SAP Partner Plans

By Susan Nunziata  |  Posted 08-09-2010

Sybase Unwired Platform Targets Information Workers

A number of SAP partners are lining up mobile solutions using the new Sybase Unwired Platform, the latest iteration of which was released August 9. The platform enhancements are the latest developments in Sybase's ongoing development of SAP functionality for mobile solutions following its sale to SAP earlier this year. The latest iteration of the Sybase Unwired Platform "has a huge focus on information worker enablement," says Tony Kueh, senior director mobility product management at Sybase. "In the past we have focused on field service and ruggedized applications. With the announcements in May of SAP Mobile CRM and Mobile Workflow for SAP Business Suite, we now have a single platform that enables both types of users in the enterprise."

iPhone support is also new for the platform, which already supports BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian. Android support will be available in the near future, says Kueh.

With this release, Sybase also makes available to any developer the tooling used build the apps that Sybase co-branded with SAP, note Kueh. This way, developers can build applications to an SAP back end or any other back end they may wish to connect to. "We understand that an enterprise is not a uniform back end," says Kueh. "It's not just SAP, maybe it's SAP plus Oracle plus IBM plus Microsoft. We maintain back-end neutrality all the way, and reiterate that as part of an SAP-family company. We want to make sure we can deliver all-encompassing end user value, and mobility is horizontal."

Business Drivers for Sybase Roadmap

  • Kueh identifies five broad trends that are influencing Sybase's product development roadmap:
  • Consumerization of IT. Today, this is around devices, according to Kueh, but going forward Sybase sees the consumerization of IT turning into more of a service play. For example, he says the company is looking at opportunities to tie in location awareness via GPS functionality that comes standard on new smart phones.
  • Cloud convergence. Convergence of the mobile cloud operators, the enterprise cloud data centers and the Web-based cloud or SaaS providers will have a major impact.  These will need to be converged in unified way in order for an end-to-end enterprise mobility scenario to work, says Kueh.
  • Mobile applications. Kueh says Sybase will be making a large investment in mobile applications that incorporate data, voice, IM, and social media, creating a three-dimensional mobile app stack
  • Integration of b2b, b2c and b2e. According to Kueh, there is growing interest from enterprises around connecting information through the supply chain platform, outbound vendor platform, data integration, and process integration across the business, employee and consumer touchpoints. "Mobility is a natural integration point," he says.
  • Mobile Developers. Kueh sees a mismatch of developer capabilities in the mobile enterprise space. "Not many organizations have a team of mobile developers," he notes. "We will look at that closely, and look at what will be the best way to address this, be it integration with HTML5 or some other option. The developer community is very important and will drive the whole experience of the mobile enterprise."

More than 30 new SAP-focused co-innovation partnerships have been formed with Sybase since 4Q 2009 that address the complex issues related to mobility deployments.

SAP Partner Plans

Among the partners to recently announce SAP solutions using the Sybase Unwired Platform are Bluefin Solutions, HCL Axon, and independent consulting firm maihiro. Bluefin is expanding its own portfolio of products and services with the Sybase mobility platform and has also implement it for its own sales staff. Bluefin Solutions account managers can view and update customer information on-the-go via an intuitive iPhone application. This improves productivity through fast and accurate access to customer information, contact details, sales pipelines and all CRM functionality.

Mobile solutions for the utilities, travel and logistics, oil and gas and financial services industries are being developed by HCL AXON, a division of HCL Technologies -- an organization that implements SAP solutions. HCL AXON is planning to roll out its first mobile solution for the travel and transportation industry.

Independent consulting firm maihiro focuses on CRM solutions for manufacturing, capital goods, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, automotive, financial services and media industries. The company built its CRM to Go for Mobile Business solution to include technology from Sybase and SAP and enable enterprises to rapidly deploy mobile sales and CRM apps on various mobile devices, including BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Mobile.

For field service, msc mobile has created the Momentum solution, based on the Sybase Unwired Platform and the SAP NetWeaver Mobile component 7.1 (the technologies used by Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP CRM and Sybase Mobile Workflow for SAP Business Suite). Momentum is integrated with the SAP ERP application to push data directly to mobile devices, providing users with a seamless offline and online experience. Field service technicians to access all relevant data needed to execute their work anytime, anywhere.

The Neo Mobile Suite from Neo Business Partners is for companies that run the SAP ERP or SAP CRM applications for service, maintenance and sales processes. Based on SAP NetWeaver 7.1 and the Sybase Unwired Platform, NEO Mobile Suite allows customers to work on service orders and notifications offline on their mobile devices using the existing backend customized for SAP solutions. This leverages previous investments in processes and provides fast accurate access to information such as contact details, service history of customers and equipment and all CRM functionality. The functional scope of the Neo Mobile Suite is similar to the SAP Mobile Asset Management (MAM) application for utilities. NEO positioned its mobile suite as a follow-up solution in support of utility companies using SAP MAM.

T-Systems - an SAP services partner in Europe with 1.5 million customers -- unveiled a customized mobile CRM solution for SAP Business Suite software. It extends robust functionality to various devices, including iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile. The solution also offers device management and data security in case a device is lost or stolen.