SAP announced a broad partnership with Apple today to bring iOS to SAP’s enterprise customer base. The announcement comes almost two years after Apple made a similar deal with IBM.
As with IBM, SAP hopes to take Apple’s design sense and marry it to the enterprise capabilities of a company like SAP. It’s no secret that Apple wants a bigger piece of the enterprise market and these kinds of agreements help solidify their enterprise position and drive Apple hardware sales inside companies that were traditionally PC shops — and hence married to Microsoft.
This was all made possible because of the enormous popularity of the iPhone and the iPad. As employees have brought these devices into the workplace, it has forced companies to accommodate their requirements including building custom apps for them. When you combine this with digital transformation initiatives inside large organizations, these companies need a deeper understanding of iOS devices and how to use that to help drive that transformation.
SAP has announced several programs to help push iOS to its customers starting with a new set of apps for the iPad and iPhone that take advantage of data stored in SAP tools. It’s also providing an iOS SDK for SAP HANA, its in-memory database product, allowing organizations to not only use the apps that SAP is building, but also giving them the opportunity to build their own custom apps using data stored in HANA.
Finally, much like IBM it wouldn’t be a deal without an educational component to round it out, so SAP is also offering SAP Academy for iOS as a training ground for SAP programmers to learn to use the HANA iOS SDK.
While you might not see a natural fit between SAP and Apple, when the IBM partnership was launched in 2014, it certainly raised some eyebrows too, but by the end of last year the partnership had created 100 apps — and that number has surely increased since then.
Apple also signed a partnership with Cisco last summer.
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