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SAP Launches Standards-Based Mobile Platform

Immediately after revamping its U.S operations to combat slowing growth, German software behemoth SAP has targeted the mobile enterprise market with the launch of the open standards-based SAP Mobile Engine.

The company, which split its U.S unit into two parts and named Leo Apotheker to serve as acting head of SAP's North American operations, said the SAP Mobile Engine would be based on Java and Web Services technologies, including XML and SOAP.

The platform is being marketed to help companies extend enterprise applications to internal and external users in any role, regardless of location or device in both connected and disconnected environments.

The SAP Mobile Engine, which runs within the mySAP Mobile Business software, would be sold to businesses to help leverage existing enterprise systems through mobile applications and technology that establish new ways to interact with enterprise systems and empower new user communities to participate in collaborative business processes. It focuses specifically on handheld devices and complements existing laptop-based technologies, the company said.

"Mobile applications from mySAP Mobile Business are developed for specific user needs, ranging from the needs of service workers who use devices for many industry-specific applications to a consultant who simply tracks time and expenses on a mobile device for synchronization to a back office system at a later time," the company explained.

It said the SAP Mobile Engine would provide capabilities that support mobile scenarios in cross-industry applications, such as customer relationship management, human resources, supply chain management as well as industry-specific applications for the service provider.

As an example, SAP said a service organization can deploy the software from mySAP Customer Relationship Management on the SAP Mobile Engine to support its service force anywhere and at any time. It would let businesses deploy staff and share information at a moment's notice. "In addition, employees have the ability to update service records, capture expenses and materials used, and even place orders for materials not currently available -- right from the job site via the mobile device," the company explained.

It said the architecture was device-independent and based on a light local Java-based installation to support all popular mobile devices and can be deployed across various types of network protocols.