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Former Member

Mobility has replaced the dog and now become man / woman’s best friend as something we use and depend on multiple times every day. Sorry pet lovers, I count myself in that group, but life is now so connected and fast paced most people can’t imagine going through the day without their mobile device(s).

I am always amazed when I am in a crowded space to see how many people are heads down looking at their device. This explosion of Mobility has opened up many opportunities in business and personal but does have a price to pay for this “always on” lifestyle we live.

With the explosion of Mobility in the recent years, and how people use social media and apps, this has caught the eye of many a CEO asking “how can I have my products and services accessible on the Mobile device”.  This opportunity has driven the discussion on how business can / should

  • analyze their business data & understand the consumer’s wants and needs
  • provide applications & service integration to run better
  • leverage Database & technologies (like in-memory computing) to speed up business
  • provide services that are easy to consume, in the Cloud
  • and enable all of this from your Mobile device

and then use this combination to drive their business model, products  to keep pace with business demand and stay one step ahead of my competitors.

Sound like a tall order, yes it is but I know a cool SW company that can help you make this all this happen today.

The impact of this Mobility explosion has definitely been felt here at SAP, as our Mobile footprint has grown by a factor of 4X since Q4 2009  with over 70k devices managed to date.  SAP IT teams have developed a Mobile support strategy that addresses this demand and enables us to manage it in a productive way.

Our internal objectives are to have a -

  • Mobile mindset
  • provide a device-agnostic platform
  • mobilize the workforce
  • become a Mobile industry role model

Our mantra is “The workplace of the future is Mobile – Anytime, Anywhere & Any device”.

To support Mobility in the enterprise you need to provide a solution for many areas. As consumer focused mobile platforms like Apple IOS do not offer integrated management,  an enterprise mobile device management solution is required to fill the gap.

SAP uses Afaria MDM to:

  • Setup / Enroll Device – one-stop enrollment automatically installs emails and VPN configurations, security policies, default root certificates, and internal links.
    • My SAP Device is an internal self-service / user friendly website that walks the user through the enrollment process:
    • Self Service Afaria Installation – user selects their device type (iOS or Android) and the Afaria client is installed on their device
    • Self Service Afaria Enrollment – user selects “Activate Enrollment Code” and the Afaria client is automatically populated. User is asked for their SAP credentials and enrollment begins to deploy profiles to enable enterprise access & security.
    • Self Service Enrollment Management – user can modify or delete their existing enrollments


  • Secure Device - Afaria ensures Device, Enterprise, Human security and E-Mail Encryption
    • A strong security concept is one of the most important aspects in Mobility computing to protect company assets and information..
    • enforce company security policies (e.g. password encryption…), remote actions (e.g. lock, wipe, remove password…), jailbreak detection, identify outdated OS versions


  • Device Management - A solid MDM solution is a must, we use SAP Afaria
    • Provides controlled access to SAP enterprise systems and data
    • via MDM “hook” update settings and certificates without users impact, and optimize support with troubleshooting and hardware inventory


  • Deliver Apps - offer company internal apps provisioning and links to official Apps in App Store
    • Some apps require internal processes, like SSO, to enable access to specific systems.


  • Provide BYOD options  - many areas need to come together to support BYOD
    • Legal – Privacy Laws & country regulations
    • HR – Clear procedures, especially regarding employees leaving the company
    • Finance – Reimbursement policies, tax implications
    • IT – Management of device, Security
    • Communications – Clear communication to all employees, Executive Management support



In a CIO magazine survey of 350 companies, about one percent of organizations said they have fully implemented this model. Forty-two percent of organizations say they're currently planning this or in the process of implementing. They want to build some form of walk-in support.

By 2016, we think about 25 percent of organizations will have these types of interfaces.

CIO Magazine March 2013

  • Mobile Champions - Local IT in SAP locations trained in all facets of SAP Mobile support. They provide the same services as in the MSC's but on a smaller local level.
  • Offsite solutions – "Tune-up Zones" at SAP large Events (Field Kick Off, Sapphire, TechEd…..) to target large groups of Mobile users that may need a tweak here and there to keep their Mobile platform up to date.
  • Internal Knowledge sources - Wiki's, JAM sites and knowledge portals provide more detailed information about device enrollment, configuration, application configuration and more to enable the user to have all the information they need to be self-sufficient to navigate the Mobile waters.

The growth of Mobility is certainly one thing you can be sure of going forward, you need a well thought out support plan  & MDM solution that is tailored to your company's needs and demands. The model we have defined and rolled out at SAP is very well received and with the feedback we are receiving from the LoB's will be improved even more in the year to come.

If you would like more information our Mobile support strategy @ SAP just let me know, , I am glad to help and share our experiences with you.

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