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Student Expo @ SAP Research Singapore

Just yesterday, on the 23rd of July, SAP Research in Singapore organized an event promoting work of several university and polytechnic students who stayed with us as interns for a couple of months. I was there, together with dozens of guests, both from the SAP ecosystem as well as from the Singaporean academia. Below is my personal account of the event, and I am sharing it with you in order to get you excited about joining one of such events in future (disclaimer: I am a research manager at SAP Research Singapore).

photo 3(1).JPGIf you have never interacted with SAP Research, there may be a few things that will surprise you. We work on both extending and enhancing existing SAP products and solutions, as well as exploring completely new fields. We need to be looking very broadly at the space of enterprise software in order to ensure SAP does not miss a developing trend. On the other hand, we strongly value research projects that can quickly turn into custom solutions or products, for the benefit of SAP customers and partners. As you may imagine, it is fairly tricky to maintain the right balance. But, hey, that’s part of the fun!

The sole purpose of the Expo was to demonstrate the work of the students staying with us at SAP Research. No bombastic research strategy pitches, no overwhelming research portfolio presentations, no lengthy discussions on the innovation models we apply. Just pure content: code, demos, idea exchange. The event was mostly organized by the students – yes, it was their internship project as well – with some support from the more senior staff in Singapore.

After the keynotes given by SAP Research VP Karsten Schulz and SAP University Alliances Regional Director Crispian Tan, the students gave elevator pitches of their projects (we initially wanted to do a Demo Jam, but the amount of stress involved, especially for the students, made us decide on pure elevator pitches). Afterwards the students retreated to their demo booths to start giving demos and discuss their projects with anyone interested.

photo 1.JPGThere were ten projects featured during the expo, each with a team of two students (on average, there were exceptions) and an SAP Research supervisor. I don’t want to go into every detail of the projects here, but I thought you might find it useful to at least get an overview what was presented, and so we had:

  1. SBN Questionnaire Plus+: a survey management system for capturing sustainability related information (linked to a sustainability reporting solution);
  2. sRadar: a real time anomaly detection system for moving objects, featuring an AIS receiver monitoring movement of all the boats in the port of Singapore and – all of it happening live – alerting us on any suspicious (or otherwise anomalous) activities of the boats;
  3. sRadar HANA: a component of sRadar created specifically to manage spatio-temporal (i.e. containing time and location) data streams, including complex event processing and analytics;
  4. sRadar methodology: one of the “non-technical” projects, sharing the methodology we applied in the particular research project – how we closely worked with potential customers and partners in order to quickly deliver a working prototype;
  5. A mobile driven solution for SCM – SCM view: enabling retail businesses to interact directly with the in-store customers;
  6. A mobile driven solution for SCM – customer view: a mobile, social-enabled, app for shopping, collaborative shopping, self-check out, and product reviews;
  7. Quantum computing: a study-focused project, exploring the applications of quantum computing in business applications;
  8. A tool for knowledge abstraction, retention and integration (KARI) – an interactive system to manage knowledge maps and share them with others;
  9. Data Stream Market Place: a prototype system providing publish/subscribe services for developers, including feed usage analytics and monetizing;
  10. IdeaWall Android: a port of IdeaWall, real-whiteboard sharing and capturing iPhone application, to the Android platform.

The students were very excited to share their work with others. Some of the projects will continue at SAP Research after the students leave, proving that innovative ideas can be brought in by everyone. I was also very excited to be there at the expo (especially as I was personally supervising/mentoring some of the students), and was glad to see their work being shown in a spotlight. We had a few SCN members visiting us (special thanks to Jansi Rani Murugesan – SCN member of the month – for making it!), and let’s hope that during future events we are going to organize, even more members of the SCN community in Singapore will decide to join us and learn more about our work.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the projects listed above, please reach out to me!

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  • Hi Marek,

    Thanks for given a chance to meet the passionate, energetic students and hands on experience with their innovative applications.

    I sensed their great interest towards technology (Most of them said that the applications are delivered within 2 to 3 months duration, indeed its great job!!!).

    I wish best of luck to all of them.

    And looking forward more enhancement on all the above areas,



  • Hi Marek;

    THe SBN questionnaire currently exists at 2 places actually.  One in Carbon Impact (my product, which is currently being phased out) and another in Sustainability Performance Management (SuPM).  I'm sure the product management team for SuPM (Chris Zerlaut) would like to see what the judges liked about that Survey tool. 



  • Hi Marek;

    On another note, I actually like your InnoBoard the best of all...only problem is it has to be able to capture regular writing  on the whiteboard and not post-its.  In order for this to catch on, it has to be seamless to go from a conversation in a meeting to, "let me show you this visually".  The act should be as close as possible to just walking to the whiteboard and writing.  Otherwise the presenter is too distracted and the audience will be so focused on the technology they will miss the point of going to the whiteboard. 

    With the nature of how SAP works across the world, the more visual our meetings can become, the better we will all understand each other.  And how many times do people say they "need to be in the same room so we can whiteboard this out."  Result is 20,000 Euro spend, 10,000 metric tons of carbon emmitted and hours of lost productivity. 

    This is a problem worth solving.  I have been searching for a tool like this for almost a year with no luck.  If you want to talk about what I have found, you can reach me at



    • I have good news for you, Bill. 🙂 We are currently testing text detection in the application. While it is not yet part of the application that will soon be made publicly available, once we are happy with performance and accuracy of detection, this will surely make it to IdeaWall (as it is now called, now that we dropped the prototype name Innoboard).

      I'll get in touch with you so that we can let you test the new functionality - I would be interested in your feedback!