosystem, check out the December edition of the Sybase Enterprise Mobility newsletter.]

Keynote speakers at this year's event include co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe, CTO Vishal Sikka, Sybase executive vice-president and head of SAP mobile app development, Dr. Raj Nathan and Global Solutions president, Sanjay Poonen.

Held in Boston, the event begins Tuesday Dec. 13 at 8 am Eastern Time and runs til the end of business on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

You can keep up with all of the news in real-time by following me on Twitter @ericylai tomorrow morning, or tracking the Twitter hashtag #SAPsummit, or watching the tweets and blogs as they roll in at the SAP Newsroom.