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Mobile brings SAP’s product development in very new directions

by Dave Hannon

April 5, 2011

By Dave Hannon


I was intrigued by a story I read this morning that said SAP is developing an iPad app aimed specifically at corporate board members that uses “gamification” to help motivate board members to read all of the material they should before a board meeting. According to the article in BloombergBusinessWeek, the app “boasts game elements such as progress bars and leader boards to get directors more engaged in consuming various pieces of data.”

"We're dealing with very high-ranking executives that sit on six or seven boards and may have a full-time job running a company," explains Reuven Gorsht, senior director of strategy and global pre-sales at SAP in the article. "Their time is precious and their attention span is fairly low."

An iPad app using “gaming” technology is likely not what you’ve come to expect from SAP, but it’s just the latest in a string of examples that indicate SAP is becoming a more diverse software developer and moving into some very interesting areas.

Here are a couple other examples I’ll point you to. First, take a look at Steve Graham’s story “The Co-Innovation Imperative” in SAPinsider this month, which gives a brief description of SAP’s Project Apollo. “This project resulted in a mobile application that allows consumers to be notified of coupons and promotions from stores and manufacturers while shopping.”

SAP is going to help me do my grocery shopping?

And that’s possibly just the tip of the mobile iceberg. In a Q&A in the new issue of insiderPROFILES, Dan Mahowald, Vice President, North America, Enterprise Mobility at SAP Americas said his organization is working to define 100 mobile apps “across line of business and industry that we believe are critically important to our customers and the market at large.”

Yes, that phrase “market at large” grabbed my ear too, so I asked Dan specifically what he meant by that (but you’ll have to read the article to see his answer—tease!).

And if you’re more interested in new possibilities within the enterprise, I’d point you to Joshua Greenbaum’s column in insiderPROFILES this month, in which he describes a couple real-world, enterprise use cases for the powerful combination of SAP & Sybase technology down the road. (The healthcare industry example, in particular, brings to mind “tip of the iceberg” again).

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Dave Hannon

9/25/2013 8:53:55 PM

Just by way of an update, I read this morning that SAP Ventures is putting $6 millon into Alteryx, which offers "geographic business intelligence" or "business intelligence with strong spatial analysis capabilities" according to its web site. While I'm not sure this indicates another new direction for SAP, it's cerainly another indication they're keeping their eye (and wallet) on new trends and directions.