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Enterprise meets Sexy! SAP - Apple Partnership

The business applications powerhouse and the (consumer) user experience powerhouse get together. Finally!

In my eyes this partnership was long overdue. SAP has a long standing reputation for creating great business functionality. With the proverbial German engineering SAP arguably creates what constitutes the most powerful business software around. With HANA SAP also has a platform that offers unprecedented possibilities.
Unluckily, SAP also has a good reputation for developing user interfaces that (pardon my French) suck. The long reign of SAP GUI, clunky attempts at improving it like Webdynpro for Java/ABAP, the People Centric UI that CRM adopted in the early 2000s and that luckily got replaced by the far superior CRM Web UI - which also is outdated; Netweaver Business Client, etc pp, carved this reputation into stone. 
Although it is somewhat a thing of the past, too. SAP can do sleek. Look at C4C, look at Fiori. 
One of SAPs stated goals is the consumerization of IT, which involves offering consumer grade UIs to business users.
But a reputation is a reputation and it is hard to get it changed.
Apple, on the other hand has with iOS what is currently the very definition of a sleek, intuitive, easy-to-use UI. Of course iOS offers a few more capabilities like good security and an infrastructure around it to easily build, manage and deploy apps. 
And Apple wants to penetrate business - just think of the iPad pro; think of the scores of owners of iPhones and iPads who just want to use their devices for business purposes, too: Any information anytime, anywhere.
Creating and offering an SDK that can be used by the combined ecosystems is the icing on the cake.

My take

This is a partnership from heaven. It offers both companies the prospect of closing a major weakness - in SAP's case the UI that is perceived as weak and in Apple's case penetration of businesses.
For both companies the competition is kept at bay with this partnership. Apple gets an edge over Android; SAP gets an edge over their competition, mainly Oracle, Salesforce, Netsuite and Microsoft.
A special word about Microsoft. I think they are the real threat. They have a very solid combination of offerings that can connect businesses and consumers. With Azure they have a strong platform. With Dynamics Microsoft has a powerful business suite, add Office365 as a productivity suite and you have something very powerful. They have all tools that help in efficiently engaging consumers.
Microsoft also has the devices, and operating system and tools to neatly integrate business and consumer.
And they have a huge ecosystem.
SAP and Apple jointly have something that is at least as good as what Microsoft has on its own.


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