bill mcdermott ipadSAP co-chief executive Bill McDermott talked about the business software giant’s approach to both mobile technology and cloud computing today, but he sounded much more excited about mobile. In fact, he demonstrated some new analytics applications on the iPad.

McDermott, who was appointed co-CEO in February, spoke at the DEMO Fall 2010 conference in Santa Clara, Calif. today. DEMO Executive Producer and VentureBeat Editor-in-Chief Matt Marshall asked McDermott how the company — which claims to have some 89,000 customers worldwide — was adapting its traditional technology to the growing importance of the cloud.

“Public clouds are fine, private clouds are fine, on-premise is fine,” McDermott said. “But what I really believe is that the device changes everything.”

In other words, he said that when you are able to access your business applications and data on new devices like the iPad, you don’t care about where the data is stored. It’s the device that matters, not the infrastructure. That’s why SAP acquired Sybase to help build its mobile strategy. The two companies share a vision of “real-time, in-memory computing,” McDermott said.

As an example of what that means, McDermott demonstrated new SAP business intelligence applications on-stage. These applications offer dashboards to show companies what’s happening with their business — say with orders and inventory — in that moment. McDermott demonstrated the app on the iPad, showing that someone could view and update the data while they’re in the field. (He’s not the only enterprise CEO to embrace the iPad.) The app showed “100 million records processed at sub-second speeds,” he said.

Finishing his demo, McDermott described it as a sign of “the new SAP.”

You can read more details about the applications on the SAP website. McDermott didn’t offer any details about pricing, except to say that it will be a new category of products that SAP can sell to its customers The long-term goal is actually to free up more money for innovation, he said, because this real-time data cuts out the layer of middlemen, so people can focus on making decisions and innovating. Check out our video excerpt of McDermott’s talk with VentureBeat CEO Matt Marshall below.

[photo by Dean Takahashi]