SAP and Sybase bring business suite to iPhone and Blackberry

Companies unite to attempt to overcome mobile business limitations

In a move that the companies describe as changing the way in which mobile computing users access critical business information, SAP and Sybase have signed a partnership to port enterprise class software to the iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices.

To date , some enterprise mobility systems have been compromised by certain genres of mobile devices’ lack of capability to run business applications to acceptable business-enhancing levels.

Claimed to be the first time devices such as the iPhone and BlackBerry have been able to access full-featured SAP business applications, the new partnership is designed to allow access to critical customer data in both connected and disconnected modes from the mobile device of choice by utilising Sybase’s business process mobilisation technology.

Sybase says that it will work together with SAP to simplify the delivery of its widely used enterprise applications to mobile devices. This will include speeding up rollout and reducing end-user training for sales representatives and service personnel. The company will also enable sales professionals access to the SAP customer relationship management (CRM) solution, equipping them with up-to-the-minute customer data synchronised with the enterprise applications.

Nigel Doust, VP of EMEA, Sybase iAnywhere explained who the solutions was aimed at, “The target audience is all of the 14m million licensees of SAP software and all of their customers. We can support any device in a consistent way and [can enable] device management for any device.” Doust added that the price of the system had yet to be disclosed by SAP and that the software will be available from traditional SAP distribution outlets in addition to the Apple App Store and the similar applications repository that RIM offers for BlackBerry devices.

“[There is] built-up demand by an increasing number of businesses looking to take that next step towards enterprise mobility, " said Stephen Drake, program vice president, Mobility and Telecom, of research firm IDC commenting on the announcement.

“Although network connectivity speeds and mobile device computing power have improved, there are fundamental IT barriers that remain on the application side preventing enterprise mobility from reaching its full potential…SAP and Sybase [are able to] optimise enterprise systems for mobile devices and deliver high productivity applications.”

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