We recently covered in this blog , 2005-As the year of the mobile. We also wrote The mobile phone revolution is next only to the internet revolution and also noted that mobile phone today has a reach for 25% of world's population. CBRonline reports, SAP AG has appealed to all the participants in the mobile value chain to combine forces to make the migration to wireless enterprise as painless as possible. The German applications giant said it could more than double its number of user seats through adding mobile users to its base.
Simon Angel from SAP says, the demand for mobilizing SAP users represents a major opportunity for the German application giant to grow seats. But the failure of ISVs, mobile operators, device manufacturers, and systems integrators to present a cohesive front to customers is affecting the ability of the mobile industry to capitalize. On analyzing the SAP customerbase,it is found less than 10% of employees of SAP customers are currently real users of their system. and the utility of providing remote access to the masses of mobile blue- and gray-collar workers has been overlooked by most organizations. SAP believes that there's a very significant gap between licenses sold and the SAP software installed base. Even in the worst case scenario, SAP beleives that it can double the number of seats. The license price is less [than for a desktop SAP client] but it's still a very significant part of revenue or SAP AG. Simon adds,"The biggest obstacle is that SAP as provider of software and business processes can't do it alone and seesthe need as a group to solve this problem."O2's head of mobile data products and services, Hugh Griffiths, backed Angel's stance. "If you approach any one participant in the value chain, they should be able to bring together those pieces. It's dependent on operators to create the right environment for that to take place."
My Take : While the concern of SAP is quite valid - I have some fundamental doubts: A.Traditionally the pull factor of powerful technologies should force all players to extend their range of services- with mobile's pervasiveness, it should have happened by now - if it is not happenning, all in the chain including ERP players like SAP need to take responsibility.
B.Second, am not seing determined push by traditional software players to make consumers embrace mobile in a big way - would like to know which user organisation as an enteprisewide initiative owing to the need to put mobile to critical use in terms of real time information system based data sharing ( except may be some part of sales arms of an enterprise) has forced mobile usage on their employees.
C.Am also curious to know just as in the case of early stages of internet, big ERP players were the laggards in moving into the internet space and offering web centric solutions, the mobile space is as well suffering from a similar lack of thrust by dominant software players.