SAP for Utilities Cloud EV Readiness Package: A new design pattern for SAP’s Cloud offerings?
Last night, I saw a YouTube video about a new Cloud offering called “SAP for Utilities Cloud EV Readiness Package”.
Here is a quick description of this offering:
The SAP for Utilities Cloud EV Readiness Package provides electric power utility companies an affordable, modular, scalable IT solution to manage electric vehicle infrastructure. It is scheduled for general availability from SAP in Q1 2013, and is now available for test and evaluation pilot projects.
I found this video and Moya’s blog interesting for various reasons:
- Industry-specific cloud: This is the first time I’ve seen SAP offer a cloud offering for a specific industry – in this case “Utilities”. There are industry solutions for ByDesign (for example, manufacturing provided by a partner) but this is the first time I’ve seen solution where the industry-focus is so dominant and where the main purpose of the industry-focus is not to complement another a more generic cloud solution.
- Industry-specific, problem-specific offering. This solution does more than focus on utilities – it focuses on a specific problem for that industry – the administration of electric vehicles. This sort of design pattern has great potential if customer problems can be found that are appropriate for this sort of cloud solution. By not trying to solve all problems but focus on a particular problem, SAP can more quickly design solutions and bring them to market. The difficulty is in discovering such problems and having the reusable architectural building blocks (integrating billing from OnPremise assets, for example) that allow such solutions to easily be created. Ideal would be many of these smaller clouds rather than a huge offering that takes much longer to be available.
- The focus on the end-user. This offering also includes services for the customers of utilities (drivers of EVs rather than the utilities themselves.
- Use of mobile apps: There are a variety of consumer-focused mobile apps planned.
- No mention of technology in the video or blog. The “Cloud” isn’t in the foreground. HANA is never mentioned although it is obvious that it will probably be used to power the needed analysis. The business case is the most important thing here.
- “Readiness Package” – this is a new term that I’ve not seen before. I don’t know whether this similar to a RDS offering or whether it is associated with Electric Vehicle usage
Note: I have no idea which SAP cloud will being used for this solution. There are various possibilitites:
- Hana AppCloud – Probably not, since apps based on this environment have a smaller scope (RecallsPlus or the new EPM OnDemand apps)
- NetWeaver Cloud : Possible but the required functionality (HANA, mobile framework, etc) – although planned – is not yet available
- Another type of SAP-hosted Cloud: Could be a possibility but unlikely