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SAP Sees BI on Tablets Gaining Ground with Mobile Workers

Matt Hamblen | March 9, 2011
SAP AG has deployed 3,500 Apple iPads globally, mainly for software developers and sales execs who use them for real-time access to vital BI data, SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann said in an interview Wednesday.

SAP has deployed the iPads with a variety of third-party tools to improve security and manageability, Bussman said. Those tools include an integrated VPN and Citrix, as well as software from Affair that helps SAP separate personal data on employee-owned devices from corporate data. Affair helps SAP wipe corporate data off a personal device without affecting a user's personal applications.

"The worst is if [an employee] leaves the company and we have to wipe the entire device," Bussman said. "But we have a clear separation between what's employee and company data. That's a topic most corporations are facing going into the tablet [rollouts].... Executives and consumers are driving the corporate mobile strategy."

Since SAP already has BlackBerry smartphone users as well as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Bussman said the Playbook offers a distinct benefit through its coming ability to tether to a BlackBerry smartphone.

"Typically, a mobile user might have a cell phone, tablet and maybe even a laptop, so we can be paying for three data plans," he said, noting that the Playbook and tethering would cut out one data plan per user. "Data plans are a big cost for us."

SAP will also consider using personal MiFi hotspots for iPads, he said.

 

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