In case you didn’t hear about it yesterday—and judging by the quiet reaction on Twitter I’m guessing you haven't—Apple and SAP just announced a partnership to create enterprise iOS apps and other developer resources together.
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Okay, so the announcement did come a bit late in the day for the East coast, but still, the immediate reaction was muted compared to all the amazement when Apple announced their similar partnership with IBM back in 2014.
The quiet reaction yesterday wasn’t a bad thing, though. To me, it’s a sign that this is business as usual now. That’s good for Apple’s enterprise efforts and for enterprise mobility in general!
Besides the IBM partnership, this announcement also follows Apple’s partnership with Cisco as well of years of steady improvements to iOS’s management frameworks.
The specific deliverables for the partnership include SAP iOS apps built in the Swift language; an SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK to help customers build their own iOS apps; and a developer training program called SAP Academy for iOS.
A more cynical person might say that Apple is just trying to prop up iPad sales, but either way, the result is more options for better apps for SAP customers, so I’ll take it.
SAP has already been pretty aggressive about mobility and user experience on their own. They’ve spent the last few years promoting their Mobile Platform and Fiori, a modern interface for SAP apps. Now the Apple partnership will also bring “a new SAP Fiori for iOS design language”.
If anybody has still been doubting the role of mobility or whether Apple cares about the enterprise, it’s time for those doubts to go away forever.