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While some partners have a thriving business reselling Afaria, SAP's Zakariya sees the SAP Mobile Platform as the greater long-term opportunity because of its potential to help solution providers develop services and recurring revenue streams around them. "We see that as an interesting channel play and money-maker down the line," he said.
Today most of the 60 or so partners who work with Afaria and SAP Mobile Platform are also resellers of SAP's All-in-One application suite for midsize businesses. "We expect that mix to change considerably over time," Zakariya said, noting that SAP will be recruiting more partners whose primary business is mobile computing, especially for midmarket customers.
The SAP Mobile Platform includes its own software development kit. But last month SAP announced agreements with Adobe, Appcelerator and Sencha under which developers could build mobile applications using those vendor's tools and run them on the SAP platform.
Last month SAP also said it would acquire Syclo, a provider of enterprise mobile applications and technologies, including mobile asset management and field service applications. While those products eventually will become part of the mobile computing solution offered through the channel, Zakariya said those plans are still in the early stage.