Barnstone has announced it has extended its partnership with SAP in Africa and will offer managed mobility services (MMS) leveraging the SAP Mobile Platform.
Barnstone will offer an innovative mobility solution to corporate end-users.
A range of IT service companies will also be allowed to on-sell the Barnstone Mobility Services to their own customer base, including SAP channel partners, resellers of other enterprise software solutions wanting to make use of the SAP Mobile Platform, and resellers of mobile devices, especially ruggedised devices used in mining and logistics environments.
“Enterprise mobility has become a vital competitive differentiator in today’s fast and fluid markets,” says Conrad Steyn, director at Barnstone Corporate Services.
“The platform as a service model will allow customers to benefit from enterprise mobility quickly without the need to purchase new hardware. They can also benefit from significant discounts on licences thanks to our volume licensing from SAP.”
A major benefit of Barnstone’s offering is that it is a comprehensive service that will be hosted by a major hosting company.
Depending on customer needs, the offering could include connectivity; device and data contracts; the SAP Mobile Platform; access to apps in the SAP Store; custom or white-label apps developed by Barnstone specifically for a client; and SAP Afaria, the industry-leading mobile device management solution. If needed, the offering could also include Agentry, a Syclo offering.
The Barnstone Mobile Services is offered using a platform as a service model and is charged on a per user per month basis, with no upfront capital costs – and is instantly available. It may include mobility strategy consulting from Barnstone, which would play an important role in helping ensure that mobility is integrated into the overall business strategy and that the mobile environment is properly managed.
The SAP Mobile Platform enables apps to be deployed to multiple device operating systems – no need to develop apps for each operating system.
This is an especially important point given the “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon that characterises the corporate mobility environment globally. SAP Afaria provides another vital piece of the solution by enabling remote management of devices, facilitating the provisioning of software and security updates and, in the event of theft or loss, the deletion of content on the device.
“I think more now than ever before we are seeing how innovative use of technology is having such a significant impact in business and the partner ecosystem in Africa,” says Desmond Nair, Director for Ecosystem and Channels, SAP Africa.
“Barnstone’s entrance into the mobile arena is in line with SAP’s strategy of growth through partners in areas of innovation. SAP understands the challenges our customers in Africa face and work with our partners to bring these technology innovations such as cloud computing, mobility and software as a service to the continent.”
“It’s important to be clear that what we are offering here is the mobile platform as a service, so the data remains where it is, in the SAP system or other enterprise systems,” Steyn points out.
“Data security is a key issue for companies, especially with the Protection of Personal Information Bill about to become law. Our services – leveraging the SAP Mobile Platform – help address this.”
Managed mobility services (MMS) is a cloud-based mobility management solution delivered by a carrier or solutions provider whose service offering is based on a robust mobility management platform.
MMS service providers include mobile network operators, telecom expense managers, system integrators, and dedicated MMS providers. MMS is ideal for companies that understand the importance of faster time to value without the cost and risks of implementing and maintaining a mobility infrastructure capable of supporting dynamic business mobility needs.
There are distinct advantages to adopting an MMS solution offered by service providers using SAP’s technology. This approach lowers entry costs for enterprise-grade mobility management while enabling companies to become mobile more quickly.
In addition, service providers depend on supporting the latest mobile technology. This means a mobility strategy built around the right service provider will always support leading edge mobile devices, apps, and capabilities. There are additional long-term benefits provided by an SAP-based MMS solution, including:
* Operations using fewer IT staff. This combined with more efficient app management, a lifecycle approach to device management, and more effective mobility expense management can significantly reduce long-term operational costs.
* SAP MMS delivering rapid deployment of enterprise-grade mobile apps across many device types and operating systems. This lowers the cost of deploying and updating applications. It also increases operational flexibility in the face of changing business requirements.
* The delivery of maximum productivity and competitive advantage for all users through MMS’ flexible, dynamic, cost effective mobility management solution.
Steyn concludes by citing the example of a retail client who wanted to create a mobile sales force automation app for its workforce.
“For this client, buying the end-to-end mobile platform as a service would have been the answer,” he says. “The same logic holds true for many other companies across Africa where, as we know, mobility is really the name of the game.”