Monday, June 28, 2010

Mobile Enterprise Users Need Simplicity

SAP has a section of their SDN/SCN portal for enterprise mobility.  On this site they have a diagram depicting an end-to-end mobile solution.  This diagram does a good job of causing fear in just about everyone.  The diagram shows a deep stack of technology components, each with their own complex technical design and functionality.  I can just imagine an enterprise IT team gasping in distress at this diagram.  However, understanding how everything in your car works is not necessary in order to drive it.

Let me give you an example.  ClickSoftware is an SAP mobility partner and the developer of a host of workforce automation and service chain optimization applications.  They have already mobilized field services applications and implemented them with SAP.  It is now available out-of-the-box.  The complexity of the implementation has largely been removed.

If the backend business application and database is a known entity, and is already mobilized, then implementing mobile enterprise applications can be fairly simple for the end user.  SAP partners like ClickSoftware have already managed the complexity and developed applications for end users that are already integrated with SAP.

SAP's acquisition of Sybase and SAP's announced Project Gateway (an API layer for simple mobile applications) will make integrating with SAP even easier.  SAP's strategy for supporting mobile applications is clearer and vendors can focus on it.

Complexity in enterprise mobility is directly related to flexibility.  The more flexible the application the more complex.  If the developer must design and program an application to support an infinite number of different backend databases and business processes, then the solution code can be enormously complex.  If the backend business application and business processes are known in advance, and the integration strategy defined, then much of the complexity and risk can be removed.

The bottomline, there is a good reason to work with SAP mobility partners that are experienced and support specific business processes of interest to you.   You will have removed much of the complexity and risk from the project.  Look for mobility vendors that are SAP certified and have SAP customers in production environments using the business processes you want mobilized.

If you would like to discuss enterprise mobility in more depth, and/or your specific project please contact me.

If you are interested in news about the mobile industry read - Kevin's Mobility News Weekly.  This is a weekly update of the most interesting industry numbers, news and developments.

Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile Industry Analyst
CEO/Principal Consultant, Netcentric Strategies LLC
***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.