SAP Looks for Simplicity and Cost Effectiveness with New Release of Afaria

By Tony Rizzo — February 28, 2012

SAP AG has released a major new version of its Afaria mobile device management platform. Sybase Afaria enables enterprise IT to fully manage and secure a wide range of mobile applications and personal and corporate devices, including Android, iOS, Windows Mobile and more, in both hosted and behind the firewall environments. Additionally, Afaria provides telecommunication expense management (TEM), business intelligence reporting with powerful drill-down analysis capabilities, on-device portal technology and seamless, secure over-the-air (OTA) delivery of in-house and publicly available apps.
In addition to these services, with the 7.0 release of Afaria, SAP aims to allow enterprise IT to more effectively manage mobile applications and devices through a new user interface (UI) for simplified administration, improved workflow and enterprise integration capabilities. The new release seeks to streamline an enterprise's ability to successfully manage the huge influx of mobile devices and mobile applications now emerging in all business environments.
With enterprises mobilizing more key business functions and allowing employees to work at anytime and from anywhere via mobile devices, managing and securing these mobile environments has never been more critical. With the new release of Afaria, SAP intends to demonstrate notable innovation aimed at providing a consumer-like mobile experience in the enterprise while simplifying management and reducing IT costs.
Make Personal Devices Enterprise-Ready
As the number of personally-owned mobile devices in the enterprise continues to grow, SAP plans to provide IT managers with a simple, automated way to quickly configure and secure those devices with Afaria. These capabilities will include:
  • End-user self-service portals to help significantly reduce IT workloads by allowing users to enroll and manage their devices
  • Application management to keep workforces productive through seamless app delivery, updates, security and integration with SAP Store
  • Device security to protect sensitive corporate data while leaving personal data untouched.
  • Telecom cost control to help reduce overall mobile total cost of ownership (TCO) through early alerts
Simplify and Streamline Administration
The variety of mobile device types, networks and applications has increased scrutiny on IT. Through the new release of Afaria, SAP will address this problem by focusing on usability in a single mobility management console, including:
  • New UI, requiring fewer clicks to perform functions, making it simple for users and administrators
  • Optimized for touchpad interaction, the new UI can be accessed via iPad and other tablets.
  • New Web services application programming interface (API) layer, providing full access by customers and partners to help integrate with enterprise systems for automation between mobile device management (MDM) and the corporate systems
  • Integration with the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, bringing new business intelligence (BI) reporting  with powerful, drill-down analysis capabilities
  • Simple, quick workflows, streamlining common tasks, maximizing IT productivity and help desk efficiency through an intuitive and consolidated UI
  • Administration on-the-go through access to the administration console from Web browsers Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox
  • Telecommunication expense management (TEM), enabling administrators to better manage mobile costs such as voice and data roaming
The new UI is intended to significantly enhance the end-user experience while helping reduce management costs for enterprise IT. From powering a consumer-like mobile enterprise app store to providing at-a-glance analytics for rapid business decisions, the new release of Afaria seeks to future-proof customer investment by laying the groundwork for long-term innovation.
Afaria has always had a reputation of delivering, as one enterprise put it, "everything and the kitchen sink, when all you need is a glass of water." It is comprehensive almost to a fault, and with the addition of additional SAP-based capabilities, it becomes even more so the case. It remains an interesting question as to whether or not businesses - in particular non-SAP shops - will take such a deep plunge.


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