Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Mobile Expert Interview Series: SAP's Jack Chawla

SAP's Jack Chawla

I had the privilege to interview Jack Chawla, who is Senior Director, Technology Marketing with SAP's Mobile Business Unit last week via email.

Note:  This interview took place via email, so these are Jack Chawla's words with minor edits.

Kevin:  What mobile device(s) do you carry?
Jack:  I generally have the following devices in my vicinity. . . BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, MBA and Lenovo.  While traveling, I try to carry not more than three devices. . . but sometimes I end up carrying more devices than pants!

Kevin:  What are your favorite mobile applications that you have on your mobile devices?
Jack:  I use Twitter, Bloomberg, Yelp, NYT, Pandora, Kindle, Google Maps, Google Search, Gmail and Camera apps the most.  I have more apps than I would like to admit on my devices.

Kevin:  Do you use your mobile device to buy things?
Jack:  Yes, I use the Amazon app to find and buy stuff cheaper than in retail stores!  I love the Amazon Remembers feature.

Kevin:  How many computing devices do you have in your home?
Jack:  Too many!!  [Kevin's comment - This answer is going to mess up my spreadsheet!]

Kevin:  How long have you been involved in enterprise mobility?
Jack:  Ever since I moved to product management at eGain in 1999.  At that time, we were focused on mobile access for road warriors like field service and field sales folks.

Kevin:  What is different today, than when you started in enterprise mobility?
Jack:  In the past, mobility was for road warriors only and mostly a pain to use. . . people used it because they had to.  Now, mobility is the most exciting and fun technology and has become almost an addiction for all of us.

Kevin:  What industries do you see adopting mobility today?
Jack:  What industries do I NOT see adopting mobility today?  We are seeing interest in mobility across all industries.

Kevin:  What business processes do you see companies mobilizing first, second, third?
Jack:  I see companies focusing on mobilizing sales, service, HR and BI.

Kevin:  What are some of the most surprising trends you saw in mobility in 2010?
Jack:  The tremendous success of the iPad.  I expected it to do well, but to take more time to cross the chasm.

Kevin:  What are some of the biggest challenges you see in mobility today?
Jack:  In enterprise mobility, we need to make it easier for developers to write mobile apps without having to worry about enterprise security, scalability, data sync, device support, etc.  Enterprise developers should be able to write apps as easily as consumer app developers.

Kevin:  What advice do you have for companies just starting down the path to enterprise mobility?
Jack:  Invest in the right MEAP (mobile enterprise application platform) and MDM (mobile device management) infrastructure that helps your developers unleash their creativity and to unlock the productivity that mobility has to offer.  Remove all the friction in the path of your developers to write mobile apps.  Take a bottoms up approach to generate ideas for mobile apps.  Make it easy and fun for people to write and use mobile apps.  This will lead to huge productivity gains and better business outcomes in ways that might not be easy to quantify up front.  As consumer mobility has shown, mobile apps will enrich the user experience and the bottom line of your company.

Kevin:  How important is mobile device management and security?
Jack:  As important as traditional desktop management if not more; and, frankly, with the right solution, it is as easy to manage.

Kevin:  What should people know about SAP mobility?
Jack:  If you use SAP and other apps to run your business, we have the best possible solution to help you mobilize and un-wire your business.  If you are not an SAP customer, we still have the industry leading mobile solutions that can help you mobilize your non-SAP applications and data.

Kevin:  Where do you see mobility going in 2011?
Jack:  I expect a lot of innovative enterprise apps and mobility business success stories in 2011.  I expect enterprise developers to focus first on the mobile experience and then desktop for new applications.  I expect a lot of innovation in B2C (business-to-consumer) mobile apps as well.  I expect major changes and efficiencies in business process because of ubiquitous mobile computing.

I want to thank Jack for sharing his insight and views with all of us!

Click here to read more in the Mobile Expert Interview Series.

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
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.