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    SAP VP Martin Lang touts Apple, M1 Macs and the mobile enterprise

    Apple lately informed us that SAP has now deployed tens of 1000’s of Macs throughout its enterprise, so I caught up with SAP Vice President for Product Engineering Mobile Experience Martin Lang to speak about Apple within the enterprise, the transfer to hybrid work and the necessity for worker alternative.1 / 4 of SAP staff now use MacsLang, who I’ve spoken with earlier than, mentioned SAP now helps 30,000 Macs — 3,500 of which run Apple Silicon. It started providing Macs as an possibility in 2008 and has seen demand for the machines enhance ever since.Today, the corporate affords worker alternative to each new worker, as SAP Germany’s head of HR tweets right here. “It really is an imperative for us to attract the brightest and most creative talent and give them the tools they need to be their best,” mentioned Lang. “Many of our developers ask for Mac specifically and feel more productive with it.”SAP’s Macs sit inside a fleet that additionally consists of round 100,000 Windows shoppers, 70,000 iPhones, 17,500 iPads and “about” 7,000 Android telephones. He famous these embody SAP-managed laptops supplied to contractors. “Within the SAP employee base, the Mac ratio is currently at around 25%,” he mentioned.Employee onboarding is simpleThe SAP exec confirmed experiences that new staff are extra probably to decide on an Apple laptop: “For new hires, the Mac ratio is currently higher than the overall average, so often new hires ask to get a Mac to be productive with.”He defined how his firm onboards new staff. SAP affords a straightforward Mac setup expertise, supported by Apple Business Manager and Jamf as an MDM. That implies that when an worker must enroll a Mac, all they should do is enter their SAP credentials as soon as and the system is about up, populated with providers, apps, and related entry credentials.Systems like these imply “employees never have to authenticate to any other service in addition —  everything else is single-sign-on and all the software they need to be productive at SAP is either getting installed automatically or is readily available through Self Service,” mentioned Lang.The transfer to distantWhen COVID-19 modified the whole lot, SAP already had quite a lot of cell information to lean on. It has discovered extra since, Lang mentioned.Take cloud providers: SAP has discovered that the complexity of VPN is inappropriate to distant machine administration, because it makes the system too advanced. The firm nonetheless makes use of VPNs for particular, excessive safety duties, reminiscent of developer supply code administration, nevertheless it has chosen options that guarantee most issues staff have to do are safe on any web connection.Lang’s expertise confirms the necessity for enterprise know-how to be an enabler, fairly than an impediment, to getting work finished.“Having the same user-centric and Apple-like (Consumer-Simple) mindset and ultimately the same device management platform (in our case, Jamf) to manage Macs, iPhones, and iPads (and Apple TVs) brings lots of synergies and ultimately reduces management costs. It also makes life easier for our users, as the concepts we use are the same across all Apple devices. Mac users at SAP usually also have an iPhone and many (depending on the role) have an iPad as well.”Of course, with 100,000 Windows machines nonetheless in use, Microsoft help for Apple’s platforms has been a key issue for profitable Mac deployment at SAP. Lang was notably optimistic regarding Microsoft’s choice to make sure Apple compatibility with Microsoft 365.For all of that, one factor that works much less effectively is to power using safety instruments for Windows {hardware} onto Macs. “The Mac is a fundamentally different platform and if companies start to offer choice, they’d be well advised to bring out the best in each platform in using tools that are native to the platform,” he mentioned.Choice means choiceShould firms be evangelical with regards to platform alternative? Lang doesn’t suppose so. “Passion for Apple is not the same as bias for Apple,” he mentioned.SAP has groups working to optimize and improve the worker expertise throughout all out there platforms. “Choice means freedom to choose, and so our job is to tear down the walls, prejudices, and limitations that stand in the way of freedom for choice.”Reflecting on Apple’s success in penetrating enterprise markets over the last decade, Lang famous that, philosophically no less than, the corporate’s important “think different” mantra has resonated with companies experiencing fast change.Apple and digital transformationWhen they adapt to Apple’s mind-set, firms “begin to suppose completely different and are extra open to contemplating cloud-based options, to creating their enterprise software program accessible from cell gadgets, enabling hybrid work or in being extra versatile round work occasions or areas.”It helps that Apple has finished a lot work to enhance its platforms to help the enterprise. That means, for instance, increase issues like enterprise-grade safety, MDM APIs, Apple Business Manager, and help for single sign-on {hardware} deployment.Another factor Apple has finished effectively is to point out its dedication to common OS updates for all its gadgets by really delivering them. “This has a huge impact for TCO considerations at enterprises with hundreds or even thousands of devices,” mentioned Lang.It additionally helps keep consistency throughout fleets of gadgets, notably as we now know Apple will proceed to help programs with updates for 5 or extra years.Digital natives are the workforceThe way forward for enterprise mobility is the way forward for the enterprise. All of us, notably new staff coming into the office, are digital natives who’ve already grow to be used to doing the whole lot with cell gadgets.Yet it’s not the fact for each enterprise. Many enterprises have a option to go earlier than they totally understand the potential of cell. “Other than email and collaboration, we do almost nothing with our phones and very few of us have started to receive push notifications at work for important or required actions or relevant news,” mentioned Lang.As a consequence, many duties that might be tailored for cell haven’t but taken that journey. Purchasing approvals, time sheets, even buyer relationship administration, might all profit from further cell integration, he mentioned. “I believe it’s time to ‘work the way we live’ and leverage iPhones and iPads in our business lives just as much as many of us enjoy and use them in our personal lives.”What about Apple Silicon?We all know Apple Silicon has given an enormous efficiency increase to the Mac. “”One eye-opening moment for me was when I gave one of our best iOS developers who was previously working with an Intel i9 16” 32GB MacE-book Pro an 8GB MacE-book Pro (for a few third of the value) and he instantly switched his total workflow of growing and deploying code to the brand new Mac and by no means appeared again,” Lang mentioned.Why didn’t he look again? “He mentioned the machine was about 3 times quicker. He was lacking the bigger show, however most frequently he was working with an exterior monitor anyway and the acquire in efficiency was all price utilizing the M1.”That’s a pleasant anecdote, however SAP can also be a software program developer, which implies it engages in its personal official efficiency testing for its enterprise functions. That means it could ship business-class perception into what these new Macs can do. When the corporate started testing the primary M1 Macs final yr, the testing groups “saw remarkable results,” Lang mentioned:
    “The team behind those tests said they never tested a machine that fast and this was with the M1 Macs released last year, not yet with the recently introduced M1Pro and M1Max Macs,” he mentioned.
    While he had anticipated challenges deploying {hardware} operating a very new processor, these didn’t emerge, making Lang assured sufficient to say: “I see no reason not to deploy them, other than for very specific roles in which people must run Windows VMs on Macs. At SAP, we have very few such roles, but if that is a necessity, an M1 Mac may not be the best choice.”One argument many have made in opposition to Macs includes value. Macs are costlier to buy within the first place, goes the argument. That could not be the case with M-series Macs.“The entry level 13-inch M1 MacBook Air is an awesome computer for many roles,” Lang mentioned.He famous that throughout all of the M-powered Macs, Apple’s entry-level choices ship ranges of efficiency akin to completely maxxed out Intel Macs. In different phrases, you may get no less than equal and possibly higher efficiency from Apple’s entry-level machines. You get extra bang for each buck, and the price of entry to the efficiency your small business wants has successfully fallen, he believes.“We also find M1 Macs cheaper to run, as there is more synergies to iOS devices,” he mentioned, noting new options such because the Erase all content material and Settings button in macOS Monterey. The latter is invaluable when operating Macs remotely.What subsequent for enterprise mobility?Lang thinks the following step will likely be to take an excellent deeper embrace of mobility and the user-focused strategy you get with Apple tech. “We’d like to change the way we work and bring the magic that we are used to from Apple devices more into work environments,” he mentioned.Please comply with me on Twitter, or be part of me within the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions teams on MeWe.

    Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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