Sometimes the Next Big Thing takes a while to actually hit the market. Although the deal was originally announced in 2004, at the SAPPHIRE 2008 show in Orlando enterprise software giant SAP and wireless device manufacturer Research In Motion finally unveiled the fruits of their labors -- a live demonstration of a Blackberry running SAP's CRM (customer relationship management) software. The demo illustrated how a mobile worker (in this scenario, a supply chain manager type) could access live shipping information to determine the best and most cost-effective transportation routes for his products, all via the Blackberry.
According to research firm IDC, the mobile user population will increase from the current 800 million to 1 billion by 2011, accounting for 30% of the workforce. "By having a native application on a BlackBerry smartphone that easily extends functionality but retains the native ease of use, users will find it non-intrusive to adopt applications such as CRM," says Mary Wardley, IDC's vice president, CRM applications.
When asked if SAP will make its applications available on competitive devices, such as the Palm Treo or the Apple iPhone, Henning Kagermann, co-CEO, said there are no plans to do so.