SAP's mobile strategy, the SI perspective

SAP's mobile strategy sounds exciting but there are numerous challenges. In this video interview, John Appleby provides the SI perspective.
Written by Dennis Howlett, Contributor

In this interview with John Appleby, head of technology at Bluefin Solutions we dive into how an SI perceives SAP's mobile strategy.

John is an SAP Mentor I have come to know through the SAP COmmunity Network. He is also a mobile expert. At a recent SAP Inside Track event in London, he demonstrated some of the SAP mobile CRM capabilities that take advantage of what Sybase brings to the table. At the time he said the work needed isn't trivial.

In this video, he explains some of the broad challenges SAP faces as it starts to roll out solutions. John says the market needs to see SAP adopt an agile strategy capable of straddling different platforms while continuing to build out a platform with which customers can feel comfortable. He has yet to see the evidence that SAP is executing against this duality but remains confident that SAP can get the job done.

Elsewhere, I met with Peter Eberlein, chief development architect who was showcasing a conference scheduler built for iPhone.  (For a closer look, see the gallery of  SAP's iPhone event scheduler.)

It was development grade rather than beta but it showed considerable inventiveness that encouraged plenty of debate about next steps for both features and development methods. He was of the view that such applications should be disposable but capable of fast track replication as new events are prepared. He explained that some of the debugging tools in Objective C are not as comprehensive as he would like and that in turn makes regression testing cumbersome for solutions built for those not on the latest iOS. A typical example might be a jailbroken device.

I got the distinct impression that people who are working on these style of application understand the need for speed but as always with SAP, the monetization method stands in the way. When you're talking about apps that may have internal value then there can be no cost but if these are to be embedded in larger processes then how will SAP find a price point that works for itself and customers? That remains to be seen.

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