Using The Apple Watch To Sell The Cloud
Now that most folks have a reasonably solid understanding of what the Apple Watch is any interesting new phenomenon is starting to occur in terms of how cloud services are being marketed directly to line of business (LOB) executives.
Historically, mobile computing and the cloud have always been joined at the hip. In fact, it’s hard to think of one being nearly as useful without the other. The Apple Watch and other devices like it simply extend that mobile computing experience out to the wrist.
But the folks that can afford an Apple Watch tend to be fairly well off, which means most of them are to one degree or another line of business executives. Providers of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications have taken note of that correlation.
Case in point is SAP, which has gone to a great deal of effort to integrate the Apple Watch with a variety of its SaaS applications. To make matters more interesting, SAP has also equipped large numbers of its own staff with Apple Watches as well. Those SAP employees invariably wind up consulting those Apple Watches any time they are in front of a potential customer; especially when they can show off scheduling or calendaring functions that are integrated with, for example, backend human resources applications.
The reason for this is that it really serves to highlight how much easier it is to bring new functionality into an organization using applications delivered via the cloud. It might easily be 2016 or beyond before an internal IT organization ever gets around to extending the functionality of an enterprise application running on premise out to an Apple Watch.
Seeing how SAP employees are making use of the Apple Watch not only creates a certain amount of envy among customers, Amisha Gandhi, senior director of product and solution marketing for SAP said it helps reinforce a business agility message that SAP is trying to hammer home amongst its customer base. If the LOB executives start demanding that functionality it become one reason to move business processes into cloud environments where they can be more easily extended.
Of course, many business and IT executives are reluctant to do that because they are convinced the custom implementation of SAP or any other application they have running on premise gives the business a unique competitive advantage. SAP, however, would argue that as much as 90 percent of its customers are in reality running standard out-of-the-box SAP business processes that would be much simpler to deliver via the cloud.
The degree to which that actually proves true is only something that time and, of course an Apple Watch, can only tell.