Early May 2016 saw an SAP and Apple partnership announcement to redefine the mobile experience of SAP software on the iPad and iPhone. The collaboration tagged as “iOS Simplicity Meets SAP Power” has generated a lot of buzz in the enterprise software arena ever since. Especially now, with the countdown to the official release of the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS on 30th March 2017.
Though a leader in ERP, SAP software’s user experience has been touted complex by the average end-user. With the advent of SAP Fiori in 2013 however, SAP’s UX underwent a phenomenal paradigm shift. Fiori’s principles of Role-based, Responsive, Simple, Coherent and Delightful took the SAP world by storm with the new Fiori user experience available across all SAP solutions. The consecutive waves of Fiori Apps released since its inception had grown from an initial list of 25 Apps to 7,700+ Apps to date.
Yet, Rick Knowles, SVP and GM of Apple partnership at SAP remarked at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, “Fiori is a huge leap forward for us in terms of usability, providing a consistent HTML5 strategy across the web and devices. But it was missing a point.” And this point they would work towards in their collaborative efforts as Knowles explained that the SAP and Apple partnership is not only about creating mobile-optimized experiences but changing the way it builds software, to begin with.
The new SDK for SAP Cloud Platform is built with Swift, the modern programming language from Apple. It enables developers to build native iOS Apps quickly based on Fiori UX adapted for iOS. Reusable design components and building blocks ensure consistent and great UI design throughout the lifecycle for each application to provide an intuitive user experience that increases user adoption.
The Pre-built user experience (UX) components provide access to device-level capabilities that enhances base iOS features such as – Touch ID, Location Services and Notifications. The SAP Cloud Platform SDK also adds Enterprise App features like – Single Sign-on (SSO), Offline Data Sync, Code Snippet Generation, Access to third party services and other SAP Applications
We have to further wait till the official release to see what the entire SDK package brings to the market.
The partnership also announced a venture into the SAP Apple Academy that will equip SAP’s 2.5 million+ developer community with the necessary tools and training. Many of its classes will be offered for free for training in Swift (Apple’s programming language), an introduction to SAP iOS SDK for the SAP Cloud Platform and a class for SAP Fiori native mobile app development in iOS.
In a startling statistic from SAP, 98% of Fortune 500 companies are using iOS devices. The business user will benefit from several new native iOS Industry Apps being built across core business functions. These new Apps in its first wave will focus on industries like Retail, Professional Services, Asset Intensive Industries and Healthcare where demand for consumer application is high with immediate value add.
The SAP and Apple partnership creates ways for critical business data and insights to be accessible for users across various lines of business in their iPhone and iPad devices. Mobile in the workplace scenario will evolve to newer heights by leveraging the best of features and functionality in both hardware and software. It is yet another digital transformation set in motion.
Want to know more about what the SAP and Apple partnership will bring? Stay tuned for the next blog for new updates from the industry and meanwhile, you can let us know what you think about this partnership!