Monday, April 26, 2010

Mobile Expert Interview Series: Vivido Labs' Greg Tomb

I had the pleasure of interviewing the former CEO of SAP North America, Greg Tomb this week.  Greg and his team have founded a new mobile application company called Vivido Labs that is working closely with SAP on a number of new mobile applications.  As CEO of Vivido Labs, Greg is now leading an effort to mobilize SAP business processes and to create a platform that other mobile application developers can use to integrate their mobile applications with SAP.

I started the interview by asking Greg why he decided to jump into mobility after leaving SAP in 2009.  He said that 18 months ago many SAP customers were asking him how they could leverage their massive investments in SAP to get more value.  For example, one SAP customer had just purchased 3,000 BlackBerrys and wanted to maximize both the value from their BlackBerry investment and their SAP investments. 

Greg added that he also studied the growing momentum around consumer applications that was fast developing.  It got him thinking about how the evolution in smartphones and mobile app stores could add value to the SAP ecosystem.  "The value of mobilizing SAP is massive," Greg stated.  "Not only by making the mobile workforce more efficient, but mobile solutions can change entire business processes.  Some processes can be shortened, others totally re-engineered because of mobility."

I was curious and asked about the names Vivido Labs and the Mowego platform.  Greg said, Vivido is an Italian word that means "bring life."  The word Mowego is the combination of "mobile-we-go."  I must admit that before his explanations I had visions of dancing cheese in my head.

Mowego is a mobile platform for smartphones.  It is light and easy to install.  It supports both web based and native mobile applications.  It can be used in a cloud computing environment or installed on-premises, based upon the needs of the enterprise.

Vivido Labs has 40 mobile micro-applications available today. 

I asked Greg to tell me more about the Mowego Platform and here are his responses:
  • It has a smartphone centric focus.
  • It was developed for other mobile software developers to use.
  • It does not require data to reside on the device.
  • The approach is from an enterprise perspective.
  • It is not device specific.
  • It does not require SAP NetWeaver – sits outside of NetWeaver – and gives them more flexibility with other ERPs.
  • It has a workbench that allows you to build and prototype mobile applications.
  • Vivido Labs' customers can use the work bench to customize pre-developed mobile applications.
  • It includes the Services modeler, UI modeler, and business process modeler.
  • Developers can use Eclipse or Java to develop applications that work with the Mowego platform.
  • In the future when SAP releases a "gateway" for mobile applications, the Mowego platform would sit on top and help manage and integrate a variety of web services for mobile applications.
I then asked Greg what we should anticipate from Vivido Labs by the end of 2010, and here are his responses:
  • We have 40 mobile micro-applications today.  We expect to have 200 by the end of the year, most developed by third party software development partners.
  • We will have the most advanced smartphone platform.
  • We will be known as the "Enterprise App Store."
The last question I asked was, "What do you think of SAP's current mobility strategey?"  He said, "SAP needs an answer for their customers.  They cannot, NOT have an answer, even if the answer today needs to be changed tomorrow.  Working with mobile partners today is the right answer."

Remember to check out the SAP EcoHub this week! It is focused on mobility.

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Kevin Benedict
Author of the report Enterprise Mobile Data Solutions, 2009 Mobile Strategy Consultant, Mobile Industry Analyst and Web 2.0 Marketing Expert
http://www.netcentric-strategies.com/
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 ***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. **************************************************