SAP Shows Up on iPhone

SAP is counting on its users being big fans of the iPhone. Yesterday, the business management software vendor unveiled the first of a new series of tools designed for ease of use and access on mobile devices. The first mobile tool is its world-renowned CRM software. Other applications will follow.

SAP users can customize their CRM software in much the same way they might a Google or Yahoo page, according to SAP execs. They would also be able to send their sales data directly to an iPhone. SAP will also deliver utilities to send data to BlackBerry devices within a few weeks, but it didn't reveal any plans to support other mobile devices like Palm or Treo.

The first version of SAP CRM 2007 will let users load sales prospects and account data onto their iPhones before they hit the road. SAP said it took the somewhat unusual step of supporting the iPhone first after listening to its own salespeople. They simply preferred the iPhone over the others.

Are you an SAP user? An iPhone user? What's your organization's mobile strategy? Check in from the road and let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

Sun's Virtualization Volley
Seems like everyone's getting into virtualization. Sun will soon roll out its virtualization management console software called xVM Ops Center, a management tool for discovery, provisioning, monitoring and reporting both virtual and physical assets through one console.

Sun xVM Ops Center gives you tools and utilities for managing software updates, compliance reporting, hardware and software asset discovery, provisioning server systems, system monitoring, maintaining threshold settings and setting alert levels.

The download is free, but the support will cost you. Sun expects service contracts to run up to $350 per server. Check out http://www.openxvm.org, which is the open source community for building datacenter virtualization and management technologies. You can see more about Sun's entry here.

What's your virtualization strategy? How do you feel about this intersection of the open source and virtualization worlds? Tell me the real deal at llow@redmondmag.com.

Dell Continues Buyback
Dell is diving right back into its buyback program in a big way. Yesterday, the company said it would continue with its stock buyback plans, starting with a $10 billion purchase. This is the first actual buyback since the company suspended the program in light of an accounting debacle.

The PC and server giant from Round Rock, Texas recently completed an extensive internal accounting investigation. As part of that investigation, Dell had to restate its earnings for the last four years. Dell had previously said it would start up the buybacks once the investigation had run its course.

Dell announced the restarted buybacks yesterday at its annual shareholder meeting, and it's wasting no time. Buybacks start this week.

How much of your hardware is Dell? Any other vendors in the mix? How much do vendors' financial hurdles affect your buying decisions? Clue me in at llow@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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