Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Cloud Best Practices Network, Scott Allen

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, SAP HANA Cloud, @CloudExpo

Mobile IoT: Blog Feed Post

SAP Acquires Syclo - A First Analysis Over Coffee

SAP has doubled down on enterprise mobility, while Oracle is still not even in the game

WARNING!  These are Kevin Benedict's personal thoughts and opinions pondered over a cup of my favorite coffee shop's bowl of soul on the outdoor patio in the warm spring sunshine of Boise, Idaho.

My first thought when I received the news that SAP is acquiring Syclo, was, "Smart move SAP!" I respect the fact that SAP is willing to double down on enterprise mobility.  I also respect the fact that SAP is willing to brave the inevitable criticism for having bought the same solution twice.   SAP has smart leaders.  They have made an aggressive and brave decision with this acquisition.  I think they recognized an unmet need, estimated the impact, valued the market and fixed it.  I am sure this was not an easy decision.  It will raise many questions, but I am sure it will make Sapphire 2012 even more interesting (perhaps even more than Van Halen in concert).



SAP has doubled down on enterprise mobility, while Oracle is still not even in the game.  I find it fascinating that the SAP leadership has a vision and is charging ahead while Oracle is on the sidelines.  How curious.

SAP thought they were getting all of the features that Syclo offers (MEAP, SDK, production ready mobile apps, experience, talent, etc.) when they bought Sybase in 2010. However, once they had critically examined Sybase post-acquisition, they realized there were gaps.  Mainly, they spent $5.8 billion, in large part to gain a mobile solution, but then realized there were no batteries included (i.e. mobile apps).

Syclo, on the other hand, offers not only a mobile middleware platform (some say it is better than SUP), but has many industry proven, in production, mobile applications.  These are real mobile apps.  Apps that can transform companies and give them competitive advantages.  These are mobile apps that husky men and women with five o'clock shadows wearing uniforms use to build national electrical grids and other important infrastructure components.

Not only does Syclo offer a library of "real" mobile applications that are in production, but they bring desperately needed enterprise mobility skills, real customers and a passion for mobility to the SAP family.

Let's get back to the subject of mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAPs).  When SAP announced the acquisition of Sybase in 2010, I detected mostly unspoken frustration in the eyes of the Syclo management team when I interviewed them about the acquisition.  I believe they felt their MEAP was better than Sybase's.  It will now be interesting to see which MEAP wins out in the long term.  Yes, I know that Syclo has announced that their solutions will now run on SUP, but I think they agreed to this mostly under duress.

Syclo's SDK is designed to produce "real" production ready mobile apps, not just partial code for programmers.  I know of many large deployments of production mobile apps from Syclo.  Syclo has earned their stripes, and now SAP and SAP customers will benefit from this.

The biggest complaint about SAP mobility has now been addressed - the lack of production quality, real mobile applications being used by happy customers.  It will now be very interesting to see how the SAP mobility stack, stacks up.

The inventory and options for developing mobile solutions has now jumped up another notch.  It was already a challenge to figure out the best way to design, develop, integrate, deploy and support a mobile solution.  Now, instead of having hundreds of different ways to build a mobile solution in the SAP world, there will be more.  It will be interesting to watch how SAP works to simplify their message given so many possible ways mobile apps can be implemented.

SAP will now have the Sybase Unwired Platform, Agentry 6.0 and Smart Mobile Suite from Syclo, Sybase 365, NetWeaver Gateway and all of the other SAP ecosystem partners.  Things will get interesting!

I know the management team at Syclo and value their passion, expertise, perseverance and talent.  They have not always been the flashiest company, some even drive Smart cars, but they have demonstrated their value by quietly deploying thousands and thousands of real mobile applications around the world in production environments and making customers happy.

Now comes other challenges for SAP.  How do they merge and consolidate so many good mobile solutions that may not always be compatible with each other?  Will these solutions be adequate for B2C (business to consumer) apps, or is that a unique category that requires a different acquisition or internal development effort?  I know Syclo has been evangelizing their B2C apps for the past few months.  This is a recent push and it will be interesting to see how it holds up under more scrutiny.

How will SAP manage relationships with important partners like ClickSoftware which also has a powerful and competing enterprise mobility solutions called ClickMobile. SAP private labels a ClickSoftware solution called, SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization by ClickSoftware.  It has its own mobile client.  Again, this will be interesting to watch.

Does the Syclo acquisition enhance mobility in the cloud?  I am not sure.

I love enterprise mobility, and its a good thing because now my coffee is cold.

P.S. I reserve the right to change all of my opinions when SAP calls and yells at me :-)

*************************************************************

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile Industry Analyst, Consultant and SAP Mentor Alumnus
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
"We have several customers now running private clouds. They're not as large as they should be but it's getting there. The adoption challenge has been pretty simple. Look at the world today of virtualization vs cloud," stated Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...