I’ll be on a plane in less than 12 hours headed to Singapore. I’m proud that SAP is a sponsor of what will be the biggest IoT event in Asia this year – IoT Asia 2014 at the Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. I was initially surprised when our regional marketing group approached me about their interest in sponsoring this event. However, as I started to look at the scope and span of industries in this region it was pretty obvious there was a strong demand to better understand how IoT could help businesses and governments be more competitive. Whether it’s retail corporations that want to track their inventory and sales in real time with products that are RFID tagged and smart shelves that know when to re-order. Or, city governments relying on big data analytics to monitor transport utilization and increase road safety by listening to real-time data from vehicles and the road itself. There are a plethora of programs and projects being undertaken across the region that make it obvious that the time is now for IoT Asia 2014.

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SAP is a prime sponsor for this event and I’m very much looking forward to interacting with customers, partners, influencers and thought leaders as I help them understand SAP’s strategy and plans for Internet of Things. One event that I’m especially thrilled to be part of is moderating a panel with esteemed technology leaders from diverse disciplines such as retail, supply chain, service providers and software that will examine the impact of how a highly connected world can bring a new era of growth to this region.

I would also encourage you to stop by SAP’s booth to see how our vision of connected retail – in the shape of a vending machine, can bring the Internet of Things to life. Traditional vending machines have never been able to track what has been sold, what a customer prefers or if it is broken, so vending machine operators typically replenish and service machines on a set schedule. Not only does this disappoint customers when their favorite brands are out or if a machine is not working, but it also results in costly operational waste and ineffective inventory management.  How do we do fix this? Why a smart vending machine, of course! A smart machine collects a tremendous amount of data — such as customer purchases, inventory levels, machine temperatures and operating functions — that operators can use for real time decision making. What do we do with all that data? It gives us visibility across the entire network and at each individual machine, inventories are automatically tracked and operators know when machines need to be replenished so restocking visits are based on real time product demand. On an unexpectedly hot day, a machine can be restocked with cold drinks based on current demand rather than on a stocking plan that was developed months ago. And when inventories are low, a smart machine can send an automated signal to a truck driver carrying the needed products and ask for replenishment. By using IoT technology like this, retailers can avoid out of stock occurrences and increase customer satisfaction.


Follow me on twitter during the event – @sharmad

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