Session 1 - Leo de Araujo
SAP Mentor Leonardo Araujo spoke on projects for mobilizing business content, with several case studies, as well as a coherent narrative of the thought process one would go through when choosing a "mobility platform." While it may seem obvious, knowing the customer requirements beforehand would eliminate later rework, such as not knowing that offline data access is required. The spectrum of simple to complex application development, driven by such background, is also needed when the choice of device is considered. "Native" applications, meaning the ability to leverage specific devices features such as GPS or camera, must be factored in to the planning cycle.
- Very good explanation of the simple to the complex development challenges
- Good case studies, though contacts were not shared
- Excellent decision matrix presented on which options meet which requirements
Session 2 - Boeing
The second session of the day was presented by two people from Boeing, on their shop floor mobile application prototype project. Although this implementation may not be completely rolled out, they were rather relieved to be able to report on the status, given the abstract needed to be submitted in 2011, and the internal approval process for the content took some time. With the scope limited to deploying iPads to assembly workers for their daily routine tasks, and SAP development management involved in making this successful, the deployment is progressing.
The quote of the week was given here by a presenter: "iPads are not popcorn."
- Device inventory management is done similar to tool checkout
- Uncertain how the battery life will suffice with multiple shifts
- Demos with prior generation touch screen devices helpful, but not the whole picture
- Security may need to be reworked; iPads don't support secure access cards, e.g.
Conference Show Floor
I spent part of the day checking out the show floor. One of the places I stopped was the SAP Mobile pods, to look at demos of manufacturing shop floor demos. The "screen shots" aren't included below, though my understanding is that while the tablet apps are based on the SUP (Sybase Unwired) stack, they are developed by third parties, not SAP in-house. One was geared toward a manufacturing manager dashboard, while the other was more directly connected to warehouse management, with hooks to transportation management, and possibly event management.
I also spotted Craig Cmehil in a pod, showing the developer connections, but with a disclaimer that more interesting news will be revealed tomorrow. I don't think I will lose any sleep about possible keynote announcements (not many of them seem to affect me).
Also, saw Michael Bechauf, with a demo of some kind of hardware. The internal (only, sorry) software link showed an electric grid map, with an ability to rank nodes in some way, possibly for failure likelihood, but possibly just for load. The mockup (I guess) video picture below shows a transformer sparking out due to a malfunction.
To finish out the official conference day, prior to dinner and networking, SAP Chief Sustainability Officer Peter Graf met with the SAP Mentors for an hour. A lot was covered; I'll distill two areas I thought were interesting. Tom Raftery asked (via twitter) if Peter thought "Cloud is Green." The answer was complicated, with these high points (or low, depending on your perspective):
- Cloud-based solutions (think multi-tenancy) may be more efficient than on-premise, based on economies of scale, etc., meaning that each end user or customer deployment may use less energy, thus being greener.
- On the other hand, increasing accessibility to applications (scaling up, or expanding the user base) may increase processing requirements, thus driving up energy costs, and carbon emissions (for example).
- SAP claims to be using more than 50% "renewable" power in their hosted data centers (i.e, the cloud). I'll leave that to be picked apart in several ways for another venue.
- Deploying applications in the cloud (in other words, via the internet) may improve overall sustainability by giving access to data and trends not previously available. Whether this directly addresses the question on green clouds is perhaps not so important; the important part is that SAP is growing their portfolio in this space. I hope to learn more details on this Wednesday from Jeremiah Stone
Craig, Prateek, me.
Michael, China Coffee Cup, Hardware Model
Things Blowed Up Real Good.
Peter Graf, and SAP Mentors
Bonus points - which SAP Mentor is not wearing blue?