Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Thursday Quote - Kevin Benedict

"Sybase still needs to learn more about supporting end user customers, rather than ISV partners."
What Kevin Benedict is Learning about Enterprise Mobility this Month by Kevin Benedict, from Mobile Enterprise Strategies July 29, 2011

That was written wayyyy back in July, this post was put together on the Sunday before Techwave, and today (Thursday) is the penultimate day of TechEd and Techwave... I wonder if Kevin's point has been addressed?

Here's a bit of the wider context from Kevin's article:

SAP/Sybase is investing a lot of thought and resources into the concept of enterprise mobile app stores. Their strategy, as I understand it, is to develop the frameworks and infrastructure that companies will need to manage, trust and secure hundreds of different mobile solutions from many different vendors.

Sybase still needs to learn more about supporting end user customers, rather than ISV partners. They must limit their blanket marketing statements, and get specific with what they support today, and what they will support over time. For example, don't say you support mobile devices that use the Microsoft OS, if you don't yet support Windows Phone 7 with Afaria. This is important to the company that is ordering devices today. Don't say you support Android OS, if you are supporting only a subset of Android with specific device manufacturers. Again this is very important to the company ordering devices today. Be specific about today's supported devices. Provide specific guidance and details to the people purchasing devices.

I am seeing that it is extremely hard for a corporate IT organization to figure out an enterprise wide mobile middleware strategy. There are so many decision points and variables that this discussion just sinks into the mire. It is far easier to choose the best mobile app for a business process. I think once there are enough mobile apps that use SUP, then the mobile middleware discussion and strategy will be far easier.
So that covers end user customers, what does he say about ISV partners?

I am seeing third party mobility vendors turning away from the SAP mobile app market, because they don't have visibility into where there are opportunities to make money. They hear SAP/Sybase talking about developing hundreds of mobility apps, so this market seems to be risky, shrinking and not worth their future investment. Yet, I hear SAP/Sybase saying they need and want third party mobility vendors to develop mobile applications. There is some work needed here on SAP/Sybase's part to give better guidance and incentives to third party mobility vendors.
Next week: Brian Dorn

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