Thursday, March 11, 2010

SAP Mobility Challenge, Part 7

SAP has much to gain from mobile enterprise applications. They can expand their user base beyond the current white collar workers in the office to the mobile workforce in the field. This has the opportunity to exponentially expand the number of people directly connected to SAP's applications and benefiting from them.

SAP is also seeking ways to expand connections to consumers in a B2C (business-to-consumer) model. This could expand the numbers of mobile users even more. Examples may include consumers requesting product orders, shipment tracking and customer support via mobile devices.

The challenge SAP needs to solve now is how to make money from these additional connected users on mobile devices. I believe it is fair for SAP to be paid for providing value to more users. Is extending SAP functionality to the mobile workforce worth the price of a full SAP user license, one half of a user license, one quarter? What do you think? That is the SAP challenge.

SAP's mobility partners like Sky Technologies, Sybase, ClickSoftware, Vivido Labs and Syclo all make money from selling software licenses or monthly subscriptions (SaaS) that enable the user to integrate and benefit from connectivity with SAP. It seems reasonable that SAP should also benefit from adding value to the mobile users. I expect there will be additional support requirements if an SAP customer doubled or tripled the number of users by extending mobile connectivity.

Mobile micro applications (light-weight mobile applications) that are purchased and downloaded from locations like Apple's iTunes make money for Apple and the software developer. Where does SAP fit into this revenue stream? Do mobile micro-apps pass on less revenue to SAP than a thick mobile client that can run in either a connected or disconnected mode.

How does SAP monitor and charge for mobile devices accessing its software? Where would the transaction gateway reside? This is going to be an interesting challenge for SAP. Please comment and share your thoughts on what models would work best and are justified.

Don't forget to join the SAP Enterprise Mobility group on Linkedin, and please make sure your enterprise mobility solution is listed in the SAP Enterprise Mobility solution directory.

For related articles:

SAP Mobility Challenges, Part 1
SAP Mobility Challenges, Part 2
SAP Mobility Challenges, Part 3
SAP Mobility Challenges, Part 4
SAP Mobility Challenges, Part 5
SAP Mobility Challenges, Part 6

Author Kevin Benedict
Mobile Strategy Consultant, Mobile Industry Analyst and Web 2.0 Marketing Expert

***Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant and Web 2.0 marketing expert. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.