Check Jon's latest diginomica blog!

Here's Jon's diginomica blog updates
Read Ultimate SAP User Guide kindle reviews Podcast Feedback

"I listen to all your SAP podcasts in my car, until my kids get mad at me and make me put on music for them instead. Keep up the good work!"

- Robert Max, 2007 Solution Manager Community of Interest, and Systems Management Special Interest Group Chair for the Americas' SAP Users Group - Visitor Feedback

"Jon, let me congratulate you on building a site which exclusively caters to SAP skills and careers and answers a lot of doubts young and senior SAP consultants have about what skills to have and get trained on."

More Site Feedback

"I have been reading your SAP newsletters for over a decade now... It's remarkable that you have now embraced the Web 2.0 delivery methods - Podcasts, Twitter etc - without sacrificing the in-depth nature of your analyses!" - Dave Sen, SAP Enterprise Architect - Reader Feedback

"I visit almost everyday to check out whether there is something new and what the future trends hold for SAP skills and careers."

More Site Feedback

"I was struggling with career direction a few years ago and you provided me with some extremely valuable advise. I've been very satisfied with my career direction which was influenced in large part by your coaching. Thanks again!" - Keith

New JonERP Feedback

"You have always been there with a prompt reply when it matters the most. You have really been a mentor in true sense."

- Hussain Sehorewala -

SAP SCN Podcasts

Starting in December of 2007, Jon began a multi-year series of podcasts with the SAP SCN Community team. You can find them all on this page for easy downloading and text highlights.
SAP Mobility Trends - An SAP Community Podcast with SAP Mentors Benedict and Appleby Print E-mail

podcastlogo_jonerp.gifPodcast: Listen Now!
Vendor Podcast - Tracking SAP Mobility Trends with SAP Mentors John Appleby and Kevin Benedict
An SCN Community Podcast
Hosted by Jon Reed of
Podcast Interview Date: July 2, 2010
View Transcript

One of the key messages from SAPPHIRENOW 2010 is that this is the year of SAP mobility. To get a better handle on how mobility trends impact the enterprise and how to track those trends on the SAP Community Network, Jon Reed sat down with SAP Mentors John Appleby and Kevin Benedict. During this twenty minute podcast, John and Kevin explain the difference between enterprise mobility and point solutions and share their take on the SAP mobility trends to watch for this year.

Both Kevin and John are experienced SCN bloggers, and one of the highlights of the podcast is hearing their tips on how to get started blogging and how the conversational nature of SCN blogs has impacted their mobility work. 

Editor's note: there is a mobility section on SCN as well as a mobile blog category to follow.

Podcast Highlights

:50 How John and Kevin became active in the SAP community in the mobility space?

2:44 What are the differences between "mobile point solutions" and an "Enterprise Mobility" strategy? Kevin: there are different kinds of applications to consider, browser-based apps, micro-apps (iPhones, BlackBerry apps, etc). Lightweight mobile apps can be effective in an SAP environment, such as lightweight approval functionality. The downside of browser-based apps? They do not take advantage of native smart phone environment. Then there are rich clients, which contain data on the mobile device. Then there is MEAP (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform). Think middleware, security, mobile device management. As for point solutions, an example would be a field service app. You might be providing a mobile application just to your field service app. In the case of point solutions, you're not trying to address all your enterprise needs.

6:44 Jon to John: Are you seeing companies lean towards either enterprise-wide solutions or point solutions? John: in the last five years, we've seen massive point solutions like asset management or field service. In this case, there are massive efficiencies to be had by updating data on the move. That's where the big ROI was. Now there has been a paradigm shift. People have their smart phones at home, and ask, "Why don't I have one of these for my time sheets?" We're seeing a shift from multiple point solutions to the corporate realization a whole mobile roadmap is needed.

8:26 Both John and Kevin have been active on the Community Network in the mobility space. What are you seeing/learning from the time you are spending there? John: my first experiences were implementing the Sybase platform, we were looking at RIM on NetWeaver Mobile. On SCN, I was able to draw on experiences of the RIM guys and apply them to the Sybase platform. Some SAP folks blogged on the forum as well on these topics. Kevin: Being active since 2008 on enterprise mobility, built an audience for mobility that has impacted my own business by creating conversation. Becoming a top contributor and then an SAP Mentor is the byproduct of getting active in the community and blogging regularly.

10:24 Some people think of blogging as a one way communication outlet but there are often interesting conversations that spring up on SCN blogs. What has been your experience with "blog conversations"? Kevin: this year at SAPPHIRENOW, SAP Mentors were given flipcams to interview people on the convention floor. In many cases, the feedback was "I've read your articles on SCN, let's do an interview." They already know you and your work. John: I had the exact same experience at SAPPHIRENOW. Being recognized as a Mentor and the input we have given to SCN as a precursor to becoming a Mentor has had an impact.

12:00 It's not always easy to get started blogging. Our listeners might be surprised to learn that most experienced bloggers on SCN had to be initially encouraged and brought out of our shells by someone. How did you get started? What advice would you have for those who are early in their blogging efforts or looking for some inspiration to get started? Kevin: I have written several hundred blogs. People think blogging is difficult - it doesn't have to be more than a handful of paragraphs. You're not writing Shakespeare.

Even a short blog about a talk with a customer and what their mobility needs are and what the ROI was is very useful content. Personal experiences from a day on the phone can be plenty. It doesn't take weeks to generate a blog, it's about sharing with the community the knowledge you've gained today from the conversations you've had. John: Bluefin has a knowledge-management centric culture. Quite early on, I found that writing about my experiences with difficult situations and technical problems was very cathartic. You write about your customer problems and how you resolved them and it's documented forever. Then I came to realize that this same kind of documentation could be relevant to a broader audience. Often you can repurpose existing information. Once you've written the first blog, you're over the hurdle and it's easy.

16:34 Lightning round: give one big mobility trend for the year. John: the rise in Android, 700 percent handset growth from year to year, is enormous. But is hasn't really jumped into the enterprise space yet, I'm watching that this year. Kevin: yesterday I talked to a research firm who had interviewed 100 SAP customers about the topics they were most interested in, and the fifth highest topic was mobility. Business to consumer mobile apps are a trend to watch as well. Companies are starting to ask, "What apps can I get into the hands of my customers so that I can serve them better?" That gap between enterprise and consumer apps is closing rapidly, and all the SAP enterprise mobility vendors are going to have to look into that.


JonERP Feature Interview

Browse Jon's YouTube SAP Videos
Read Ultimate SAP User Guide Reviews

What is Jon Up to Now?

Track Jon in real-time on Twitter
See his latest diginomica blogs

Get Jon's SAP Blog + Videocast Feed (or Email Notifications)

Jon's "Get All My SAP Content" RSS Feed

or Subscribe to the Feed by Email

The Latest JonERP Feedback

"I have referenced your articles on for my internal Fujitsu colleagues on how the functional skill set is changing. It's not just theory, but real life change and the need for new SAP skills."

- Ranjan Baghel, Associate Director, Fujitsu America - Site Feedback

"I can't imagine any SAP professional who is serious about their career not utilizing the website. I know I used it frequently when I did SAP consulting. I use it even more now and I know my colleagues go there quite frequently to increase their knowledge of the SAP market, it is a source of great information."

- David Dawson, SAP Direct Hire Consultant, Acsys -

More Site Feedback

"Jon, you are definitely spot on with your analysis of the SAP market. I've been using your websites for over five years now. Instead of buying all the SAP books, I use your stuff to catch up with what's new in the ever-increasing SAP market." - Mark Reader Feedback

"I've kept up with your site for a long time and your articles via and elsewhere. I just realized a few months ago that you were also the author of the first SAP Consulting book that I read when I decided to take the leap from working at a Utility company to becoming an SAP Consultant. The SAP Consultant Handbook is a staple for any SAP consultant, new or experienced. I just wanted to thank you for the quality work."

- J. Michael Peace, Independent SAP Consultant -