SAP's New Mobile Enterprise Apps and Mobile App Dev Platform for Windows 8

By Tony Rizzo December 03, 2012

A few weeks ago, SAP AG announced that it has a number of full-fledged Windows 8 mobile enterprise applications in the works. This is certainly good news for Microsoft, which last week reported that it had initial sales for Windows 8 that totaled approximately 40 million new licenses.

A number of media outlets are doing the "tabloid headline thing" with Windows 8, boldly proclaiming (or bemoaning, depending on your point of view) that the end of Microsoft is near at hand due to disappointing sales.

Nothing of course could be sillier or further from the truth.

Neither Windows 8 nor the next iterations of Windows will take over the world overnight. Nor will Windows 8 suddenly reverse the plight of the diminishing PC market – which for some unfathomable reason many believe is the mission for Windows 8.

Again, nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that Windows 8 is all about the emerging world of tablets, hybrid tablets, Ultrabooks and smartphones. SAP also announced plans to develop its own apps for Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, though it has not provided any details on these fronts.

Win 8 development is all about tomorrow's world, not yesterday's. It's good to see that SAP, at the least, understands this!

All told the company now has six new SAP mobile apps for Windows 8 in the pipeline, which it believes will lead to new innovations for its customers. SAP has also announced forthcoming support for Windows 8 development on its SAP Mobile Platform (formerly known as the Sybase Unwired Platform), as well as new security enhancements for its SAP Afaria mobile device management solution.

Through these apps, platform support and security enhancements, SAP specifically plans to give enterprises the ability to extend business processes to Windows 8 in order to accelerate its customers' abilities to run better with devices of various form factors. It's about tomorrow's world that is rapidly emerging.

SAP Mobile Apps for Windows 8

SAP will offer six specific business apps for Windows 8 that target enterprise functions such as training, recruiting and sales. All six of these mobile apps are planned to be available for download in both the new Windows 8 App Store and the SAP Store once the apps become available.

These mobile apps include the following:

  • SAP WorkDeck: Developed first for Windows 8, WorkDeck is a new persona-centric app that offers contextual integration of various information sources and processes into a role-based view. The new app will allow employees to initiate new requests, oversee upcoming events and monitor progress. It will also enable managers to react to and process workflows on-the-go, such as travel, leave and purchasing requests.
  • SAP Customer Financial Fact Sheet: A customer profile app for account executives to access financial data, invoices and critical sales orders in real time.
  • SAP GRC Policy Survey: A policy app for employees to review and acknowledge relevant policy changes and fill in surveys to ensure they understand the policies.
  • SAP Manager Insight: An employee profile app that provides managers with access to key indicators, such as diversity, headcount, employee talent by location, as well as employee profiles, to drive collaborative and informed human resources (HR) decision-making.
  • SAP Learning Assistant: A training app that gives on-the-go workers tag-along teachers. It makes on-demand, online training available anytime, anywhere so workers can access required classes to address compliance and job requirements.
  • SAP Interview Assistant: A recruiting app that eases the cumbersome task of arranging interviews. It also helps managers review candidate information, prepare notes, record results, and provide immediate feedback to HR.

It is important to note that these apps directly target taking advantage of the touch capability and features of the new Windows user interface, such as zoom, tiles and Snap mode. All SAP mobile apps for Windows 8 are planned to include a trial mode to allow customers to be able to download the apps from the Windows Store and evaluate them before purchasing.

“SAP continues to build on its tradition of delivering innovation to provide the foundation for mobile computing,” said Sanjay Poonen, president and head of Mobile Division, SAP. “SAP takes advantage of its installed base and its customer relationships to directly work to transform enterprises to a mobile-centric computing model. We look forward to helping our customers fully leverage Windows 8 and bringing new business and consumer apps to the industry that take full advantage of the new Windows user interface.”

SAP Mobile Platform for Apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

When the next version of the SAP Mobile Platform is released it will support the creation and deployment of mobile apps for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The large community of Microsoft developers will be able to quickly create apps through HTML5 and JavaScript using Visual Studio, as well as enable developers to access SAP Mobile Platform services for enhanced security and authentication, user/device/app provisioning and push notification to help ensure a consistent user experience across devices of different form factors on a single platform.

To make app development of security-enhanced apps even simpler, SAP will also release a library for login and authentication for Windows 8, which will allow developers to enable multiple incorporation options in their apps. Through connection to SAP Mobile Platform, apps will be able to access both SAP and non-SAP apps and data.

The platform will also deliver enterprise-grade enhanced security, policy and access management as well as app life-cycle management.

Finally, customers will be able to deliver strong security for their mobile environments through SAP Afaria. Enterprises will be able to protect Windows 8 devices, content and apps. SAP Afaria is also now certified to fully support Intel-based tablets featuring Windows 8.

Last but not least, SAP customers will also be able to take advantage of SAP's HANA in-memory database ecosystem. HANA brings an entirely new level of business analysis capabilities to the enterprise.




Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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