BlackBerry PlayBook Getting Enterprise Resource Management Apps from SAP

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet from Research In Motion will have software available at launch from SAP AG—the leader in enterprise resource management software. SAP’s CIO, Oliver Bussmann, has publicly stated that his company is “definitely supporting” RIM’s tablet which will be released by the end of March in the US. However, the PlayBook will launch in the UK by the end of the June and other countries have not yet had their release dates confirmed by RIM.

SAP stating that it will have versions of its software for the PlayBook is a huge boost for RIM. RIM’s BlackBerry App Store has been stagnant around the 10,000 app number for a long time while competitors such as Android and iOS have shot up to the hundreds of thousands app mark in far less time. The company is hoping that its PlayBook tablet and the new operating system its recently acquired QNX division is building for it will help reverse the market share loss of the past couple of years.

Unlike Apple, RIM is positioning its tablet as one designed for businesses. While Apple brought new IT features to the iPad with its iOS 4.2 update today, many companies still rely on RIM and BlackBerry Enterprise Server for their smartphone and email needs. Basically, RIM does not want to let go of its grip in the business sector. If it does, analysts will write it off dead even if it still remains a viable player in the smartphone and now tablet markets.

Besides just the software support from SAP, executives at a number of companies are showing interest in the PlayBook. QNX’s BlackBerry Tablet OS is expected to be far more modern than even BlackBerry OS 6 and will possibly find its way onto BlackBerry smartphones as early as sometime next year. The operating system also can potentially run virtual machines, expanding the PlayBook’s usefulness to a variety of direct business applications.

The PlayBook has the advantage over other tablets when it comes to Adobe Flash content because RIM designed it from the ground up to use Adobe AIR and it features hardware accelerated Flash support. The tablet also features a dual-core processor at 1 GHz and an entire gigabyte of RAM. The Wi-Fi model only model will retail for around $499 if RIM holds true to its promises.

Now that RIM has support from SAP, can you finally breathe a sigh of relief? Will QNX’s OS be a key part of RIM’s success? Let me know what you think.

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