Displaying items by tag: SAP

One of the largest automotive suppliers in the world, ZF Friedrichshafen, known as ZF, said it will adopt a selection of SAP software solutions to help transform its global IT landscape. The implementation and integration of the solutions will help provide the company with a single source to connect with suppliers, customers and business networks.

SAP’s software, including SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA, will provide ZF with the foundation for new digital business models. The software was selected by ZF to support its ambitious growth strategy, using cutting-edge technology to enable processes and the organization to scale. Through the implementation of the solutions, ZF will further extend its existing IT system landscape to the world of cloud.

Following its merger with automotive supplier TRW, ZF’s implementation of these solutions will help drive synergies across all corporate departments, allow for the fast adoption of global business processes, and drive digitalization, speed and agility.

The SAP S/4HANA Finance solution, for instance, provides comprehensive financial management and accounting functionality on one standardized platform, enabling ZF to pursue its growth strategy while focusing on new opportunities.

In addition, the solution can help the company better manage regulatory requirements such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as well as help optimize financial processes to provide a single source of truth for corporate management.

The company will also implement the SAP S/4HANA Sourcing and Procurement solution, the SAP HANA platform, the SAP Extended Warehouse Management application and governance, risk and compliance solutions such as the SAP Enterprise Threat Detection application.

“SAP allows us to protect and simplify our existing assets while building the future business platform for tomorrow’s growth,” said Jürgen Sturm, CIO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “New capabilities can be provided to the business based on latest technologies offering great business value. By combining various cloud solutions with a strategic digital core we will unleash new business potentials and will become more agile in their implementation.”

Middle East organizations are adopting the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technology infrastructure to drive the wider region’s US$ 8 billion market, SAP said.

As the inter-connected Internet of Things era advances, Middle East organizations are forced to manage a vast network of connected devices, wearables, and physical objects – from cars to oil drills. Using machine-to-machine technology, organizations can provide a secure, usable infrastructure that shares machine and sensor data for actionable information in real-time.

In the Middle East and Africa, the Internet of Things spend is set to reach US$ 8 billion in 2017, according to a recent report by IDC. In particular, the highest-spending industry verticals include manufacturing and transportation, both at USD 1.3 billion, and utilities at USD 918 million.

“Every industry vertical in the Middle East is set to be transformed by the Internet of Things – from smart utilities predicting service outages, to healthcare providers predicting patient treatments,” said Gergi Abboud, Managing Director for the Gulf, Levant, North Africa, and Pakistan at SAP.

"The strength of an Internet of Things use case improves exponentially when you unleash the connectivity between all of the ‘things’ inside and outside of an enterprise across its supply chain. Hence, a secure Internet of Things platform on the cloud becomes vital for supporting next generation applications, which can scale up quickly and easily," added Abboud.

Showing the strong demand, 82 percent of organizations see the Internet of Things as “strategic” or “transformational” to their business, according to a recent survey by IDC.

In the Middle East, SAP is seeing strong demand for the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system. SAP Leonardo provides breakthrough technologies and services that let organizations take advantage of embedded Internet of Things capabilities and other technology innovations on the cloud.

SAP is already working closely with Middle East organizations on Internet of Things co-innovations, such as a remote inspection robot for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and Emirates NBD bank on augmented reality housing loans.

Exchanging global best practices, SAP’s global Internet of Things customers include Italy’s Trenitalia, Buenos Aires, Argentina to prevent floods, and the Hamburg Port Authority for smart port logistics.

Published in Internet of Things

SAP is partnering with oil giant Saudi Aramco in creating a new solutions platform to enable Saudi Aramco to launch a digital business marketplace with thousands of Saudi Aramco buyers and suppliers in partnership with SAP Ariba.

Saudi Aramco says the move forms part of its digital transformation strategy and will help it and its global subsidiaries to manage and simplify real-time collaboration between their buyers and suppliers. 

The deal will make it Saudi Arabia’s first company that will run solutions on the SAP Cloud Hub, which will launch shortly as part of SAP’s four-year SAR 285 million investment plan in the Kingdom. As a result, the firm will be able to run cloud-based business applications to optimize business processes and costs, and enhance customer and supplier relationships.

Using SAP Ariba, Saudi Aramco can capitalize on several solution functionalities, including e-Bidding, e-Sourcing, Contracts Life-Cycle Management and Supplier Onboarding, to create a collaborative supply chain environment that will enhance supply chain efficiency and open wider business opportunities for the local and regional supplier-base.

SAP Ariba combines industry-leading cloud-based applications with the world’s largest Internet-based trading community to help companies discover and collaborate with a global network of partners. Companies around the world use the software to simplify inter-enterprise commerce and enhance the results that they deliver.

“Saudi Aramco is showing global leadership in digital business innovation in the oil and gas sector. Through the SAP Cloud Hub, SAP continues to co-innovate with the Kingdom’s leading players to drive Saudi Vision 2030 digital transformation and support Saudi job creation through our academies,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director of SAP Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen.

“Using the Ariba business platform, Saudi Aramco buyers and suppliers can gain new levels of business competitiveness, and simpler, smarter sourcing. SAP fully supports Saudi Aramco’s digital transformation agenda for long-term and sustainable business and economic growth” said Mohammad AlZaubi, Global Director for Saudi Aramco, SAP.

Through the SAP Ariba source-to-pay applications, buyers and suppliers worldwide have benefitted from 60 percent lower costs, at least 50 percent greater efficiency, at least 5 percent more sales, and about 15 percent improved customer retention.

While 84 percent of global companies say that digital transformation is critical to their survival in the next five years, only three percent have completed company-wide transformation efforts, shows a new study from SAP. The study, supported by Oxford Economics, was released at SAP Leonardo Live, held July 11–12 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Significantly, the results could spell possible peril for companies lagging in digital transformation: those that have embraced mass digital changes reported significantly higher levels of market share (85 percent vs. 41 percent) and profitability (80 percent vs. 53 percent).

Companies named as the leaders in the survey expect to see roughly 23 percent more revenue growth over the next two years than the rest of the organizations surveyed. The study also found that digital transformation was cited as a top-three driver of future revenue, across all industries and among companies of all sizes.

“SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study: 4 Ways Leaders Set Themselves Apart” is the most comprehensive of its kind. Based on survey results from more than 3,000 senior executives across 17 countries and regions, it identifies the challenges, opportunities, value and key technologies driving digital transformation. The results also identify the Top 100 companies — called Digital Leaders — who are best at connecting people, things and businesses.

Digital Leaders hold four key traits, according to the study. They see digital transformation as truly transformational: 96 percent of Leaders say digital transformation is a core business goal, compared to 61 percent of all othersThe transformation extends through their company, to how they interact with customers, suppliers and partners.

Digital Leaders also focus on customer-facing functions first: 70 percent of Leaders say digital transformation is already delivering increased customer satisfaction vs. 22 percent of all others. The customer experience is the gateway to a successful digital transformation. They also prioritize talent: 71 percent of Leaders say that digital transformation efforts make it easier to attract and retain talent vs. 54 percent of all others. They also spend more on retraining the existing workforce than their peers.

Finally, Digital Leaders invest in next-generation technologies: 50 percent of Leaders are already working with artificial intelligence and machine learning, compared to 7 percent of all others. They are also investing more heavily in Big Data and analytics (94 percent vs. 60 percent) and the Internet of Things (76 percent vs. 52 percent). Using a bimodal IT architecture lets them run legacy systems efficiently while rapidly integrating new technologies.

“Digital transformation is no longer a choice, it’s an essential driver of revenue, profit and growth,” said Vivek Bapat, senior vice president, global head of Marketing Strategy and Thought Leadership, SAP SE. “Executives need to move from simply understanding the high stakes to activating complete end-to-end execution across their business. This requires innovative breakthrough technologies, investing in digital skills, and retraining the existing workforce. The next two years will be a key inflection point, which will separate the digital winners from those left behind.”

Pakistan Vision 2025 drives future smart cities growth

Written on Thursday, 25 May 2017 11:08

Pakistan Vision 2025 and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor are driving investment in Future Cities to deliver economic growth and enhance urban livability, the new country manager for Future Cities enabler SAP announced.

With the United Nations projecting over half of Pakistan set to live in cities by 2025, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor partnership is investing millions of rupees in Future City projects in Islamabad, along with Gwadar, and Quetta, and supporting Pakistan Vision 2025 digital transformation goals.

Using innovations such as 3D printing, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, Pakistan is transforming key industry verticals such as government, healthcare, logistics, and transportation. Smart utilities and the smart grid, the smart supply chain, and public safety all present major opportunities.

“Pakistan’s cities face complex challenges that require innovative thinking and vision to reinvent how the country tackles economic, social, and environmental issues. Urban leaders in Pakistan are at the forefront of using citywide digital transformation to deliver better public services, good governance, safer cities, and economic prosperity,” said Saquib Ahmad, County Manager, for SAP Pakistan.

Supporting Pakistan’s Future Cities, SAP is exchanging global best practices from the recently-launched SAP Leonardo digital innovation system, the Future Cities program that co-innovates with over 4,500 local governments worldwide, and the SAP Training and Development Institute that upskills youth.

With more than 16 years of IT experience in the region, Saquib Ahmad is committed to supporting new digital business models in Pakistan and driving Digital Economy growth.

“Pakistan is a strategic growth market for SAP, and we are exchanging global best practices in using real-time technology to deliver clean, safe, and competitive cities. Saquib Ahmad has the experience, leadership, and disruptor vision to drive public-private partnerships that support Pakistan Vision 2025,” said Gergi Abboud, Managing Director for the Gulf and Pakistan at SAP.

Mobile World Congress, the world's annual gathering for the mobile industry, was held in Barcelona this year from 27 February to 2 March. As the most anticipated event of the year for the industry, thousands of people come to Spain's Mobile Capital to meet and greet industry experts, witness the latest mobile and technology announcements and trends in the sector, and to find out what the next year's technologies will be.

This year's MWC event saw plenty of exciting releases, including phones, tablets, and other smart devices. Huawei, LG, Sony, ZTE, Nokia and even BlackBerry announced new smartphones at the event. Huawei unveiled an impressive new smartphone, the Huawei P10 and the larger P10 Plus, featuring dual Leica rear camera lenses, a longer-lasting battery and fingerprint sensor system.

Finnish startup HMD Global relaunched one of Nokia's most popular devices at MWC - the 3310 - which was first launched to the mobile phone industry 17 years ago. Nokia's 3310 is considered an iconic handset due to its incredible popularity amongst customers in the early 00's when Nokia dominated the mobile phone market. Nokia also introduced a range three new Android smartphones: the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3.

TCL Communication launched a new high-end BlackBerry device at MWC, the KEYone, which brings back the brand's signature physical keyboard and has a larger screen than previous models. Like Nokia, BlackBerry phones will be made under license by another manufacturer.

Samsung, which didn't unveil a new smartphone, announced a premium tablet at MWC, and two all-in-one PCs at the event. The Galaxy Tab S3 is powered by Android 7.0, and now comes with an S-pen for jotting notes and sketching on the screen. The company also announced a new keyboard for the Tab S3, available as an additional purchase. With Android 7.0 installed on the Tab S3, Samsung adopted Google's multi-window mode, and quick app switching, in lieu of the company's previous TouchWiz solution.

Vendors vowing to make comebacks
On day one of Mobile World Congress, Ericsson's newly appointed CEO, Borje Ekholm, vowed to restore the Swedish company's reputation - and declared that under his guidance the organization will be at the forefront of the evolution of 5G technologies. Ekholm was appointed as the new CEO in October 2016, but didn't officially become CEO until January 16. He replaced Hans Vesterberg, who had been Ericsson's CEO for the previous seven years.

At a press briefing, Ekholm pledged to turn around Ericsson's flailing fortunes and lead them out of one of the most tumultuous periods of its history. Ericsson has endured a difficult number of years - last year the Swedish telecommunications giant was forced to axe thousands of staff in both Sweden and Italy in a desperate effort to reduce costs.

In addition, Ericsson was rocked to the core by allegations from former executives that Ericsson had allegedly bribed a string of high profile politicians across different regions in an effort to secure major contracts in those countries. Former executive Liss-Olof Nenzell handed the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents relating to the alleged kickbacks.

In defense, Ekholm delivered a passionate address at MWC, declaring that Ericsson is ready to explore 'unchartered territory' in its bid to rollout 5G technologies. Ekholm disclosed that Ericsson was making 'significant headway' and was adamant that the firm would be at the forefront of the 5G evolution.

Ekholm said: "Of course 5G has been a buzzword and nothing has really happened, right? But what you are seeing now is the momentum we are building. We are entering into a whole new market, in a way (it's) uncharted territory. We are connecting new things, this will require us to enter into new partnerships and new collaborations and new business models basically."

The CEO said there was 'real momentum' starting to build towards 5G and added that organizations ranging from network companies, to mobile phone makers, to semiconductor businesses are united in their efforts to make 5G a reality - the future of mobile internet was a key theme and prominent feature of discussions all week at MWC 2017.

Ekholm also declared that Ericsson's future will require grit and grace in an attempt to transform itself back into a global leader. Ekholm concluded by saying, "At Ericsson we're focused on setting our future direction - but the process will take a lot of grit, grace and huge amount of team work."

Another leading vendor at MWC, Chinese smartphone vendor Huawei, caused a stir at the event when it unveiled its latest smartphone with a better camera in an attempt to exploit the gap in the market left by Samsung's withdrawal of its flagship device due to problems with the battery.
Samsung was forced to recall all of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 units last October after reports emerged that the devices were catching fire and in some cases even self-combusting. The South Korean conglomerate is subsequently delaying the launch of its new flagship smartphone until later this year. Apple traditionally avoids Mobile World Congress, so that left Huawei - the world's third largest smartphone maker - with a brilliant opportunity to seize the spotlight at the show.

Huawei launched the P10 and the larger P10 Plus which feature dual Leica rear camera lenses, a longer-lasting battery and fingerprint sensor system. "The P10 and the P10 Plus will make every shot a cover shot," said Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei's consumer business group, at a presentation.

The company managed to gain ground on Samsung and Apple in terms of market share last year, increasing its share of the smartphone sector to 8.9 percent in 2016 from 7.3 percent a year earlier, according to the Gartner consultancy group. Samsung saw its market share shrink over the same period by two full percentage points to 20.5 percent and Apple contracted to 14.4 percent from 15.9 percent.

The P10 will sell for 649 euros ($685), the P10+ will cost 799 euros. Huawei also unveiled a 'smartwatch' that contains a sportier look than the first device it introduced two years ago, targeting fitness users.

In other vendor news, Nokia delivered on its strategy to lead in 5G, IoT and cloud, tap new growth markets. On the eve of MWC, Nokia's launches of solutions covering 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), software and cloud underscored the breadth and strength of a product portfolio bolstered by the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent in 2016.

Nokia outlined how the rapid execution of its new strategy is delivering industry-leading innovation for communication service providers in network speed, agility and efficiency, while broadening the company's footprint in faster-growing areas including software and the utilities and transport markets.

"Nokia comes to Mobile World Congress this year with a bigger and fully end-to-end portfolio to sell, and with groundbreaking innovations to share," Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri said.
"All of this is underpinned by an organization squarely focused on the execution of our strategy to lead in high-performance networks with communication service providers, expand to new verticals, build a strong standalone software business and create new business and licensing opportunities in the consumer ecosystem," he added.

New products like 5G FIRST, announced at the company's press and analyst event, showed Nokia's innovation strength to deliver differentiated products that connect not only millions of users but interconnect billions of things to create what Nokia calls the 'global nervous system,' Suri added.

Nokia 5G FIRST comprises its radio access network (RAN) including Nokia AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas, packet core and mobile transport solutions as well as a full service offer using Intel architecture and the Intel 5G modem for initial deployments starting in 2017. With the introduction of 5G FIRST, operators will gain a first-to-market advantage based on early specifications. In addition, Nokia will use the lessons learned through real-world deployment to contribute to final 3GPP standardization of the technology.

While each operator has its own timeline for moving to 5G, some leading providers are eager to take advantage of the extremely high capacity and low latency connectivity it promises to deliver. To meet early-adopter demands, Nokia confirmed it will make its commercial 5G FIRST end-to-end solution available later this year.

Leveraging Nokia's end-to-end network capabilities, 5G FIRST also incorporates the multi-access Nokia Cloud Packet Core and the Nokia Shared Data Layer as part of a cloud-native core architecture to deliver the flexibility, massive scalability and performance operators need to rapidly and cost-effectively deliver 5G services.

A comprehensive array of mobile transport offerings from Nokia address the critical capacity, reliability and latency requirements of the 5G era.  As a next step in a new technology collaboration with Intel, Nokia will leverage the Intel 5G modem for initial deployments of 5G FIRST to deliver ultra-broadband to the home using fixed wireless access as an alternative to existing fiber deployments.

To share insight on future innovations, Nokia also demonstrated a 5G wireless mmWave-based small cell deployment with self-backhauling capabilities. Using an innovative cloud-based mesh topology manager, it creates an in-band meshed network with self-organizing, self-healing and load-balancing capabilities.

What's more, SAP made a splash at MWC this year, demonstrating new technology to make life easier for drivers and rental car users through Internet of Things (IoT) in collaboration with Concur TechnologiesHertz and Nokia. A part of the SAP Leonardo portfolio, the SAP Vehicles Network solution creates an intelligent, automated experience - from car rental to parking and fueling location and payment, to integrated navigation and expense management for business travelers.

SAP also announced that Mojio, the connected vehicle platform and app provider for Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA, has joined SAP Vehicles Network and will provide parking and fueling through its app in the United States and Europe. SAP Vehicles Network, built on SAP Cloud Platform, enables participating network companies to provide mobility services to drivers and passengers.

By standardizing the business processes, SAP Vehicles Network enables integration and collaboration to facilitate new revenue streams and business opportunities for network members. Through the network, member companies can offer secure, convenient services - independent of devices or vehicles - such as parking, fueling and location-based food services, tailored for the business traveler or the individual consumer.

Leading operators looking to the future
Leading Qatari mobile operator Ooredoo showcased next-generation solutions and services on its pavilion at MWC, demonstrating the incredible progress it has made in recent years. The company took visitors on a journey from the days of voice and text through to the super-connected era of 4.5G and 5G now made possible by Ooredoo's advanced Supernet technologies.

Using a special video demonstration of 5G-enabled robotics, Ooredoo showed the faster and smoother performance of Ooredoo 5G and the potential for Internet of Things applications, with the reduced latency and high-speed network enabling real-time communication between machines.

Joining next-generation and lifesaving technology together, Ooredoo also premiered its 'Ooredoo Rescue' concept. Using pioneering drone technology, Ooredoo aims to enable Coast Guards to respond faster and more accurately to emergencies by providing a live video feed of the situation remotely and deploying an emergency raft via the drone. The Ooredoo Rescue solution includes a host of stations on a series of made-to-order buoys that are anchored around the coast. Each buoy is equipped with cameras, powered by solar technologies that can monitor the seas in real time.

Ooredoo also presented a broad range of mobile health solutions, including "You Click, We Care", which brings advanced medical monitoring and interaction straight to the home. Patients with chronic diseases can receive full medical attention from professionals with just one click on a mobile device, while advanced monitoring and alerting algorithms enable doctors to intervene as required before an emergency situation.

In addition, Zain Group was recognized as the winner of the GSMA's "Outstanding Contribution to the Mobile Industry Award" for 2017. The award was presented to Zain Group and four other mobile operators Asiacell, Deutsche Telekom, Turkcell and Vodafone on 26 February 2017, the eve of Mobile World Congress, at the GSMA's annual Welcome Dinner at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, in the presence of His Majesty, King Felipe VI of Spain.

Zain's recognition in this manner was based on the work the telco continues to undertake around the region to assist and improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable sectors of society, including those fleeing the crisis in Syria. In particular, GSMA applauded Zain's creation of several commercial packages in the Middle East intended to facilitate connectivity, which is much needed amongst refugees and internally displaced people.

Another major development at MWC was the announcement of MoU's (Memorandum of Understanding) between Huawei and Zain Saudi Arabia. The collaboration between the two organizations will see them partner on a number of new technologies and services in an attempt to further develop the operator's ICT offering to its customers. In addition to this, the collaboration will also help them contribute significantly to the Kingdom's digital transformation goals.

Present at the signing of the MoU's were Zain Saudi Arabia CEO, Peter Kaliaropoulos and CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ramadan Ding. Under the first MoU, both companies will explore new avenues of cooperation to accelerate the Kingdom's digital transformation - which is one of the key factors of the Saudi 2030 Vision - as they define a network evolution path to help Zain deliver advanced services across its network.

Zain Saudi Arabia and Huawei have also identified several revenue-generating services to be implemented in the Kingdom, those of which rely on Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, like smart homes and utilities, connected cars, Huawei's MuchTV, Game RS and digital music services.
Another MoU will focus on Zain's B2B solutions and include developing a Fiber to the x (FTTX), Public Cloud domain and unified communication which will see launch of a business hotline and develop 15,000 SME in 2017.

Since the beginning of 2017, Zain Saudi Arabia and Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia have jointly announced a number of partnerships, with the most recent being the launch of a commercial NFV-based IMS network, which makes Zain the first operator in the world to move legacy networks onto clouds and simplify the network structure, resulting in a significant enhancement to the telecom provider's ability to cope with the future demand and network requirements.

Wrapping up on a positive note
On the third day of MWC, and in line with the event, Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications, Hi Excellency Jammal Jarrah, held a welcoming gathering with the Lebanese ICT Diaspora to provide updates about the Lebanese Telecom sector in a Q&A environment.

Five members in the panel were present with his Excellency, including Imad Kreidieh, head of the state-owned telecommunications company Ogero; Bassel Ayoubi, general director of investment and maintenance at the Ministry of Telecommunication; Naji Andraous, general director of installation and equipment; Naji Abboud, head of Owner Supervisory Board and the Minister's consultant Nabil Yamout. The conference was moderated by our very own Toni Eid, Editor-in-Chief of Telecom Review.

In his speech, the Minister of Telecommunication began by welcoming the Lebanese community present at Mobile World Congress, mentioning his astonishment with the Lebanese potential in the telecom sector and the diversification of the Lebanese skills in the region and abroad, knowing that most of the world's renowned companies comprise Lebanese people.

According to the Minister, the telecom sector is an essential pillar in the progress of any country, economically speaking. "It's part of the community's daily social and economical life. For this reason we have to enhance this sector as much as we can in order to keep pace with other nations and give the Lebanese community the best services," he said.

Published in Featured

SAP announced at MWC 2017 plans to deliver SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS on March 30, giving developers the tools needed to build powerful enterprise apps for iPhone and iPad.

evelopers can now register for the SAP Academy for iOS to get the necessary training to create their own native apps. Additionally, early adopter customers have already seen improvements in their business with iOS built on SAP's platforms.

"As promised, SAP is delivering real-time enterprise software to iOS devices, transforming core work processes for companies of all sizes with powerful native apps built specifically for iPhone and iPad," said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board, SAP SE, Products & Innovation. "Customers, partners and SAP can now quickly develop apps that deliver data with the cutting-edge capabilities of SAP Cloud Platform and SAP S/4HANA. The partnership comes at the right time for our customers as more and more companies build their mobile strategies around iOS."

Susan Prescott, vice president of Product Marketing, Apple, said: "When we set out on this partnership with SAP, we knew we had an incredible opportunity to transform how people around the world work by combining the innovation and security of iOS with SAP's leadership in enterprise software. We're already seeing the impact that the combination of iOS and SAP brings to businesses to enable better, more efficient and effective processes across industries. Now even more developers will be able to take advantage of the new SDK, and we can't wait to see how they transform their businesses."

SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS aims to give developers, designers, and businesses around the world the tools and scalability they need to quickly and efficiently build powerful enterprise-grade apps for iPhone and iPad, based on SAP Cloud Platform and built-in Swift, Apple's modern programming language. The software development kit (SDK) is also intended to provide a rich library of prebuilt user experience (UX) components and easier access to innovative device capabilities - such as Touch ID, location services and notifications - to accelerate app development and increase adoption.

The new SDK is designed to enable developers to leverage mobile services and other capabilities of SAP Cloud Platform, providing enterprise features like single sign-on, offline data synchronization and enhanced supportability to fulfill the complex requirements of today's digital enterprises. The SDK is intended to be complemented with innovative tools to identify available UX building blocks, existing enterprise services and application programming interfaces (APIs) to access SAP S/4HANA and other third-party systems, and to generate code snippets to reduce complexity and let the developers focus on creating apps that deliver incredible user experiences.

SAP Academy for iOS available to enable and expand the developer ecosystem
Engaging the power of the global developer community of 2.5 million SAP developers and 13 million Apple developers, SAP Academy for iOS is now available with initial training and workshops. A global rollout is planned for later this year.

To complement the new SDK and SAP Fiori for iOS design language, Apple and SAP have jointly developed the first set of offerings as part of the SAP Academy for iOS curriculum and courses. The courses aim to provide mobile developers and designers with knowledge, tools, education and training needed to build a new class of mobile apps that take full advantage of the new SDK, SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Fiori for iOS and the latest features of Apple hardware and software.

The learning journey for mobile developers within SAP Academy for iOS provides a suggested learning path along with related learning assets. It will be updated regularly as new offers and additional roles are added.

SAP developing native iOS apps for industries
SAP is currently building native iOS apps for industries ranging from manufacturing to retail, designed to transform core work processes. The first of these, the SAP Project Companion mobile app with versions for managers and for consultants, developed for professional services, is planned for release March 30 and aims to improve collaboration within project teams on iPhone and iPad.

The apps plan to integrate through SAP Cloud Platform into the SAP S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud solution, taking advantage of real-time data and dramatically simplifying the experience for consultants, project managers and other users who are typically on the go.

As a core asset of the partnership, SAP Fiori for iOS design language simplifies the user experience by combining a consumer-grade iOS experience with business user needs in the enterprise, and enables developers to build next-generation apps.

Various businesses around the world are participating in the early adopter program for the SDK and are already realizing benefits. The collaboration between Apple and SAP makes it simpler for users to build transformative mobile apps to consume and use their most critical data on iPhone and iPad devices and digitally transform their processes with enterprise mobility.

By redefining the customer experience, Apple and SAP are enabling businesses to access real-time information from anywhere and helping companies like Burberry provide an improved user experience for their own customers. Burberry, a long-standing partner of Apple and SAP, has used iPad and iPhones as in-store devices since 2012, enabling it to quickly and easily anticipate and respond to customer needs in real time.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia (KAUST) is both an academic campus and a city. Students, staff and faculty all live in the community with their families. To serve the diverse needs of this community, the strategy was to create a series of apps to support and improve all aspects of life and work.

"The iOS SDK will help us compete with other universities by providing the best experience for both our students and professors in addition to a top-notch education," said Abdulmajeed Serajuddin, the manager of IT enterprise applications at KAUST. "Innovapptive, an SAP partner, is working with us through all the critical steps of implementation."

FunderMax is one of Europe's leading suppliers of derived timber products and decorative laminates. The company has three production facilities in Austria, with more than 1,050 dedicated employees passionate about quality. FunderMax is committed to using digital technologies to transform its sales processes as well as how it collaborates with its channel partners such as architects and retailers.

"We are transforming the way construction materials providers work with architects," said Hartwig Schwarzlmüller, vice president of FunderMax. "At FunderMax, we strive for the perfect user experience, and Apple and SAP are enabling us to do just that with the help of our strategic partner Atos."

At MWC 2017, SAP demonstrated new technology to make life easier for drivers and rental car users through Internet of Things (IoT) collaboration with Concur Technologies, Hertz and Nokia. A part of the SAP Leonardo portfolio, the SAP Vehicles Network solution creates an intelligent, automated experience - from car rental to parking and fueling location and payment, to integrated navigation and expense management for business travelers.

SAP also announced that Mojio, the connected vehicle platform and app provider for Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA, has joined SAP Vehicles Network and will provide parking and fueling through its app in the United States and Europe.

SAP Vehicles Network, built on SAP Cloud Platform, enables participating network companies to provide mobility services to drivers and passengers. By standardizing the business processes, SAP Vehicles Network enables integration and collaboration to facilitate new revenue streams and business opportunities for network members.

Through the network, member companies can offer secure, convenient services - independent of devices or vehicles - such as parking, fueling and location-based food services, tailored for the business traveler or the individual consumer.

The new collaboration showcased at Mobile World Congress draws on the strengths of each participating vendor: Concur, Hertz, SAP and other members of the Nokia-founded IoT Community, a worldwide ecosystem of companies collaborating on the development of innovative IoT solutions, drove the development of the connected rental car experience.

Nokia provided its Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things (IMPACT) to securely control and manage devices and sensors in the vehicle, including the personalization of driver settings and entertainment systems, as well as the automatic configuration of in-vehicle communications without Bluetooth paring, which ensures data privacy for drivers.

The Nokia IMPACT IoT Platform works in conjunction with payment systems in SAP Vehicles Network for parking and fueling authorization to create a seamless and driver-optimized experience.

Hertz, one of the world's leading rental car companies, is developing new products and services for its next 100 years of meeting customers' needs. By exploring the use of connected-car technology in collaboration with leading technology and travel players such as SAP, Nokia and Concur, Hertz is evaluating the opportunity to integrate travel and itinerary planning, along with in-car personalization, through its customer apps as part of an elevated car-rental experience.
With the connected car prototype, business travelers can automate route guidance through Triplink integration with Concur solutions in addition to accessing seamless trip reporting capabilities for all travel-related expenses, including parking and fueling transactions. All in-trip payment transactions can be effortlessly reported in Concur Expense solutions in real time and be ready for the traveler to submit by the time the trip is complete.

Mojio's cloud integration with SAP Vehicles Network takes the guesswork out of parking, enabling drivers to plan and reserve a parking spot based on calendar events or search, as well as to find and pay for a spot in real time based on the connected vehicle's location.

A "tap" inside Mojio's app toggles between personal and business, allowing for automated expense reporting to Concur solutions. Together, Mojio and SAP plan to bring automated parking and fueling services to a growing base of connected drivers around the world.

SAP Vehicles Network makes any car smart and transactional by providing drivers with cashless access to on- and off-street parking and connected fueling stations. It minimizes unnecessary drive time and fuel expenditures and helps reduce traffic and emissions caused by drivers searching for open spaces.

"With leading partners like Hertz and Nokia and new customers like Mojio, SAP is delivering new levels of value for businesses and end consumers based on SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Leonardo and tight integration with Concur solutions," said Dr. Tanja Rueckert, executive vice president, IoT and Digital Supply Chain, SAP. "SAP Vehicles Network puts the end consumer in the driver's seat by transforming the vehicle into the ultimate digital wallet and making car rental into a seamless, intelligent experience."

Published in Internet of Things

SAP and Lenovo announced a partnership under which Lenovo will deliver a new enterprise cloud solution created exclusively for customers holding licenses for the SAP HANA platform in China. The solution will be named “Lenovo Enterprise Cloud designed for SAP HANA” and is intended to open a simple and powerful migration path for China customers seeking to leverage their investments in SAP HANA offsite in a cloud environment.

SAP and Lenovo passed the one-year mark of an expanded strategic alliance announced last year in January. The latest announcement follows several other significant milestones achieved in 2016 as part of the companies’ joint commitment to develop new cloud solutions for the Chinese market, pioneer global innovations leveraging SAP HANA and Lenovo server technologies, and executive collaborative go-to-market programs.

The two companies have worked together since 2010, particularly in China. Lenovo’s new solution will be customized with support from SAP, to optimize performance availability running SAP HANA-based applications such as real-time data analytics. The core infrastructure will employ Lenovo’s effective System x3850 and x3950 X6 servers, while the System x3650 M5 will power the application servers.

“This new dimension of our partnership with Lenovo gives China enterprises access to a powerful, highly scalable cloud solution for rapidly and efficiently deploying applications running on SAP HANA off premise,” said Edward Chen, chief business officer, SAP Greater China. “Also, we anticipate that Lenovo Enterprise Cloud designed for SAP HANA will be a compelling option for customers because it leverages the company’s high-performance server technology, as well as its deep skills and experience in delivering these applications.”

Lenovo will build and operate the end-to-end cloud data center infrastructure for the solution in China, while also managing and supporting its SAP HANA database and applications, including customer technical support such as a hotline service. SAP and Lenovo will together expand market presence and offer off-premise solutions to customers in China. SAP will help Lenovo with quality assurance during the deployment and support process.

With the agreement, Lenovo gains a major new channel for its industry-leading capabilities in deploying SAP HANA and delivering its benefits. The company currently is among the largest SAP customers in China and also runs one of the largest instances of SAP HANA in the Asia Pacific region. By deploying SAP HANA in-memory database technology deeply in its own organization using its own infrastructure, Lenovo has developed vast knowledge of how to optimize application performance, as well as implement the technology rapidly and efficiently, which it applies to customer engagements.

Investment in technology and innovation in the online financial services sector is now essential in the Middle East, according to research on digital use and e-commerce in the region conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social. The findings show that in the UAE, 62 percent of people bought something online in the last month, a 25 percent year on year rise, and 47 percent of people made a purchase using their mobile in that period.

Research by Hootsuite, a platform for managing social media, and We Are Social, a global social media agency, confirms that consumers in the Middle East now demand online solutions that they can access through their mobile phones on social media platforms. Therefore, it’s essential that the online financial sector invests in the appropriate technology or risks being left behind.

Hootsuite and We Are Social recently released ‘Digital in 2017’, a report of social media and digital trends around the world, examining data from 238 countries. The report revealed interesting figures from the more affluent nations in the GCC, revealing that 99 percent of people in the UAE use the internet, 70 percent in Saudi Arabia, and 93 percent in Bahrain.

What’s more, the research shows that Qatar and the UAE have the highest social media penetration of any country in the world (both 99 percent), while Saudi Arabia has seen the highest growth in penetration with a 73 percent rise resulting in 59 percent of the Saudi population using social channels.

The research also reveals that of the 246 million people living in the Middle East, 60 percent (147 million) now use the internet, which is up 15 percent from 2016. In addition, 34 percent (93 million) are active on social media, representing a 47 percent year on year rise, and there are an incredible 312 million mobile phone subscriptions in the region.

On a global scale, the amount of web traffic on mobile devices has soared in recent years, with just over half (50.3 percent) now being accessed this way, a significant rise from 2013 (35 percent) and from the first figure recorded in 2009 of 0.7 percent.

The research revealed interesting findings on e-commerce, with 1.61 billion people buying online in 2016 (22 percent of the global population). This equates to a total business to consumer market of US$1.915 trillion in 2016, which is US$1,189 on average per person.  

In the UAE alone, 62 percent of people bought something online in the last month, according to the research, which is a 25 percent year on year rise, and 47 percent of people made a purchase using their mobile in that period. In Saudi Arabia, 39 percent of people made online purchases, an increase of 57 percent from last year, and 33 percent of people bought online using their mobiles.

Real-time digital transactions will transform Middle East e-commerce by 2020, said Souq.com recently, the region’s largest e-commerce platform, when it confirmed a tie-up with SAP. In line with this prediction, the partnership between Souq.com and SAP will help accelerate real-time transactions to support the scaling up of Middle East small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and further drive the e-commerce market. 

According to a recent report by online payment provider Payfort, the Middle East’s e-commerce market is set to nearly triple in value, from US$25 billion in 2015 to US$69 billion by 2020. Most of the Middle East’s e-commerce growth, the research shows, will come in a massive shift from business-to-consumer transactions in items such as mobile phones, clothes, and watches, to business-to-business items.

“The region is poised to become a key player in the global e-commerce market and today’s tech savvy and connected consumers expect access to everything wherever, whenever and in real-time,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO and co-founder of Souq.com, discussing the company’s partnership with SAP, which he says will “further scale up our platform and provide real-time, robust, and secure e-commerce platform for SMEs to grow exponentially and sell thousands of items effortlessly at one time directly to large enterprises.”

In late January 2017, US online retail giant Amazon ended negotiations to acquire Souq.com for a speculated US$1 billion. Amazon reportedly began discussions to acquire the company in November 2016, after the Dubai-based e-commerce site had appointed Goldman Sachs to find buyers for a stake earlier in the year. Souq.com’s current investors include Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers.

Amazon reportedly caught on to the rapid digital growth in the region and hoped to make a big footprint, hence its interest in acquiring Souq.com. The company was said to be looking to acquire all of Souq.com, which initially only planned to sell about a 30 percent stake. Souq.com runs on a similar model to Amazon, and became the highest-valued internet company in the Middle East after a US$275 million round in February 2016, according to Standard Chartered, which has invested in Souq.com.

However, Souq.com’s position in the regional e-commerce market is being challenged by well-funded competitor Noon.com, which is backed by UAE billionaire Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi’s Arabia Public Investment Fund. Alabbar promised to dominate Middle East e-commerce with the firm, which was expected to launch in January.

“We expect to become a world player but will concentrate firstly on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” said Alabbar last year at a press conference. His company Emaar was behind the construction of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai – the Burj Khalifa. Eventually, Alabbar expects the online retail site to reach Egypt, the most populous Arab state, by the end of 2017 or in early 2018.

IoT spending driving regional growth

Research by IDC (International Data Corporation) suggests that with e-commerce and cloud driving Middle East digital transformation, the UAE and Saudi Arabia – the two largest economies in the region – will spend a combined US$14 billion on IT in 2017. In particular, security spending in the wider Middle East, Africa, and Turkey will reach USD 2 billion in 2017, IDC adds.

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) Internet of Things (IoT) market is forecast to defy the region's moderate economic outlook by growing 19.6 percent year on year in 2017 to total $7.8 billion, according to the Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide’from IDC. This compares favorably to the healthy 18.1 percent growth seen in 2016, with IDC attributing the market's performance to the proliferation of digital transformation initiatives across the region as businesses and government entities strive to boost productivity and improve efficiency.

“The MEA IoT market is becoming increasingly competitive, enabling organizations to source a range of innovative digital solutions aimed at transforming business operations, improving the customer experience, and enhancing employee engagement,” says Wale Babalola, research analyst for telecommunications, IoT, and digital media at IDC MEA. “Indeed, IoT now offers a myriad of industry-specific solutions that can be easily deployed by organizations in a bid to stay ahead of competition.

"Numerous smart city projects are already underway across the region, and the propagation of such initiatives will continue to fuel IoT adoption by both public and private sector organizations," Babalola added. "Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the charge when it comes to smart cities, so it makes sense that these two countries will account for the highest contributions to overall IoT investment in MEA during 2017, with a combined value of more than $1.6 billion."

Published in Featured
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