Thursday, September 23, 2010

SAP's Mobility Partners After SAP’s Acquisition of Sybase, Part 2

SAP made a safe bet with the Sybase acquisition. Sybase was already the undisputed global leader in enterprise mobility databases, mobile synchronization technologies, mobile security and mobile device management. This is not another new emerging strategy and future solution. It is a mature and proven solution with millions of mobility users worldwide.

How does SAP’s acquisition of Sybase impact partners in the SAP mobility ecosystem? Let’s examine one particular SAP mobility partner, ClickSoftware, and their mobile strategy. SAP’s solution SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization (SAP WSO) by ClickSoftware is on the SAP pricelist and is sold by the SAP sales force. It includes both a server side workforce scheduling application and mobile applications that are integrated with it.

In 2004, ClickSoftware made a key decision to focus their efforts not on mobile middleware, databases, or synchronization technology but rather on the mobile business application layer for the service sector. ClickSoftware dedicated their efforts to developing highly rich and configurable user interfaces. They developed user interfaces that are virtually device agnostic. Clients were given the freedom to run their mobile applications on a broad range of mobile devices. This device agnostic flexibility generated substantial savings in TCO. ClickSoftware made mobile applications simple to use. They optimized their mobile applications for field conditions that included encapsulating frequent activities into "single-click" buttons.

ClickSoftware’s solutions include job dispatch, business logic for managing the unique transactions between the office and the field workforce, accepting jobs, reporting on delays, travel instructions on maps, time sheet reporting, and much more.

The latest version of SAP WSO mobile supports mobile Asset Management, Timesheets, Expenses and Payroll with tight integration into SAP ECC6, CRM and HCM. It utilizes the co-developed SAP/ClickSoftware NetWeaver 7.1 adaptor. The solution also combines NetWeaver and SUP. This enables SAP customers to mobilize ClickSoftware’s Service Optimization processes and extend them to the field. Field engineers can now manage shifts. Supervisors can manage crew member allocations, mobile scheduling, appointment booking and dispatch all from mobile devices.

As a result of ClickSoftware’s decision to focus on developing the mobile application layer, they chose to support a variety of different mobile platforms from a number of different vendors. They dedicated their resources to being the leaders in supporting two specific areas, service chain optimization and the real time service enterprise.

Following SAP’s acquisition of Sybase, ClickSoftware accelerated their mobile business application strategy to utilize the SAP/Sybase Unwired Platform (MEAP). This enabled ClickSoftware to provide their customers with the best in mobile business applications for the service sector built on top of the market leading MEAP from SAP/Sybase.

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Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
Phone +1 208-991-4410
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.