Monday, September 20, 2010

My Advice to Mobile Applications Vendors, Part 6

This is Part 6 in this series on My Advice to Mobile Application Vendors

Today SIs (Systems Integrators) are wondering about their role in the SAP enterprise mobility ecosystem.  They have traditionally played a significant role in SAP implementations, but what about mobility?  I had the opportunity to exchange emails recently with Florian Ganz, a systems integrator, with Energy4U a Siemen business in Germany.  You many find his experiences and thoughts insightful on this subject.

Florian entered the world of SAP mobility while working at SAP AG.  It was 2005, in the middle of SAP's mobility puberty.  He was given the challenging task of trying to fix SAP's early mobility projects and their escalating issues.  The experience was invaluable, as he quickly became exposed to just about every challenge large enterprises could have with mobile applications.  He traveled to almost every continent and spent time with over 35 SAP customers.

In 2008, in the midst of SAP's dark ages in mobility, Florian was introduced to SAP Co-Innovation and mobility partner Syclo.  Syclo had a MEAP (mobile enterprise application platform) and pre-developed mobile solutions that were certified on SAP.  Many of the challenges that Florian had worked on at SAP were already resolved in the flexible and scalable solutions from Syclo.  About this time Florian left SAP AG to help start a new business unit focused on mobility at Energy4U.  His experience with SAP, and his new found knowledge of Syclo, enabled them to quickly close new mobility business with companies like RheinEnergie.

Energy4U has now implemented over six large enterprise mobility projects using Syclo's mobility solutions.  In addition, they have also implemented many other custom mobile applications.  Florian says,"There are many vendors and implementers in the SAP mobile eco-system, but only a few understand both topics (SAP and mobility).  The majority lack the SAP, mobility and integration skills that are required."  He believes that the key to their success as systems integrators in the mobility space is the fact that most of his team has many years of experience in both enterprise mobility and SAP (I thought it was because his team reads my blog articles!!!).

He is currently very interested in learning the details about the SAP/Sybase roadmap.  He has seen many SAP strategies in his time that did not work, so he is more than ready for a plan that will.

I hope to interview Florian in the near future and get some more details regarding his projects. 

So Florian's advice, as gleaned from his email:  Have in-depth SAP knowledge, years of enterprise mobility experience and deep SAP integration skills.  Also, there was value in having experienced all the pain that SAP mobility projects suffered in the early years.

Read the rest of the articles in this series:

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.