Apple, SAP Deal Means iOS Apps for Enterprise

May 12, 2016

By Michelle Amodio - Enterprise Cloud Contributor

There’s been some big news in the enterprise space for iOS: SAP and Apple (News - Alert) announced a partnership that will allow SAP developers to procure iOS apps using the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, taking iOS devices to a new level for enterprises.

The agreement includes a software development kit (SDK) and training materials to enable developers, partners and customers to quickly build native iOS apps geared for enterprise businesses based on Apple’s Swift (News - Alert) interactive programming language and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, an open platform as a service.

The native apps have the potential to help employees to access enterprise data and processes from their iPhone (News - Alert) or iPad, regardless of location. This is a boon for the mobile workforce.

Mobile devices, virtual desktops and the ability to access critical resources from any location via an Internet connection have all changed the way today’s employees work. Now that staff members aren’t tethered to on-premises systems and applications, they’re free to travel, work from home or complete tasks from a nearby coffee shop. Whatever the case, the bottom line is the same: The mobile workforce has grown considerably in recent years, and is poised to expand even further in the near future.

"As a part of the partnership, SAP (News - Alert) will develop native iOS apps for critical business operations. These apps for iPhone and iPad will be built with Swift, Apple's modern, secure and interactive programming language, and will offer a familiar user experience with the SAP Fiori for iOS design language. Workers across industries will be empowered to access the critical enterprise data, processes and user experience they need to make decisions and take action right from their iPhone or iPad through apps designed to enable a field maintenance worker to order parts or schedule service, or a doctor to share the latest patient data with other healthcare professionals", says Apple.

iPhone and iPad devices are widely accepted in the enterprise, and it’s not just because they’re well-liked. They are also very secure, thanks to things like touch ID and regular operating system updates.

"This partnership will transform how iPhone and iPad are used in enterprise by bringing together the innovation and security of iOS with SAP's deep expertise in business software," said CEO Tim Cook in a prepared statement.

Apple launched a similar partnership with IBM (News - Alert) in 2014 to develop apps designed specifically for use in key business sectors. Under that MobileFirst partnership, Apple and IBM have released a number of apps for markets ranging from healthcare and travel to banking and energy.

The partnership between Apple and SAP aims to improve mobile work for business customers who already use SAP's software for enterprise resource planning and operations.

SAP currently has over 310,000 customers and 110 million cloud-based subscribers around the world.

Edited by Maurice Nagle