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What Apple-SAP Partnership Means To The Channel

In a move that offers big opportunities for the channel, enterprise software giant SAP and Apple has entered into a strategic partnership to bring iOS to its customer base. SAP said that channel partners would be able to reap the benefits of the newly formed tie up.
“We see traditional VAR partners having an opportunity to resell these industry applications and provide their unique expertise,” CRN quoted Kevin Ichhpurani, SAP executive vice president of strategic business development as saying.
“This is also an opportunity for partners to resell the platform to customers and innovate on top”, he added.
In 2014, Apple announced a major deal with IBM to strengthen its presence in the enterprise. The company is now adding another enterprise partner in its basket, by entering into a strategic partnership with the German business software giant SAP.
The aim is to expand the appeal of its iOS mobile operating systems to large businesses and software developers. This joint effort will deliver a new iOS software development kit (SDK) and training academy so that developers, partners and customers can easily build native iOS apps tailored to their business needs, it said in a statement.
“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 Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
“As the leader in enterprise software and with 76 percent of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAP is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad. Through the new SDK, we’re empowering SAP’s more than 2.5 million developers to build powerful native apps that fully leverage SAP HANA Cloud Platform and tap into the incredible capabilities that only iOS devices can deliver,” he added.
While Apple’s consumer product business is reportedly slowing, the company is looking for new growth by tapping into the lucrative market for commercial technology. The agreement, which the two CEOs sealed last October, is expected to give Apple access to tens of thousands of companies that run SAP’s business software and some 2.5 million developers who access its programs, which manage operations including accounting, manufacturing, sales and human resources.
Apple has a similar arrangement with IBM to develop specialized apps for airline workers, sales clerks and other business users. Last year, the company inked an agreement with Cisco Systems that makes it easier for white-collar workers to take calls and video conferences from iPads and iPhones.
Apple and SAP plan to deliver a new SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK exclusively for iOS that will provide businesses, designers and developers the tools to quickly and efficiently build their own iOS apps for iPhone and iPad, based on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP’s open platform as a service. These native apps will provide access to core data and business processes on SAP S/4HANA, while taking full advantage of iPhone and iPad features like Touch ID, Location Services and Notifications.
“We’re proud to take this special partnership between Apple and SAP to a groundbreaking new place. In giving people an agile and intuitive business experience, we empower them to know more, care more and do more. By combining the powerful capabilities of SAP HANA Cloud Platform and SAP S/4HANA, together with iOS, the leading and most secure mobile platform for enterprise, we will help deliver live data to people wherever and whenever they choose to work”, said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP.
As a part of the partnership, SAP 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.

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