Samsung, SAP to roll out analytics for Android devices

Customers get more choice even as mobile BI adoption remains small

Samsung SDS and SAP have created BI (business intelligence) software for Android mobile devices, the companies announced Monday in conjunction with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Samsung Mobile Business Intelligence Dashboard is available in the U.S., Europe and Asia for Android devices including Samsung's Galaxy S smartphone and Galaxy Tab tablet, according to a statement.

In addition to the new software, Samsung and SAP announced a joint development partnership meant to "further extend the power of the SAP Business Suite software through mobile applications for the enterprise."

The companies have a mobile sales force automation application in the works, as well as one that will enable doctors and nurses to gain access to patient medical records, according to a statement.

Samsung also announced support for the Afaria device encryption platform developed by SAP's Sybase subsidiary.

Overall, the announcements underscore the growing range of choices SAP customers have for mobile software. Those options will only increase in coming months as SAP releases a converged mobile development platform that combines elements of Sybase technology along with its own.

The company is also set to roll out Business Objects 4.0, a major update to its BI suite, at an event in New York next week.

Although mobile devices and business software have proliferated wildly in recent years, mobile BI applications have been behind the adoption and maturity curve because of a "lack of specific business use cases, tangible ROI, and inadequate smart phone screen and keyboard form factors," according to an upcoming Forrester Research report.

During the past two years, Forrester BI analysts took in fewer than 50 mobile BI-related inquiries, and many were from vendors and consultants, not customers, it states.

But mobile BI adoption should grow in the near future thanks partly to the advent of larger-screened devices like the Tab and Apple iPad, the report adds.

Customers interested in developing a mobile BI strategy need to ensure they build a complete underlying foundation comprised of data warehousing, data integration and other components, according to Forrester. Other considerations to weigh include how easily the mobile software can be integrated with ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems and other vendors' mobile applications.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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Chris Kanaracus

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