This has been a big year for business mobility. 2012 was the year when BYOD moved from being an inconvenient reality for IT managers to becoming the mobility management strategy of choice for many large enterprises. 2012 was also the year of the app, when everything having to do with building, deploying, and managing mobile apps has taken on greater importance in the enterprise.
It has also been a big year for the SAP Mobile Platform, which has continued to be the market leading Mobile Application Development Platform (MADP). Infact many new developments in the SAP Mobile Platform during 2012 have contributed to the advancement of mobility as taking a key position in IT infrastructure development and management activity in businesses and organizations of all sizes.
Mobility has evolved so quickly in the past year that it is easy to lose sight of where we have come. Here are some important 2012 milestones for the SAP Mobile Platform:
April – There were a number of announcements in April that had a major impact on the direction of SAP Mobile Platform from an application development perspective. These included:
- SAP announced agreements that allow developers to use Adobe PhoneGap, Appcelerator Titanium, and Sencha Touch as compatible frameworks to build applications on SAP Mobile Platform. These frameworks are compatible with SAP’s development tools and hybrid containers that are part of the development platform, and code developed using these frameworks can be saved in a library for reuse in other apps. By announcing these agreements, SAP has effectively made the SAP Mobile Platform an open app development platform that is capable of significantly lowering the cost of enterprise-grade mobile apps.
- SAP announced its purchase of Syclo and its portfolio of asset management applications. This enhances the ability of developers to create applications that include asset management, field service, inventory management, and workflow functionality.
May – Gartner names SAP mobile platform as the top leader in its assessment of Mobile Application Development Platforms, outperforming 21 other app development platforms Gartner ranked in its magic quadrant analysis. In making its analysis, Gartner observed these things:
- “SAP has one of the largest mobile development efforts, both in terms of devoted internal resources and partner management. Gartner observed partners actively integrating with SUP during 2011, and we anticipate that continuing in the long term".
- “SAP has the most flexible application development environment, offering plug-ins for Eclipse and Visual Studio, as well as a proprietary studio. SUP comes with flexible application connectors (business APIs, Remote Function Calls [RFCs], OData, DOE, partner interfaces) for many mainstream ERP/supply chain management (SCM)/CRM systems and databases, and an ability to create composite applications with input from multiple applications. SAP provides source code for its emerging application offerings.
- “SAP continues to have the broadest device support among all the multichannel vendors, and the strongest MDM offering, Afaria.”
June – Yankee Group identifies SAP Mobile Platform as the leader in mobility management and app development. Key SAP strengths identified in the report included enterprise readiness of SAP’s tools; complete, well integrated solutions for addressing the challenges of enterprise mobility; a platform approach that scales readily and gracefully; and innovation and flexibility will allow users to move forward as the mobile space continues to evolve.
July – SAP announces an new partner program that gives greater support to developers using open framework tools with the SAP mobile platform. This support includes free software and tools licensing, an open invitation to co-innovate in developing best of breed new B2B and B2C apps using SAP frameworks, platforms and cloud services. Partner Developers can also take advantage of the SAP Store to market their apps.
October – SAP announced finalists in the Las Vegas mobile apps partner challenge. The app competition conducted as part of the SAP mobile developer program got a big response from our partner innovators. Three entrants were selected as finalists based on user experience, functionality, innovation, customer appeal and business value. A live audience selected the champion app at SAP TechEd 2012 Las Vegas.
November – SAP announced it will be delivering six new mobile apps for the Windows 8 that will be available from the SAP App Store. SAP will also be delivering enhanced enterprise security and app platform support for Windows 8.
At TechEd Madrid there was an InnoJam event. This 30-hour design and coding competition included 62 participants from 14 countries who formed 8 teams to create running software that fit the theme "Better Cities - Better Lives.
Later in November, SAP announced finalists in the Bangalore mobile apps partner challenge. Like other TechEd events in North America and Europe, we bought the challenge to our Asia customers and they impressed us at SAP and our ecosystem of customers and partners.
It is also worth noting that the number of new apps in the SAP app store more than tripled over the past year, and the development of new business-grade apps is accelerating. All –in all, 2012 has been an exciting year, and I expect in 2013 we will see continued momentum and growth.
Happy holidays and have a great new year!