SAP Acquires SkyData for Agility and Mobility

skydata-banner

On May 25th 2009, SAP acquired innovative startup Skydata, a new type of business mobile “mashup” application that provides fast and easy access to all your business data on RIM, Windows Mobile and Apple iPhone devices.

The company is part of SAP’s long-term strategy to support the new “business users” who need to access information from multiple systems easily and intuitively.

imageAs SkyData company founder and CEO, Kevin Nix, puts it:

“The problem is not that we don’t have data – we have a lot of data. The issue is access. SkyData is the first mobile business application that integrates all of this information together. The business information I need, when I need it. That’s SkyData.”

skydata_home_main_animatedSkyData offers SkyData connects CRM, back office, newsfeeds, social networking and business profiling information so that any of this information is a quick click away during a phone call, email, text message or calendar event.

It unifies personal and business networks ranging from Outlook address books, Google and Yahoo contacts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo and Jigsaw business networks, and finally formal CRM applications such as Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Microsoft and NetSuite. The SkyData application runs on most RIM Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Apple iPhone devices on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile USA and Sprint networks.

According to Brad Reed of Network World,

“One of the application’s key features is that it keeps data within the cloud to be pushed out to devices, rather than requiring employees to log on to a Web browser to extract it. In other words, SkyData is a distributed Web application that brings data to the user, rather than having the user get the data themselves.

“The result will be an increase in more collaborative computing that will allow more users to make direct decisions in corporate projects, and not have to rely on typical top-down approaches where only project managers get to call the shots.”

SkyData was featured at DEMO 2008:

“It’s the holy grail of mobile computing: distribute corporate data to mobile devices on demand. A simple goal bounded by complex and expensive, IT-intensive projects and a diverse array of mobile devices. SkyData Systems has altered that dynamic, moving data into the cloud and making it available to any device in a fast, affordable and self-managed service. In effect, SkyData is doing for corporate data stores what RIM did for business email: make it easily accessible anywhere it’s needed.”

Here’s an overview of the main SkyData features, from the now-retired web site.

image

Search Across all your Enterprise Applications

Michael Hickins of BNET has written about SAP’s plans.

“SAP is determined to hold onto its large enterprise customers by offering them on-demand software that complements their existing on-premise SAP implementations. That’s something Salesforce.com can’t promise, even though such links could be achieved with custom integration work.”

“According to [Shailesh Rao, the senior vice president of SAP’s large enterprise on-demand software division], SkyData technology provides a “very unique way of aggregating data regardless of what form it’s in,” and said that SAP will integrate use that technology to change how it delivers software to smartphones.”

One thing SkyData has to offer in this area is mobile enterprise search. For example, at minute 4:00 of the DEMO video above:

“At this point, SkyData is doing a structured search across all of my personal and business contacts and related information, so I don’t have to go to 29 different places. The information is right there, and it’s tied to this opportunity.”

And the SkyData search box will do a scan of structured and unstructured data across all your applications:

“It’s not just Google search – databases, newsfeeds, profiles, and I get a complete list”

This obviously fits in with SAP’s long-term strategy around information integration and access, including the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio and SAP Netweaver.

Links:

Skydata Integrates Everything, Put it On a Smartphone

SkyData to Offer Unified Personal & Business Networks

SAP Getting Agile and Mobile

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