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This White Paper is provided free for reading and distribution. Please obtain permission from the author or
original infor...
Introduction 2
Definitions 3
Enterprise Mobility 3
Mobile workforce 3
Mobile devices 4
Mobile infrastructure 4
First of all it’s important to agree on the
definitions. “Mobility” is being used as
buzzword in many contexts...
 BYOD (Bring You Own Device) is common, devices are used
for business and pleasure – policies, security and legal issues
Seen from the Internet and into the corporate network it starts with
firewalls, VPN gateways, relay servers, reverse proxi...
actionable information we expect the app store to have the solution
for us. Whether it’s an interactive Metro timetable wi...
into the cloud, are using free analytics packages in the cloud, are
interacting with colleagues on more or less public soc...
e) Operational Excellence
The ability to monitor your operations in detail and on
defined key performance indicators, even...
collaboration, many enterprises have been forced to offer a
corporate approved alternative.
The extraordinary dynamics of ...
Android devices create concerns for the enterprise.
Android is based on Linux and allows background tasks
to run invisibly...
“Which of the following factors, if any, have prevented your
company from adopting mobile applications?”
Source: Kelton Re...
 IPR loss
 Damage to corporate image, customer confidence
 Employee productivity
 Fraud
Local laws often governs parts...
used, who did the work etc. Difficult to cost calculate, but
vast improvements.
 Less administration – data flows from th...
tion and rail, mobility is becoming the new norm: if you don’t have
mobile solutions you are falling behind your competiti...
Source: Gartner MADP 2012
With SAP as your strategic ERP platform there are a number of
advantages by selecting a mobile i...
partner community is producing a large number of apps and the SAP
App Store is filling up quickly with choices for each ca...
 It will be very difficult and expensive to hire your own
experts; rather find a trusted advisor and train your own staff...
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Enterprise mobility introduction for decision makers v1.2


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This is an up to date and revised version of my introduction to the area of (SAP) Enterprise Mobility and the background knowledge you should have before starting on a mobility strategy for your enterprise. I wrote this generic version after training project teams ad hoc a number of times.

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Enterprise mobility introduction for decision makers v1.2

  1. 1. This White Paper is provided free for reading and distribution. Please obtain permission from the author or original information owner before distributing in print, copying or re-using any content. © Hans Nygaard 2012-2013 v1.2 2013.06.23 An Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Strategy for Decision Makers “What you should know before hitting the on-ramp” By Hans Nygaard Mobility Enterprise Architect An independent White Paper
  2. 2. Contents Introduction 2 Definitions 3 Enterprise Mobility 3 Mobile workforce 3 Mobile devices 4 Mobile infrastructure 4 Market situation 5 Consumer trends & behaviors 5 Consumer impact on business 6 Business trends 7 The extraordinary dynamics of mobility 9 Why not mobility? 10 Peer comparisons 13 Mobilizing SAP ERP and business data 14 Choosing SAP or 3rd party solutions 14 SAP mobility history 15 Current SAP best practice 16 SAP Mobile Platform implementation partners 16 Conclusion and Final Words 17 Introduction Since Apple re-invented the smartphone game in 2007 consumers everywhere have embraced increasingly mobile behaviors. The Enterprise market jumped on mobility in earnest around 2011 and this trend continues at a tremendous pace in 2013. However when investigating the new mobile possibilities for your enterprise, you are faced with a daunting spread of topics to learn about and choices to make. And making wrong or uninformed choices can quickly snowball and land you in costly dead ends. Thus a surprising number of managers hold off Enterprise Mobility decisions for far too long. The answer is of course to add structure and chew off bite for bite: start working on an Enterprise Mobility Strategy. For many this starts with the pure IT part - in making sure you commit to relevant and future-proof technology. But for some more process oriented companies a strategy reaches all the way through business strategy, processes, IT, data, organizational issues, governance etc. This document is meant as an introduction or primer for business process owners, managers, enterprise architects and other stakeholders, to the full playing field of Enterprise Mobility Strategy, preparing for your subsequent detailed strategy formulation and implementation. The scope is enterprise processes with a SAP flavor (B2E and B2B) and not consumer or end customer (B2C). This document is not meant as a guide through the Enterprise Mobility Strategy development itself - this is a complex exercise and should follow an appropriate methodology. So that would of course be where you call me in as a consultant…
  3. 3. Definitions First of all it’s important to agree on the definitions. “Mobility” is being used as buzzword in many contexts by many different stakeholders. The definitions as well as the contexts that apply towards Enterprise Mobility Strategy are described below. Enterprise Mobility Enterprise Mobility has become a common buzzword. For our purposes Enterprise Mobility is defined in its original and broadest sense:  All enterprise business services that can be provided from or accessed by a mobile device  Business processes are extended from core systems to a mobile platform  The toolbox for Enterprise Mobility includes all the mobile possibilities and technical components available So this is ultimately about enabling employees to work with company systems and data anywhere and anytime, regardless of how it’s done. Far too many get stuck on the how – to the disadvantage of the all-important why. An example of a service could be time registration in ERP, SAP CATS for example. Your employees could use the Timesheet smartphone app from SAP to enter hours. Apart from the smartphone app itself this would require an appropriate infrastructure to enable the app to connect to your ERP system. Rather complex. But the same could be accomplished by providing a SAP NetWeaver Portal page optimized for small screen, where employees could login with their mobile browser and enter hours. You could also provide them with an Adobe Interactive Form, where they would enter hours on their device and just email it to the SAP system. Mobile workforce The mobile workforce consists of those employee groups that need to be - or can benefit from - working anywhere and at any time. For the purposes of an Enterprise Mobility Strategy there can be any number of target groups but common ones include:  Top level management  Sales force  Office workers  Service and maintenance engineers  Quality inspectors  The supply chain: warehouse staff, transportation, delivery etc. These employee groups fall into different segments when viewed in terms of their mobility needs. They are all B2E (Business to Employee) mobility users working on internal business processes. It’s useful to divide them into two main segments of white vs. blue collar - or alternately as information workers vs. task workers. Some characteristics of the segments can be: White Collar:  White collar mobile apps are short-lived and updated often  Ever-changing devices and operating systems to support  A user requirement for up-to-date user experience (UX)
  4. 4.  BYOD (Bring You Own Device) is common, devices are used for business and pleasure – policies, security and legal issues  Mostly information workers and needing many different mobile processes (role-dependent) White collar mobility is by far the most challenging to manage from a governance and IT perspective. Blue Collar:  Stable platforms, usually the OS versions live for years  Long-lived hardware (often ruggedized) and apps, 5-10 years is norm  No BYOD, full corporate control of devices and apps  Mostly task workers and needing few critical processes (task specific) Blue collar usually has the biggest business cases for new entrants to mobility and requires least management. An example could be Field Service Engineers. Think of a fully mobile work day for all your service personnel, using a single mobile application for work orders, time scheduling, spare part purchases, time reporting etc. Understanding these segments of employees will help you later when creating a strategy, supporting the needs of each segment instead of dealing directly with every individual employee group. Mobile devices A mobile device is a computing platform that is made for mobility. It usually has a limited and adapted feature set compared to full computing platforms (laptop, PC) and runs a matching operating system like iOS, Android, Windows Embedded or Windows Phone. While the technology rushes forward to blur the lines between device categories, the current main mobile device categories are:  Smart phones, ie. iPhone, HTC, Blackberry  Tablet computers, ie. iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab etc.  Ruggedized handhelds, ie. Intermec, Honeywell and Motorola devices  Ruggedized tablets, ie. Motorola ET1, Panasonic Toughpad Try to stay ahead of new platforms and promised possibilities. A great example is the new ruggedized tablets that now opens up new possibilities for field service personnel that need to view bill of materials, drawings, instructions etc. not suited for the smaller 3,5-4” screens on ruggedized handhelds. Many have tried iPads in rubber cases in these applications with varied success. Mobile infrastructure When a mobile app is displaying or changing corporate data, checking your login data, participating in a workflow etc. you need to have a server to store the transaction data. Often your ERP system. When you have a server like that residing inside the corporate network behind a firewall, you need to have a way for the mobile device to reach and communicate with that server - from the internal wireless network as well as from the public cell phone network and Internet.
  5. 5. Seen from the Internet and into the corporate network it starts with firewalls, VPN gateways, relay servers, reverse proxies, load balancers etc. This is usually already in place for other internet services into the corporate network but might need additions or scaling. Between this layer and the ERP system, middleware might be needed to format, orchestrate and maybe even stage data passing between the mobile devices and ERP. Advanced middleware will also be capable of generating cross platform applications from a framework or metadata definitions, handle users and their authorizations, analyze traffic etc. This is often referred to as a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform or MEAP. Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) is a MEAP as is Syclo Agentry. To confuse matters more you can also go for a very simple architecture and enable mobile devices to interact almost directly with your ERP system, without real middleware. This is often desirable for the simplest apps like time registration or approval workflows. They don’t load the ERP system too much when connecting directly into a webservice and they can live with a requirement for being 100% online in order to funtion. Examples of this are the simple HTML5 coded SAP Fiori apps that just connect directly to SAP via a webservice in NetWeaver Gateway. A Mobile Device Management (MDM) and user management toolset must also be in place to handle devices and users. It allows detailed control of what individual users, devices and even operating systems you allow onto your network, what applications are allowed on a device, if it can be rooted/jailbroken etc. MDM tools also give you the ability to remotely wipe or kill devices that have been stolen or lost. It is exactly as the name says; a tool to manage mobile devices. SAP Afaria is an example of an MDM solution. All in all it means that a rather complex security and communication infrastructure must be in place to support the very first mobile enterprise application. Subsequent applications will reuse the infrastructure, but the initial cost and effort will be rather high and difficult for any one project to carry on its own. The infrastructure and tools must typically be seen as a strategic investment and the capitalization spread over time. Getting an objective overview of all your needs and the IT options to fulfill them will be one of the biggest challenges for your Enterprise Mobility efforts. Many efforts stall at this step, get help! Market situation Consumer trends & behaviors As mentioned earlier, consumers everywhere have embraced increasingly mobile behaviors, from on-line shopping, over e- government service and mobile banking, to social networking. The iPhone wave has coined the phrase “there’s an app for that” which embodies the current consumer behavior; if we need task specific SAP Gateway & Middleware SAP Application server WWAN WAN Firewall WLAN USB
  6. 6. actionable information we expect the app store to have the solution for us. Whether it’s an interactive Metro timetable with GPS integration when we are out walking in Paris, or a restaurant guide with user reviews when craving sushi in San Francisco. As consumers in 2013 we are thoroughly dependent on the smart phone and tablet to unchain us from the PC, and our expectations are based on fully remote and mobile access anywhere we go. Consumer impact on business Employees in the enterprise are carrying their personal mobile behaviors into the work environment. The business benefits are obvious to the employee on the floor, but not so the associated costs. The result is that the employees often see the enterprise as moving too slowly and worst case even as being obstructive in providing mobile services. Employees are therefore forcing new mobility initiatives quite aggressively. This is often referred to as the consumerization of IT. Common employee drivers Enterprise mobility is often being driven forward by user initiatives or behaviors such as:  Sales and top management want iPads with CRM and BI  The white collars want iPhones for time and travel registration  Maintenance wants to get rid of printouts and service order reports  Warehouse wants barcoding, RFID and more transparency in stocks  QA wants to do on-site and on-line inspections, calibration work etc.  Private devices are being used in the company environment because they have better features  Corporate data is being stored in private cloud accounts because it’s just so convenient Bring Your Own Device Enterprises often provide employees with “cost effective” basic mobile devices and usually have a 3 year refresh cycle. An employee will often want to use his newer, fancier personal device for work; a trend referred to as Bring Your Own Device or BYOD. Basic connection to company email and calendar (MS Exchange etc.) doesn’t create any big challenges for IT, as long as a corporate device policy for storing data like emails and attachments is enforced through IT. Running corporate apps on personal devices can most often also be managed, as long as no content is stored locally or it is containerized and encrypted to keep it safe. As an example many companies are providing separate smartphone WiFi networks for employees allowing controlled access to some company resources. Mobile devices are automatically signed up for device management after a user acceptance procedure, in order to cover the legal aspects of managing personally liable data and hardware. The latest trend of using private apps and cloud storage for work is proving more of a headache for enterprises; users are loading data
  7. 7. into the cloud, are using free analytics packages in the cloud, are interacting with colleagues on more or less public social media and collaboration tools etc. This creates an almost uncontrollable security risk and is one of the main pains to be handled by any Enterprise Mobility Strategy. Business trends A number of trends are common in the adoption of Enterprise Mobility. Blue Collar Blue collar business processes have been the focus of optimization since the building of the pyramids. So you are dealing with large employee segments that are used to continuous optimization, and using enterprise mobility to optimize is fairly painless in terms of change management. Large employee segments with uniform processes also mean that it’s fairly easy to calculate (and prove) the business case. Thus blue collar processes in field service, supply chain and production have been a common target for mobile solutions. If we look at some traditional differentiators in manufacturing & service industries: a) Product & Service Leadership Integrating enabled products to corporate systems, to report condition or use, to provide added services on the go or simply to allow geo-tracking, can set a product apart from the competition. And services provided on customer premises are probably the no. 1 area where enterprise mobility is adopted. Increased SLA performance, better allocation of resources, very short order to cash cycle and more accurate registration and billing are just some of the benefits of mobile field services solutions. First year ROI of 100% or better is not uncommon. b) Superior Customer Value Mobile solutions for your customers can be a way to drive more value for them besides what they already get from buying your products or services. If you have sold them a complex product like a truck/lorry, they will prefer your products because you give them an app with access to online documentation, exploded views, Bill Of Materials, service history, accessories catalog, drivers community etc. c) Responsive Supply Networks Supply Network Planning is a well-known science for many companies. With mobile solutions you can increase transparency into what happens between the nodes of your network, when goods are moving or changing hands. Your drivers can hand in delivery reports in real time, be re-routed in emergencies, report delays and plan routes dynamically and fuel friendly. d) High Performing Assets Mobile solutions enable your maintenance and set-up crews to operate either completely connected or with off-line data from corporate systems, in the factories or yards, on highways, in the woods, underground, on oil rigs at sea. Equipment data and service history, work orders, spare parts inventory and documentation can be accessed and interacted with at the place of service, where up to date information has the most value and makes sure your equipment stays in operation.
  8. 8. e) Operational Excellence The ability to monitor your operations in detail and on defined key performance indicators, even analyze operational performance on the go and respond to situations immediately, is often a major mobility business case for companies. Shop-floor to top-floor integration is an enabler: integrating Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) to SAP ERP and Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence is an enabler: it has given us tools to collect, manipulate, analyze and present large amounts of data in-memory and these abilities are now available on mobile devices too. White collar White collar processes are more challenging to optimize from a change management perspective, productivity measures can often be taboo. Here it has to be more carrot than stick and mobility is about making processes more convenient and flexible, and thus hopefully also more efficient. Employee segments are usually smaller and more varied, making business cases harder to calculate and definitely harder to prove. The current top mobility areas in white collar are: 1. Time and Travel Enabling employees to perform time registration and travel expense reporting from mobile devices is a good business case. Registrations can be done much more frequently, often directly as the data is becoming relevant. For the employees it’s about the flexibility and being able to do their registration “chores” while they wait at the restaurant, on the train home or while waiting for a meeting to start. For the company it means more accurate data, and definitely more timely reports. Employees are not using productive office time to register and report, but rather unproductive or even personal time. 2. Workflows Workflows are necessary in all sorts of approval processes, but it’s very common that it’s seen as a chore and done infrequently, making for unnecessary delays in approvals. By making the workflow available on mobile devices, employees and managers can approve invoices, leave requests and document revisions in any place, when they have a minute to spare. The advantages for the company are the same as for time & travel. 3. CRM Sales Sales has always been close to management and are good at securing budget for new initiatives, including a mobile solution. And they do need product, customer and availability information on the road. Many already have a laptop “mobile” solution in place but often not really that integrated into the home ERP system. Going to true on-line mobility with a tablet or laptop is the next logical step to take. The advantages are many: shorter order to cash, less backorders, improved stock predictions, productivity data for sales staff and more. The sales staff will like some of the same benefits but more the increased “accuracy” of orders as they know exactly what is available to promise, the customer financial records and the current product pricing, rebates and promotions. They will have less follow-up work on orders that need to be changed for lack of the above information. 4. Cloud storage for documents and collaboration Faced with employees using private services like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and Skydrive for company data and
  9. 9. collaboration, many enterprises have been forced to offer a corporate approved alternative. The extraordinary dynamics of mobility When dealing with enterprise mobility one thing is certain; the playing field will change very rapidly and sometimes unpredictably, and any Enterprise Mobility Strategy must be capable of handling this. Changes can be due to new user trends, market shifts, technology innovations etc. Recent market examples include RIM lapsing on Blackberry development and rapidly losing market share, Google acquiring Motorola’s mobile division to bring stronger Android devices and Nokia teaming up with Microsoft and launching smartphones that can even go head to head with the iPhone. This will mean an ever shifting population of mobile devices, device operating systems and versions. And just as Service Oriented Architecture changed the way we accessed systems and had us think in terms of services, the world of apps is changing the way we think about those services now made mobile. You’ve probably heard the term “There’s an app for that” originally from an Apple iPhone 3G TV commercial. There is literally an app for every service conceivable. In the enterprise apps can be large and task specific and those will usually have long life and run on devices we have under full control. But more often mobile apps are small stand- alone services, enabling one specific task for a larger, less defined group of employees. Those will typically be changed, merged, updated or ported to new platforms many times per year. In order to deal with this the enterprise must have a strong governance setup, a strong but flexible application framework and the infrastructure and management tools to support it. The next game changer Predicting the next game changer is of course impossible. You can only watch technologies develop and incorporate them in your planning - that is if information is publicly available. Take Apple’s product launch of the iPad in 2010 as an example. With little advance warning the iPad kicked off the current wave of management cockpits, sales applications and mobile intranets. On the other hand NFC (Near Field Communications) has been up and coming for 4 years but still hasn’t sparked the predicted revolution in mobile payments. Google is incubating Glass, the personal heads up display and app environment, which could revolutionize mobile application interaction. But will it be integrated into your next warehouse solution so you can pick materials just by looking at a barcode and giving a voice command? Still early days on that. Smartphone and tablet market shares The current trend in the enterprise segment is to support iOS (Apple) devices as well as one or two others. Which others typically depend on company history, regional preferences and employee demographics. Most now choose to support Android devices of specific brands, but Blackberry is still fairly common in North America.
  10. 10. Android devices create concerns for the enterprise. Android is based on Linux and allows background tasks to run invisibly to the user. Additionally the Android app store has no quality control or approval process from Google, so basically anyone can publish anything. The users of the Android store rely instead on user ratings and reviews in order find what they want. This means that Android is the number one target for malware and creates a real security risk for the enterprise allowing these devices on their network and data. However Android devices are the most popular in the consumer market and among the younger employees and digital natives that you probably want to attract. The worldwide smart phone market looked like this in the fourth quarter of 2012: Android is certainly gaining market share. In April 2013 there have been 1,5m Android device activations daily! Some Android device vendors like Samsung and Motorola are enhancing Android with a number of device management features to make it safer for the enterprise, and MDM vendors work with handset vendors to support these features in their products (i.e. SAP Afaria). Samsung is also offering a full enterprise secure suite - called KNOX - that makes their Android devices one of the safest corporate choices. The important lesson to keep in mind regarding operating systems (or platforms) is the volatility and constant change of this market. The average smartphone user is changing phone every 18 months. In 2007 no-one had heard of iOS, and Android was launched a year later but overtook Nokia’s market-dominating Symbian platform only 2 years after. The Enterprise Mobility Strategy must take this into account. Why not mobility? As an enterprise investing in mobility it’s interesting to turn the proposition around to examine it from the other side. In this case, what speaks against mobility? Why are other enterprises not doing it? The two most common reasons are security concerns and cost:
  11. 11. “Which of the following factors, if any, have prevented your company from adopting mobile applications?” Source: Kelton Research Jan 2011, sponsored by Sybase 3rd place is lack of experience and thus skills, as discussed later. The exact same picture is found in a much larger study on Field Mobility (aka Field Service) but a lot of other common concerns are also found here: Source: VDC Research 2011 Security concerns Enterprise means secure. For enterprises a security lapse can become costly in a number of ways:  Data loss
  12. 12.  IPR loss  Damage to corporate image, customer confidence  Employee productivity  Fraud Local laws often governs parts of transmitting and storing personal or financial data, and a number of government institutions (like the FDA, SEC, DoD) also impose rules regarding traceability, compliance, certification etc. A legal compliance lapse due to security flaws can become costly in a number of ways:  Financial risk (fine)  Litigation risk  Customer confidence (send out legally required “breach notification”) The top 3 security concerns mentioned by enterprises are always related to data and using mobile devices not under full corporate control: 1) Transmitting data, i.e.  Encryption on public wireless networks  Exposing central systems to the Internet 2) Storing data locally and in the cloud, i.e.  Legal implications  Industrial espionage  Tracking data  Data on flash memory  Encryption 3) BYOD (bring your own device) management, i.e.  Identity management  User authentication  Enforcing password use and strength  Virus, malware, spyware, hacking protection As these concerns are universal, a number of mature tools exist to control and govern these security risks as part of a full mobility strategy. But again it points back to the 3rd most common barrier: lack of skills and experience in the mobility area - to implement and operate these tools. Cost concerns The cost concerns should ideally be invalidated after doing a proper business case. Take a field service solution as the example. Based on experience it often pays for itself in a matter of months due to:  Improved resource use – planning of jobs, customer visits, service van driving etc. can be detailed, dynamic and changed on the fly if necessary. 10-15% better productivity.  Improved cash flow - invoicing can start a few minutes after the technician has left the customer, not days, weeks or months later. 10-20% shorter order to cash.  Improved inventory - use of materials and spare parts is made fully visible so less storage value, faster stock turns. 10- 20% less inventory.  Accurate invoicing – all hours and materials are put on specific work orders immediately and can even be signed for by the customer. 5-10% up on invoices,  Improved traceability and SLA compliance – know exactly when a task was started and completed, what materials were
  13. 13. used, who did the work etc. Difficult to cost calculate, but vast improvements.  Less administration – data flows from the field to billing, finance and HR automatically, no more paper and double entries. 25-50% reduction in admin hours.  Richer experience and information – use pictures, GPS/GIS data and maps, view drawings, manuals, BOM etc. Priceless… However a large portion of the cost for full enterprise mobility will be carried by IT for things not directly related to creating one single app or service, but rather things required to run it: establishing new infrastructure, provisioning devices, creating an enterprise app store, establishing support procedures, a test factory, training etc. The relative complexity is daunting and it’s difficult for many organizations to establish the full cost picture and thus convince management. Once more it points back to the 3rd most common barrier: lack of skills and experience. Technological maturity Another reason for holding back mobility initiatives has been a reluctance to be a first mover, on the bleeding edge of technology. This is not a concern any longer as mobile solutions, hardware and infrastructure is now reaching a mature stage. There are still improvements to be made for sure, but the investment risk in selecting technology like the SAP Mobile Platform will drop sharply once a more mature version 3.0 is out late in 2013. Peer comparisons The push toward enterprise mobility gathered momentum around 2008 for task workers (blue collar application areas) after being limited mostly to warehouse operations and point solutions for decades. Companies involved in customer facing field service work engaged in pilot projects on the contemporary SAP technology or more often decided for 3rd party solutions. White collar areas did not see a big increase in mobility activity, though the launch of the iPad in 2010 sparked a number of BI/BW/BO projects and proof of concepts for information workers. Now in mid-2013 the general outlook is that many companies have been through proof of concepts or technology reviews, and some have taken the next step towards integration between the previously disordered and silo’ed initiatives. Some leaders have drafted and implemented an Enterprise Mobility Strategy, but most have just realized a need to create one. Creating a strategy is likely to touch on many new and complex topics and is currently a major challenge for many business and IT organizations. As the organizational maturity is increasing so unfortunately is the learning curve. There is no doubt about the importance of mobility; many enterprises view mobility as critical to their business. In segments such as outsourced maintenance (ie. building services), transporta-
  14. 14. tion and rail, mobility is becoming the new norm: if you don’t have mobile solutions you are falling behind your competition. The number of mobility initiatives is rising almost exponentially and is leading to a huge lack of qualified resources on both vendor and enterprise side. Judging from market feedback the trend is still accelerating very rapidly through 2013. A good unofficial ruler to measure against is the number of topic specific conferences and the attendee numbers; for Enterprise Mobility the numbers have more than tripled from 2011 and up to now, indicating the continued market growth and demand for knowledge. Mobilizing SAP ERP and business data Choosing SAP or 3rd party solutions The technology components for mobilizing ERP and business data are mainly infrastructure related and the main component is the “middleware” or Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP). The MEAP lets your mobile app connect to your ERP system. Very simple web-apps will be able to run without a MEAP, but if you are planning 3-4 apps or more you must consider a MEAP. A number of MEAPs exist and the best choice will depend on what strategic direction should be supported. As a strategic ERP provider, SAP has made substantial investments in order to support the need for mobile access to corporate systems and information, and with the January 2011 acquisition of Sybase another big step was taken in enabling easy access to SAP back office functions and data. SAP is continuing to invest and acquired Syclo in June 2012. Syclo is a long standing partner providing mainly blue collar apps as well as its own MEAP (Agentry). The continued acquisitions temporarily confuse the SAP offerings but will strengthen SAP in the longer term. Gartner continuously ranks the MEAP offerings and just prior to the Syclo announcement SAP-Sybase was rapidly moving up in the leader/visionary quadrant, surely moved along by the sheer weight of investments and efforts.
  15. 15. Source: Gartner MADP 2012 With SAP as your strategic ERP platform there are a number of advantages by selecting a mobile infrastructure based on SAP technology:  Use real SAP functions with a SAP data model, no conversions or translations  Extend user management and authorizations in SAP  Implement new functionality quickly; the business process is in SAP and doesn’t need translation or mapping  Keep your system landscape clean and according to strategy  Upgrade and extend as an integral part of your SAP strategy  Be vendor independent by using best practice common tools that can be delivered from competing SAP vendors  Utilize the SAP operations and hosting you already have instead of adding new skills and expertise  Take advantage of a large selection of standard apps from SAP and the partner community The main disadvantage of any competing third-party solution will obviously be vendor lock-in, requirement for continued vendor support and training of new skills internally. SAP mobility history First of all, SAP did not suddenly invent the Mobility wheel in 2011. But SAP acquired Sybase in Jan 2011 at $5.8 billion. That investment, and the following acquisition of Syclo, has to be capitalized and the global SAP organization is driven extremely hard on this, so as a customer can be hard to see the facts for sheer marketing. However mobility is nothing new for SAP and Sybase, Syclo and other acquisitions and partnerships should just be considered new tools in the toolbox. To put SAP’s mobility history into perspective:  1990’ties, the birth of WiFi  1999 SAP Console part of SAP R/3 4.6B, on-line access to SAP  2000 PDA platforms mature with Windows Pocket PC (CE 3.0)  2003 GPRS mobile data networks common  2003 SAP ITS Mobile for on-line use, a favorite for warehouse management  2004 SAP’s first offline architecture SAP NetWeaver® Mobile Infrastructure 2.5 (7.0), SAP releases first apps  2006 3G mobile data networks common  2007 Apple launches first iPhone  2009 New offline integration platform: SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.1 (currently 7.4)  2010 Apple launches iPad  2011 SAP acquires Sybase, new tools, new strategic app strategy  2012 SAP acquires Syclo, leading provider of blue collar solutions  2013 SAP mobility without a platform (Fiori HTML5)  2013 SAP Mobile Platform 3.0, a unified toolset SAP traditionally focused mobility on warehouse processes, field service and on-line scenarios. SAP is now moving into all major task worker areas so also field sales, maintenance & EAM, direct store delivery, retail, business intelligence etc. SAP is also providing a large number of strong supporting process apps for things like time & travel, approval workflows, employee self-service etc. The SAP
  16. 16. partner community is producing a large number of apps and the SAP App Store is filling up quickly with choices for each category. Current SAP best practice Looking into the current SAP toolbox (ignoring marketing) a number of technologies are worth considered when mobilizing your business processes. The complete offering is marketed as SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) but is, for now at least, more or less separate components:  SAP Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP). This is a true flexible MEAP and will support almost any SAP and non-SAP based business process, be it fully on-line, hybrid or off-line. The main disadvantages are relative complexity and license costs.  SAP Syclo Agentry platform. Somewhat of a bastard MEAP as the middleware component (Agentry Server) is basically just a message broker and the actual functionality is residing in the ERP system as an add-on. Very strong performance, off-line only and targeted at large task worker apps like field service and sales, warehouse etc. SAP has a suite of strong apps, which are fairly easy to customize and even extend. But very hard to make completely new apps for Agentry.  SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.4 stand-alone. Once a separate product but now a part of SMP (SUP) for off-line scenarios. Can be used stand alone for off-line scenarios like field service or field sales. Excellent performance and scalability. License costs are zero; it’s included in your ECC license. Main disadvantage is that applications must be custom made for NW Mobile.  SAP NetWeaver Gateway. The new standard interface layer to SAP instead of BAPI’s. Offers webservices in OData standard and takes care of security etc. Lightweight HTML5 web-apps like SAP Fiori connect directly to NW Gateway and the SUP architecture also uses Gateway. Simple installation on the backend and part of the ECC license.  SAP Mobile Portal (Portal-on-Device): Part of NetWeaver Portal and a very cheap, fast and easy way to mobilize on-line processes across multiple platforms (HTML). IT organizations can utilize current portal skills to develop content. Main disadvantage is limited native platform support for full features; currently only iOS is fully supported.  ITS Mobile: Even though it’s almost 10 years old it’s still a valid choice for warehouse scenarios, offering the lowest response times. When combined with voice-picking software on top, the old fashioned user interface becomes unimportant. License cost is zero; it’s included in your ECC license. Main disadvantage is the limited user interface and a limited number of standard transactions. There are a number of other possibilities that make sense under special circumstances or are still emerging from SAP, like HANA Cloud Connector, Sybase Mobiliser, SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe etc. SAP Mobile Platform implementation partners As the enterprise market embraces mobility, SAP implementation partners see the opportunity and have all reacted, but the truly experienced skill base is still quite small. Most partners have started on the school bench and lack references, mature methodology and experienced consultants. Your mobility implementation approach should take this into consideration:
  17. 17.  It will be very difficult and expensive to hire your own experts; rather find a trusted advisor and train your own staff as you go along  Only a handful of partners have methodology and references in Enterprise Mobility Strategy, it’s crucial to check references  A staged implementation approach should be used – don’t put all eggs into one basket at once. Use Proof of Concepts and phased implementations  SAP and its traditional partners have few references in large SMP projects; investigate if using SMP  Have strong contracts to govern non-performance during projects, always important but more so in mobility Conclusion and Final Words The time for enterprises to engage in enterprise mobility is absolutely now, even yesterday. Mobility is happening all around your enterprise, and like never before employees are taking the initiative and are pushing for support of their mobile behaviors in the workplace, just as in their personal life. In several business areas you are not really gaining a competitive edge anymore, you are just making sure you keep up with your competitors. But if you do it well you will find very rewarding business cases. There are definitely challenges. The technology and architecture can be complex and is changing rapidly, and the governance and supporting functions must be equally flexible. This can be challenging for many organizations, set in their ways. Good advice is to get help - an external change agent is beneficial and some one else’s tested methodology will save you money and precious time. By being methodical and implementing a proper enterprise mobility strategy, the risks can be handled and the costs can be turned into an attractive investment. Thanks for reading I hope you found this introduction useful and a worthwhile read. If you want to learn more and start on your Enterprise Mobility Strategy please get in touch with me via LinkedIn. Hans Nygaard Copenhagen, 2013 My thanks for inspiration, knowledge and stats go to: Gartner Kelton Research Netcentric Strategies SAP The Enterprise Mobility Forum VDC Research All opinions, typos and mistakes are my own. My view is skewed from working mainly with SAP blue collar mobility. Feel free to disagree. Please consider the environment and print responsibly.