“We are the second largest user of iPads globally,” said SAP’s CIO Oliver Bussman in an recent interview, He said Korea Telecomm is first in the world with 32,000 employees using the most coveted device of our time.
Here’s a breakdown on SAP’s mobile deployments:
- 15,000 iPads
- 10,000 iPhones
- 20,000 Blackberry phones
- 800 Samsung Galaxy Tablets (Androidd)
- The computer power is there, especially with the iPads.
- With the increased processing power comes the ability to display more business analytics, do better simulations and predictive analytics.
- They are lightweight, coming in at about half of what a laptop weighs. How’s your back doing, you alptop carrying road warrior?
- The iPad3 has great resolution, allowing for more gamification, an area of emphasis at SAP.
- Consumption helps SAP’s own feedback for mobile development.
Bussmann said SAP deploys these tens of thousands of mobile gadgets with Afaria, the provisioning software develped by Sybase which SAP acquired last year.
“We automated the whole deployment,” Bussmann said.
The device is ordered through a company Web site. It then gets shipped directly to the employee.
“We shipped 3,000 iPads in six weeks,” Bussmann said.
Bussmann is a modern CIO. He talks about the joy that people get when using an iPad or tablet. That’s important for SAP. The more fun people have, the more they use the devices and that leads to any number of outcomes.
As consumption has increased, SAP is going through a huge shift to mobile devices by using them to manage business workflows, human resources tasks and other aspects of company operations.
Just as important is the change in how the consumption plays back into SAP’s own mobile development. Bussmann predicts that the enterprise is moving fast to a platform centric model. He comes to that conclusion after seeing his own employees use apps. You need that middle layer between the apps and the user.
SAP is not just all about the iPad. The goal is to be device agnostic. They are starting to look at Windows 8 tablets for company employees which has to have even more potential unexpected outcomes.
I think that is what this is all about and what so many people miss. Data is so plentiful today that you can’t really abide by old theories about productivity or anything else. You need to constantly experiment, adding more apps, more processes into the data stream. The bigger the river of data, the more capabilities employees will discover and bring to the company. That’s the magic of mobilizing your workforce.
Kudos to Bussmann for showing CIOs how to do mobile and making them think a bit about the value of experimentation and all the upsides and unexpected outcomes that come with it.