In our most recent Supply Chain Matters commentary related to Apple that noted the huge thud that rang across Silicon Valley, we explored potential areas of product management related areas that are now under enormous pressure to energize additional product volumes and consequent product and services revenues.  This week features an announcement of a new partnership directed at enhancing the business applications support applicability to Apple’s mobile devices.

Apple and SAP jointly announced a partnership directed at revolutionizing the mobile work experience for enterprise customers of all sizes, combining powerful native apps for iPhone and iPad with the capabilities of the SAP HANA platform. According to this announcement, this joint effort will further deliver a new iOS software development kit (SDK) and training academy so that developers, partners and customers can easily build native iOS apps tailored to their business needs, including forms of analytics.

This partnership for leveraging more business applications on Apple’s iOS come after prior joint-development announcements with both IBM and Cisco. In a related interview conducted with The Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook re-iterated that leveraging enterprise business applications on Apple mobile devices is a key growth opportunity. However, he declined to share an update on any revenue numbers to-date related to prior joint-efforts this area. Cook further indicated that he view the SAP partnership as a “starting gun” for the development of workplace applications similar to the opening of the Apple App Store in 2008.

That obviously established some ongoing high expectations for all parties in this area.

The timing of this announcement is noteworthy, since he comes two weeks before SAP’s annual Sapphire customer conference, where no doubt, some keynote stage time will be dedicated to this new partnership.  Then again, we can all speculate as to why the announcement was moved this week, rather than during Sapphire.  Perhaps Apple needed to have some positive news streaming this week.

I suppose we can all look forward to more SAP supply chain, PLM and procurement applications and supporting analytics capabilities running on Apple mobile devices. The open question remains timeframe.