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Manage your risk in broad-scale deployment of business apps to the iPad

by Scott Wallask

June 28, 2011

By Scott Wallask, SAP Experts

A week doesn't go by in which I don't hear this or that about mobility plans in the high-tech industry and how they apply to various SAP functions. For example, many companies are either tackling now or will soon need to address the potential risks when undertaking wide-scale deployment of apps to users' mobile devices.

This tip below, from PriceWaterhouseCoopers' Axel Fiedler, gives you some specifics on a particular case – with a special look at deploying mobile applications on the Apple iPad. It was presented at the session  “How to Integrate Mobile Sales Force Automation with Sybase and the iPad" at CRM 2011.

For more on mobility and a broad discussion of the SAP mobility strategy, register and join us for a one-hour live Q&A on Insider Learning Network: “Going Mobile? Q&A with Winni Hesel on Building a Mobility Strategy for Your SAP Landscape” on Thursday, June 30, 12:30pm-1:30pm ET.

And now onto Axel's advice:

Legal considerations for device management

  • Case scenarios: Lost or stolen mobile device or a user leaves the company
  • Implement a device management solution that is able to remotely purge the device and test it
  • Comply with legal requirements, such as users signing an agreement form that the company has the right to purge the user’s device at any time
  • Implement the device management process, including communicating a hotline call center number to report a lost or stolen device

Tips for deployment - Apple iPad

  • Provisioning options for the Apple iPad:
    • Apple iTunes
      • Mobile application can be hosted within a corporate network and distributed using iTunes
    • Apple Store
      • Mobile application can be made available in the Apple Store and accessed by mobile users directly using their iPads
      • Prerequisite: Creation of an Apple account to access the Apple Store
  • Case scenario -- A local copy of iTunes was the selected option to deploy the mobile business application
    • iTunes is often restricted on corporate IT infrastructures, such as laptops or desktops
  • The legal issue occurs around legal ownership of the device in combination with storage of potentially copyright-infringed data on corporate devices by users
    • Receive legal approval at solution de sign time
    • Comply with legal requirements, such as users signing a compliance form to not store copyright-infringed data on their devices

Apple iTunes enterprise deployment practices

  • Apple iTunes can be deployed by an IT software deployment solution (e.g., supports silent installation)
  • Set restrictions on which parts of the iTunes installation should be deployed
    • NO_ASUW = Don’t install Apple software update for Windows
    • NO_BONJOUR = Don’t install Bonjour
    • NO_QUICKTIME = Don’t install QuickTime (use only if you are deploying QuickTime separately as it is required)
  • Set parental controls – Control the use of certain features of iTunes on the corporate device
  • Automatic and user-initiated checking for new versions of iTunes and devices
    • Automatically syncing when devices are connected
    • Entering a URL of streaming media
    • Playing Internet radio
    • Accessing the iTunes Store
    • Playing movies
    • Playing TV shows

Additional deployment tips

  • Same room end-to-end testing
    • With business users and representatives of all support layers
    • Connect infrastructure, basis, development, configuration, and deployment teams for end-to-end testing session
  • Time of deployment
    • Due to training-based deployment, many users deployed their application at the same time, which can result in performance issues
    • Plan a tim eline for initial loads by mobile business users

For more on mobility strategies for SAP users and customer-facing applications, visit the IT Group and CRM Group on Insider Learning Network.

Follow Scott on Twitter @CRMexpert1

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