Samsung And SAP Partner On Mobile Devices For Business

Taking another page from the Apple playbook, Samsung is announcing a massive partnership with the enterprise software giant SAP to battle Apple’s collaboration with IBM in the enterprise.

The two companies said they will collaborate to “build on the popularity and reach of Samsung’s mobile innovations and the SAP Mobil Platform,” according to a joint statement from the companies.

Among the innovations the two companies are developing will be an integrated payments solution that can potentially compete with the mobile payment juggernaut that is Apple Pay.

The plans call for adding new devices to the Samsung portfolio of wearables and mobile technologies for business users, and will include additional security features and applications tailored to SAP’s software and Samsung’s hardware for business users.

Samsung has a long way to go in the enterprise — specifically among tablet users. As of 2014, the entire tablet market was still getting shellacked by Apple, which dominates North American web traffic (and by extension usage).

According to the statement, part of the reason for the partnership is taking a long-view on the adoption of Samsung devices and their roll-out in the ever-popular, ever-nebulous Internet of Things. Samsung has been working on its Internet of Things strategy since July when we broke news that the company was acquiring SmartThings.

“Increasingly, our customers are away from the desk and require a fundamentally new way to interact with the enterprise applications to align with how they work today,” said Steve Lucas, president, Platform Solutions Group, SAP, in a statement. “The applications that match the current trends in mobility must work to create a seamless experience as the work modality embraces mobile devices, wearables, Internet of Things and other alternative forms of mobile computing. Through our partnership with Samsung, we are working on plans to offer a premium mobile enterprise experience for customers.”

Initially the Samsung and SAP collaboration is going to focus on a few key areas: retail, where Samsung devices and SAP’s marketing, sales, and enterprise resource planning software can be integrated into wearable applications to improve the customer experience in-stores: including information on stocked items and payments; oil and gas, where SAP’s work manager and field services apps will be available on a ruggedized version of the Galaxy Tablet.

In finance the two companies intend to co-develop mobile banking applications and new devices for banking in branches and the healthcare industry will get targeted applications integrating the SAP supercharged relational database system “HANA” with Samsung’s application ecosystem on Android.

This tie-up could prove to be a very big deal for both the Internet of Things ecosystem and the broader tech landscape. Consumer device manufacturers are collecting enterprise partners like baseball cards in the hopes that they can ride the wave of new devices entering the business world. Apple’s tie-up with IBM was the first shot in what’s likely to be a continuing stream of alliances that will make your head spin.

It’s also an instance where politics makes for strange bedfellows, and it’s anyone’s guess what this could mean for Oracle, Google, Microsoft, or any of the other tech giants that operate at the intersection of the business world and consumer technology.