SAP Internal OFS Tool Repackaged For Enterprise Market

Afaria mobile device management (MDM) has been around for more than a decade, but while it’s not SAP’s only response to issues such as bring your own device (BYOD) and online file sharing (OFS), it’s the only offering that has been commercially available until now. SAP BOX, which has been in use internally for years, has gotten an upgrade and will be sold to the enterprise and managed services markets this quarter as SAP Mobile Documents.

It is intended to meet the demand for simple, secure file synchronization and sharing in the enterprise, and help increase user productivity by providing a single entry point to personal business documents and corporate content via any mobile device. Combined with Afaria, it will enable customers to experience a complete enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform for securing mobile devices, apps and content, said the company.

SAP states that according to a report from Nucleus Research, second and third-generation content management investments can drive greater productivity and more streamlined processes up to triple-digit ROI. “In aggregate, our research determined that for every one dollar a company spends on content management, it can realize more than six dollars return on investment,” said Hyoun Park, principal analyst, in a prepared statement.

We’ve been in mobility since 2000, said SAP’s Bryan Whitmarsh, mobility product manager, but the next layer after Afaria and mobile device management is all about the applications. “So application management is key, especially for us.”

He said the company started using SAP Box, a home-grown version of an enterprise online file sharing solution, a couple of years ago. SAP has more than 53,000 mobile users and over 11,000 of them have been using SAP BOX. So Mobile Documents is not a Rev 1 release for us, he added.

“We’re not trying to be Documentum or SharePoint. Our solution is agnostic (and) it’s not tied to specific device management solution like Afaria.”

SAP may not want to compete with Documentum or SharePoint, but there are a host of current and prospective OFS vendors that want to grab a slice of the wildly expanding mobility market. At the end of last year the Enterprise Strategy Group took 13 of the more than 40 business-oriented OFS services available for a test drive. Vendors included in the ESG OFS Test Drive Program were Accellion, Box, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox, Egnyte, EMC Syncplicity, GroupLogic, Huddle, Nomadesk, Soonr, SOS, SugarSync, and YouSendIt.

Last month EMC pre-announced an OFS beta, which consisted of Syncplicity cloud-based online file sharing service with the option to use either Isilon scale-out NAS or Atmos object-based storage, due out at the end of March. Earlier this month the company’s majority-owned subsidiary unveiled VMware Horizon Suite, a platform for workforce mobility intended to connect end users to their data, applications and desktops on any device without sacrificing IT security and control.

February also saw the introduction of XenMobile MDM and the Mobile Solutions Bundle for Enterprise Mobility Management from Citrix. This was followed by a new mobile solution from IBM, MobileFirst, which combines a wide array of IBM software products and services under one umbrella brand.

SAP Mobile Documents will be generally available as of March 15. Looking ahead, Whitmarsh expects to see more integration between applications, content and mobility, bringing everything together securely.

Key features of SAP Mobile Documents are planned to include: a software development kit (SDK) for embedding secure file distribution capabilities into SAP and non-SAP applications; individual file sync so users can access the content they want, when they want it; corporate shared documents so enterprises can publish documents to user groups who need specified content; simplified interoperability with enterprise content management platforms, such as Sharepoint and the SAP Netweaver Portal component, through the open Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard; and secure use cases for personal file access to portal content, knowledge management resources and Microsoft SharePoint. The company said both SAP Mobile Documents and SAP Afaria are planned to be available on premise and in the cloud.

 

 

 

Author: Steve Wexler

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