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Mobile BI at Sybase Summit

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At the Sybase Summit I attended last week there were some really refreshing messages, of course around the SAP – Sybase – BusinessObjects acquisitions, but especially around mobility and mobile BI.

BusinessObjects and Sybase feature prominently on the SAP strategy, that it gives these respective products an ever bigger life expectancy and future. With SAP’s newest release running on Sybase, it will make data management and downstream BI easier and more efficient. Strategic research and development synergies between SAP, Sybase and BusinessObjects are creating a lot of excitement –some analysts are labeling it as the most complete BI stack in the industry. For now, that is! We all know in this technologically fast moving era, today’s leader can drop to fourth place in a year’s time, or through a competitor’s acquisitions.

SAP’s vision of the next strategic revolution is the mobile unwired enterprise, with their goal to reach a billion users within the next year. SAP’s approach is the following: 1) Transform the user experience, 2) Simplify mobile development and 3) Simplify mobile deployment. They have launched a development and deployment framework, where a single application is developed, and through remote access can be downloaded and deployed to iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, Symbian, Windows and Android devices, in order to address each person having his own personalised device. To address security, they use a recently acquired product called Afaria, through which they can do remote device management, including wiping or loading applications and data remotely, even when decoupled from the network.

The challenge for us as solution providers is to remove the silos between business applications and BI. A mobile device user doesn’t want to switch applications, as it is too cumbersome and time-consuming. He or she wants a simple, efficient interface through which to enter or update data, get reports and initiate new workflows. One screen from one application must therefore access data from multiple data sources and write to these multiple sources in the background.

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