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SAP vows to 'run simple' with Fiori; IoT World shows real-world uses

SAP may be as well-known for complex and difficult-to-use software as it is for its ERP platform.

Maybe that's why, at this year's Sapphire Now show in Orlando, Fla., the company trotted out its "Run Simple" campaign for the second year, aiming to address usability concerns.

SAP again touted its collection of design standards for application development, known as SAP Fiori, featuring a mobile-friendly graphical user interface. Fiori has been an important tool in SAP's push to let users complete tasks with fewer mouse clicks and less complex coding, David Essex, executive editor of SearchSAP, tells host Laura Aberle in this episode of BizApps Today.

"Users seem to have figured out that the path to run simple is SAP Fiori," Essex says.

Many observers were also curious to hear more about S/4 HANA, the rewrite of Business Suite designed to take full advantage of the speed and analytics of SAP's HANA in-memory database. But details weren't forthcoming until day two of the show, when SAP introduced 25 industry-specific versions of S/4 and also the cloud version of HANA. Still, questions lingered.

"People are still wondering exactly what to do and how to move forward," Essex says, though there was a lot of interest in moving to S/4. He says attendees saw the new cloud version and Simple Finance, a streamlined, HANA-based version of SAP's core accounting package, as viable routes to the new ERP platform.  

"They're actually using that now to make their initial move to S/4HANA," he says.

Also in the video, Aberle explores one of the most talked-about trends in IT, the Internet of Things (IoT). According to Forbes, more than 40 billion devices may be connected to the Web by 2020 -- and that will generate a flood of business data to be managed and protected.

At Internet of Things World in San Francisco, various industries demonstrated how they are using the IoT-- an expanding matrix of sensors and other data-gathering devices -- to solve basic business problems. The city government in Palo Alto, Calif., for example, is using IoT sensors to collect money for parking meters and alert commuters about available parking spaces, which could reduce traffic in the city by as much as 30%.

Nordstrom, the Seattle-based clothing retailer, is using Apple's iBeacon technology to improve retail experiences for customers. Customers can locate products in a store that they have browsed online or learn more about redeeming loyalty points. Beacons bridge the gap between a digital and a physical shopping experience while reducing problems customers might have finding and then buying certain products.

But as Lauren Horwitz, executive editor of SearchCRM and SearchContentManagement, tells Aberle, there are significant challenges to work out in the IoT market, including the need for companies to choose common standards so devices can interoperate.

For more, check out the video.

Text by Lauren Horwitz, executive editor of SearchCRM and SearchContentManagement. Email her at [email protected]and follow us on Twitter: @SearchCRM.

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