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August 03, 2011

Enterprise Mobility Advice from SAP Mentor

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

According to Kevin Benedict, independent mobile and M2M industry analyst, SAP (News - Alert) mentor volunteer, the real impact of mobile technology will be felt only when companies adapt and evolve their business strategies, models and business processes by using it.

Mobile technologies can influence business strategies just as modern technologies like video surveillance, remote sensors, and unified communications have changed military strategies.

To ensure success in enterprise mobility, companies must secure not only the mobile devices but also the mobile app and data.

Benedict says the best "idea generators" and most creative people in a company are technology early adopters.  Companies should encourage them to use new technologies and reap the benefits in innovation.SAP/Sybase (News - Alert) is investing into the concept of enterprise mobile app stores.  Their strategy, according to Benedict, is to develop the frameworks and infrastructure that companies will need to manage, trust and secure hundreds of different mobile solutions from many different vendors.However, Sybase still needs to learn more about supporting end user customers, rather than ISV partners, according to Benedict. They must be specific about the details of the supported devices. They must provide specific guidance and details to people purchasing the devices.

It’s been difficult for a corporate IT organization to figure out an enterprise wide mobile middleware strategy.  This is because there are several decision points and variables that need to be considered. Benedict says it is far easier to choose the best mobile app for a business process, but once there are enough mobile apps that use SUP, then the mobile middleware discussion and strategy will be far easier.Benedict also notes that third party mobility vendors are turning away from the SAP mobile app market, because they don't have visibility into where there are opportunities to make money.  While SAP talks about developing hundreds of mobility apps, they also say they need and want third party mobility vendors to develop mobile applications.  This leads to confusion among vendors.

There is some work needed here on SAP/Sybase's part to give better guidance and incentives to third party mobility vendors, Benedict says. Corporate IT is still struggling with developing a master plan for mobility. This makes it difficult for vendors to sell to the corporate IT organization; however, departments and business units are buying enterprise mobility solutions today for the line of business.If an IT organization forbids mobile solutions, the IT organization will become irrelevant to the company as mobility is unavoidable.  Another trend noted in the enterprise mobility market is the revolutionary growth in machine to machine (M2M) communications.  The ability for smartphones and other computers to communicate with and operate remote machines is rapidly expanding.  The fastest growing market segments in M2M are medical equipment, healthcare apps and in-vehicle systems.Cloud computing is also an emerging trend in the enterprise mobility segment. Businesses can easily subscribe and use mobile apps from cloud computing vendors with minimal IT involvement. 

Recently Sybase announced that its mobile device security and application management software now supports Cisco (News - Alert) Cius, a new business tablet created for enterprise mobility. This extends Sybase's device agnostic approach to support a growing list of mobile devices including Android (smartphones and tablets), iOS (iPhone and iPad), Windows Mobile, Symbian (News - Alert) and BlackBerry.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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