SAP Acquisition Opens Door to Business Planning on a Smartphone

First day of SAPphire Conference focuses on purchase of Sybase and the promise of enhanced capabilities to conduct business on the move.

Just as music, media and even TV shows are now being viewed on wireless devices, software manufacturers are focusing their energies on shifting heavy computing from servers to smartphones.

This isnt a novel concept. But the theme has shifted from the philosophical and near-future to the here and now.

Software giant SAP opened its SAPphire 2010 conference on May 17 with co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe by touching on what they believe to be the next stage in the era of mobility users now able to conduct business planning, tracking and purchasing on a smartphone.

Last week SAP announced the planned acquisition of Sybase, a data technology vendor, for $5.8 billion, a move aimed at positioning the company within the mobility market, said Snabe.

The venture mirrors SAPs purchase several years ago of Business Objects, which allowed it to strategically move into the business analytics sphere.

Sybases products include software used by several major wireless phone companies to synchronize text messages. SAP aims to take that software a step further, allowing clients to conduct a wider array of business through smartphones.

Those benefits will be felt quickly, said Snabe, pointing out that existing partnerships are already in place between the two companies.

We are already partners, said Snabe. We have shown we can bring our technologies together. When you see SAP CRM on the iPad, you will see the power of this [combination] immediately.

The annual SAP event runs for three days simultaneously in Frankfurt, Germany, and Orlando.

McDermott and Hagemann Snabe also spoke about the role of hosted software and acting on data in real-time, both of which are upgrades offered in SAPs upgraded Business ByDesign software suite for mid-sized customers. The newest version of Business ByDesign will be supported on mobile phones.

So while the laptop replaced the desktop, the mobilephone promises to perhaps make offices a relic of the past.

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