By now you might have heard the exciting news announced today, that SAP is teaming up with Apple in a partnership, combining Apple’s world-renowned user experiences with SAP’s unparalleled end-to-end business processes and software.
This partnership opens up new opportunities, revolutionizing the mobile work experience for customers and allowing companies and developers to make a difference in the digital world. I get the pleasure of sharing my point of view on the finer details of the partnership and what potential this opens up for our joint customers.
An App Driven World
First off, everyone knows that we live in an app driven world…and there’s no two better companies to collaborate together on great business applications than Apple and SAP!
Specifically, we are developing dozens of new, native iOS industry apps for core business processes, built with Swift, Apple’s modern programming language, which will allow customers to fully leverage the data in their SAP enterprise systems to transform how they run their business anywhere. Just imagine getting mission critical information, reports and data when you need it, where you need it, without being tied to the desktop. That’s the kind of capability that drives a digital enterprise.
As we build out these applications, we are starting with industries where the demand for consumer applications is high and there is immediate value add – Retail, Asset Intensive Industries, Professional Services and Healthcare. From there, the sky’s the limit.
Developers, Developers, Developers
In addition to the app goodness, we will provide SAP’s 2.5million+ community of developers with next-generation tools and training – including a SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK for iOS and an SAP Academy for iOS – to build, extend and run a new class of native iOS apps powered by the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). This means developers get access to the power of HANA, in the cloud!
From a practical standpoint, imagine having an existing SAP application (or mobile SAP app) that you want to change. HCP allows you to do so and you don’t even have to be a developer to do so. And best news of all – you no longer require months of customization with dozens of consultants. Change for the better can come in a day. Simply put, HCP is the fastest path to the best app – and that path just got even better.
Software Developer Kit
As mentioned, we will offer a SAP HCP SDK for iOS and training for developers to native iOS apps, powered by HCP. This will enable companies and developers to quickly build their own native apps for iPhone and iPad – taking advantage of all the innovative iOS technologies. It’s that simple. If you asked a developer in 2010 how quickly they could build an SAP app, they might have told you years. That has changed. It’s an exciting time to be a developer, to say the least.
We’ll work with Apple to provide developers with an SAP Fiori for iOS design language based on SAP Fiori UX adapted for iOS. This will include reusable design components and building blocks to accelerate the development of consistent, beautiful UI design across applications and throughout the lifecycle of each application, ensuring that app adoption and user experience is intuitive, consistent and seamless.
To complement the SDK, we will jointly develop an SAP Academy for iOS to curate and educate our combined ecosystem, connecting millions of developers, customers, SI partners and ISV partners. The knowledge sharing of technical expertise and design skills for native iOS app development will be enormously beneficial for both organizations.
Real Work in Real Time
This collaboration between Apple and SAP will make it much simpler to consume and leverage your organizations most critical data on their iPhone and iPad devices. Our customers rely upon consistent access to their data every day to get smart insights – and with HANA, we provide an enterprise computing platform that allows them to do it. To be able to access that data via a user-friendly app is beyond valuable in the fast-paced world we live in.
I recently gave a speech at an SAP event where some incredibly bright developers were attending. I asked the question: “Which app is the most important app on your phone, that would make you cry if it was gone?” The answer was almost universally “Uber.” An app that wasn’t even available just a few years ago, now the most critical to an individual – it’s truly amazing. We certainly hope to achieve success with the Apple/SAP partnership in terms of making apps that are critical for our customers. The objectives of the partnership are to enable newer, faster ways to perform a task, access data, and do your job.
Mobile apps on iOS, built natively to access all the features and functionality of the hardware and software, will make digital transformation even more prevalent across enterprise. For the salesperson on the go, to the home healthcare worker – access to data, that is accurate and completely real-time, is a game changer. Coupling SAP’s wealth of data management with Apple’s beloved user experience will enable transformation because life just got a lot easier.
Where will we go from here, with all of the benefits our partnership will bring? It’s going to be a thrilling ride.