SAP's 4th quarter numbers brought on plenty of commentary, mostly positive. Co-CEO Bill McDermott talked with anyone who would listen to get his message out about all the positive things going on for the company, from new customers (according to this interview, 15,000 new names and 5,800 SMB customers), to new areas (big growth in Brazil), to, of course new technologies (namely mobile).
All this talk has InformationWeek's Bob Evans brimming with confidence in SAP's 2011. He lists five reasons he sees the year as being a big one for SAP. His most questionable reason is probably mobility:
3) SAP's Mobile Position. Asked about the blending of the iPad into enterprise deployments, McDermott ratcheted up his typical high-energy staccato delivery even more in a way that reflected the subject he was discussing: the need for corporate speed. "In my own company, we now have about 3,000iPads in use, and we're also gonna have RIM tablets as well and people throughout the organization want to unchain their apps from their desktops and they're dying to go mobile because it's the new reality of connected enterprises from the boardroom to the shop floor and out to the customer reps on the front line," he said. "Every CEO I talk to wants to connect via mobility to increase the clock speed of their organizations and increase the pace and effectiveness of
communications, so that's a very easy conversation for us to have about the value of what we can bring with our software on these mobile devices. This is the year when enterprises are really going to get serious about getting unwired."
Sure, iPads are everywhere, and everyone wants to be mobile. But is it too much to ask of SAP (or any of its competitors) to make significant in-roads in mobility, enough that it would be part of a "breakthrough" year for the company?
It seems a little optimistic to me, but if SAP can build off of its Sybase acquisition and at least deliver a clear plan for its mobility strategy this year, even if it doesn't result in money during 2011, it can still be a positive for the company.