SAP has met the launch of Windows 8 with six mobile apps for the new platform which work on keyboard or touch. The apps include a personal integration tool, an employee view app showing staff in terms of diversification and other measures, and a training assistant. (See below for more detail.)
“We’re excited about the Microsoft platform,” said Nick Brown, SAP’s senior vice president of mobility, because SAP clients have spent billions on applications and computer that run Microsoft.
“That is our legacy, and if you look at how Microsoft is laying Windows 8 into the touch space, they have done a pretty good job of looking at trends and thought leaders. You have to give Apple their due, but copying is the sincerest form of flattery,” Brown added.
“This has really changed the game, when you look at how Microsoft is positioned with its huge installed base of PCs. Now they can give those users the opportunity to use tablets. I think people will gravitate to them — the new computers are quite beautiful, they have a lot of options and they come with a much more standardized approach to stability and security. They provide a huge leg up, especially in the enterprise with Active Directory and their integration with SharePoint. All these things make it easy as a consumer and business person to use these devices.”
Some of the six apps SAP has developed for the Microsoft tablet came from an iPad version.
“We are leveraging the Windows 8 design environment where you have the endless window left and right and analytical zoom to go in and look or drill into a segment. In addition, a developer can focus a user attention with a heat map look and feel. With Windows 8 you can do meaningful manipulation of office docs — spreadsheets, Word or PowerPoint, which are challenging on the iPad.”
As Microsoft, Intel and their hardware partners launch tablets — PCs with touch, and convertibles that have touch screens and detachable keyboards — has Apple missed an opportunity?
Brown isn’t sure.
“I am worried about expectations. My kids don’t even understand PCs. The executives who had a PC mostly as an office decoration took to the iPad. Printing went down sharply. I am not sure that Apple missed it, but I am sure they can come back.”
Brown described SAP’s apps for Win8 as all touch-enabled and collaborative or social.
“They allow users to quickly and efficiently run the process. You have five stars to rate an interviewee. How many stars did you rate this person? You can do it fast…and then the interviewer can drill into the stars to see the details. You can type with a keyboard or you can talk to the device and let Siri translate your voice to text. Windows 8 offers lots of ways to get information into the system. For the modern generation, the keyboard and mouse are becoming foreign objects.”
SAP offers six business apps for Windows 8 for use on devices of various form factors focused on enterprise functions such as training, recruiting and sales. All six of these mobile apps are planned to be available for download in both the Windows Store and SAP Store. These mobile apps include:
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