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Author's profile photo Hemendra Sabharwal

Smart City & SAP

I am a passionate SAP techno-functional so here I am trying to see the vital role played by SAP in the concept of smart city with small proof points. However I cannot claim that I am the possessor of the complete knowledge of SAP standpoint, because SAP has a significant “Urban Development/Public Sector” module which caters to 99.99% requirements of a smart city. Being patriotic in general and an Indian in specific, I am quite inclined to the idea of smart cities as it ensures zealous development of our nation.

So I would like to quote Mr. Narendra Modi, the PM of India, which shows his dedication and commitment towards the progress of India as a great nation. In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister says he will build 100 “smart cities” — “cities outfitted with high-tech communication capabilities — across the country. Urban Areas – High Growth Centers” with an explanatory note which states, “our cities should no longer remain a reflection of poverty and bottlenecks. Rather they should become symbols of efficiency, speed and scale.”

“Cities in the past were built on river banks,” Modi said in a speech. “They are now built along highways. But in the future, they will be built based on availability of optical fiber networks and next-generation infrastructure.”

The PM showed his keenness for ports development and port management, skill development, building of smart cities, rejuvenation of India’s rivers and water solutions.

What makes a city smart?

Acronyms of Smart City.PNG

The term generally refers to cities using information technology to solve urban problems.

Think of sensors monitoring water levels, energy usage, traffic flows, and security cameras, and sending that data directly to city administrators. Or apps that help residents navigate traffic, report potholes and vote. Or trash collection that’s totally automated. Being environmental friendly, smart cities use sustainable materials for building facilities and reduce energy consumption. So the presence of high-end infrastructure and technology-enabled city governance seems to be a prerequisite.

The SAP Urban Matters program helps government, business, and communities to improve lives of residents and develop best run cities. SAP’s 5X5 portfolio of urban scenarios and solutions can be well understood in below quick video of SAP Urban Matters Vision To Strategy: Overview –

The SAP’s overreaching strategy lead to an urban taxonomy, so analyzing what cities actually do and have responsibilities for. This approach allowed SAP to connect these roles, business areas and responsibilities back to the strategic goals. Whilst we knew cities and our customers pretty well, we had never formalized this business analyzing within the new urban context. This approach also provided a basis for establishing a basis for benchmarking, measuring value.

URBAN TAXONOMY – Defining responsibilities, business areas & services, not boundaries.Urban Taxonomy.PNG

The criteria propounded in Indian political lexicon for being recognized as a smart city is – It must have three of the five infrastructure requirements – energy management, water management, transport and traffic, safety and security and solid waste management. The concept behind developing the smart cities is to create highly advanced urban regions in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. Essential services to the people living in these cities will be provided through information technology.

The essential components of smart cities are:

  Pillars of Smart City.PNG

  1. Infrastructure – Road/Rail/Air/Ports/Smart Grid Buildings – Transports/Maintenance
  2. Environment – Clean and green pollution free city, Parks, Recreational centers
  3. Water and Energy – Lighting/Irrigation/Renewable Energy/Solar Power
  4. Safety and Security –  Disaster Management, handle environment calamity (i.e. Heavy Rains/Cyclone) and Terror Attacks
  5. Social Services – Education, Health, Emergencies

But at the core of above all is the information technology to solve urban problems.

Once we are able to connect the various urban pieces together, we will have to adopt a cross industry focus and ask the question, what are the areas of value we can address across the city today?

Changing Governments for Changing Times:

Value Map for Future Cities:

Changed Value Map.PNG

1st Row.PNG

2nd Row.PNG

3Rd Row.PNG

Government at all levels is facing the greatest economic, social and technological change in history. Whether a regional, local or city government, these organizations need to adapt swiftly, innovate constantly, and transform to sustain the constituencies they serve. Despite decreasing budgets, best-run governments meet their citizens’ expectations for living environments that are green, clean, competitive, and safe.

From this approach various areas where SAP can help cities to improve, transform and prosper. Watch this quick video to see SAP’s footprints in Public Sector:

Interaction Units or agencies/departments of Smart City?

It is clear and evident that the success of our cities, their economies,  the lives of citizen’s are all inextricably linked;  better the all actors can collaborate on an agreed agenda, better the prospects for a better world.

  1. Municipal Corporations
  2. Administration and Police Machinery including Traffic Police
  3. Electricity Department, Water Works, Public Works Department (PWD) and various Industrial/Environment Departments
  4. Road/Rail/Air/Ports and various involved departments
  5. Industries
  6. And above all Citizen’s active Participation

Unfortunately there seems to be least co-ordination among the above interacting units of which citizen itself is one of the components. Therefore fruitful results do not come out at large. Infect, interlinking and information sharing should be managed and supervised by the higher responsible unit.

For Example – the city is inundated due to floods and high rains, now the higher administration is responsible to interlink immediately to all the concerned departments and ensure the competent rescue operations on the ground.

So strict water tight compartmentalization of all the above units is not fit for the purpose of good governance and smart cities. The SAP addresses the issue at large and looks at things completely in all the dimensions, where ever there arises a need.

Is our IT aligned with our business to support, enable and deliver services?

It is the basic question, which comes to mind with respect to all the above core catalysts of the Smart City.

Your processes define your ability and potential to provide citizens, customers and employees with effective and high quality services and solutions. Your processes influence your performance, your service delivery and what administrative support is available for your service offerings. So as an answer to above question, I see techno-functional and behavioral requirements:

1. Urban Matters – To help Government, business, and communities improve the lives of residents and develop best-run cities.

Enablement from SAP: – SAP CRM

Introduction/Proof Point: (Melbourne City)

2. Mobility/Tablet/Web enabled apps or access points to capture/render information – Anywhere, Anytime and Any-device

Enablement from SAP: – SMP3.0/SAP Gateway/SAPUI5

SMP3.0 – SAP Mobile Platform to build and deploy mobile apps that keep people connected. This industry-leading mobile application development platform solves mobility challenges, supports mobile apps that fit your business-to-enterprise (B2E) or business-to-consumer (B2C) use case, and helps balance device user requirements with enterprise requirements.

Introduction/Proof Point: (SAP Mobile Solutions for the Public Sector)

SAP Gateway – SAP Gateway is a technology that provides a simple way to connect devices, environments and platforms to SAP software based on market standards. The framework enables development of innovative solutions with “Anywhere World Class UX” bringing the power of SAP business software into new experiences such as social and collaboration environments, mobile and tablet devices and rich internet applications. It offers connectivity to SAP applications using any programming language or model without the need for SAP knowledge by leveraging REST services and OData/ATOM protocols.

Introduction/Proof Points: Self Service Portal

SAPUI5 –  Device agnostic development language of SAP, which works on the mobile/web.

The Vikalp Solution team developed iSee+ app in UI5 technology caters to requirements of agencies and citizens. This is a solution that local governments or agencies can provide to their citizens and residents to quickly gather and report incidents that largely impact quality of life in a city. This is a mobile as well as web application that will be used by citizens of a city for incident reporting. An agent or Employee responsible for incident management will also use the “app” to review the incidents reported by the citizens.

Introduction/Proof Point: iSee+ App from Vikalp Solutions

3. Enabling data Centers to handle more data in Cloud–

Enablement from SAP: – HANA Cloud Platform/ HANA Enterprise Cloud – SAP HANA Cloud Platform is the platform-as-a-service offering from SAP that provides instant access to the full power of SAP HANA. With flexible subscription models, it enables you to build, extend, and run applications on SAP HANA in the cloud.

Introduction/Proof Point:

4. Incident Management to capture Incidents –

Enablement from SAP – SAP ECC/CRM

Introduction/Proof Point: The event /Work Orders/Maintenance Schedule are handled in ECC and CRM systems.

5. Budgeting Process, control and management

Enablement from SAP – SAP ECC – SAP Public Budget Formulation is an add-on component that provides a collaborative environment to accommodate the requirements of the end-to-end public sector budget formulation process.

SAP Public Budget Formulation is an web-based application based on SAP NetWeaver technology platform, but can also be used as a stand-alone solution. PBF can be integrated with SAP systems and non-SAP systems. For instance, historical data such as the actual budget or the last approved budget can be used as a starting point to prepare the next budget. In addition, HR historical data can extensively be used to build simulations to budget the personel expenses. Grant, Project and Performance data can all be integrated.

Introduction/Proof Point: SAP Public Budget Formulation can help support the entire budget development and management lifecycle with flexible, powerful functionality – for greater public sector efficiency, transparency, and accountability.

6. Analytics (Current/Historical data for the decision makers) – A topic of very high interest to public organizations, because of needs of transparency in their government programs, show clear achievements and success. Event Data (Current/Historical), KPIs, Reference Data captured etc.

Enablement from SAP – SAP HANA – SAP HANA is a completely re-imagined platform for real-time business. It converges database and application platform capabilities in-memory to transform transactions, analytics, text analysis, predictive and spatial processing so businesses can operate in real-time.

Introduction/Proof Point:

SAP Health Central – with High Tech towards a Healthy Nation (India)

7. In-Memory/Big Data – In Memory is a very technical term – so let us avoid it. What is behind it is giving you more insight in all your data real time – even if the amount of data is unbelievably huge – and: there is no area so coined by big data than smart city. So what if you could calculate particular incidents from the particular area where it occurs repeatedly and take action accordingly with appropriate measures. What if your research organization could drill into any available water sample data to locate the pure drinking ground water tables for the use of the citizens and also to locate the areas where the impure ground water – not good for drinking, is found it should be banned for the public use.

Enablement from SAP – SAP HANA

Introduction/Proof Point:

8. Asset Management – Asset track and trace, Asset Maintenance, Work Orders, Notifications, Technical Objects

Enablement from SAP – SAP ECC

Introduction/Proof Point:

SAP Services help New Zealand's Department of Conservation provide Strategic Oversight – YouTube

9. Fiscal Management – Sustainable Government Funding – Minimize the impact of spending cuts – and support sustainable government funding – with our revenue management solutions for the public sector. These flexible solutions can help you effectively manage taxes and revenues, improve social contribution collection – and significantly reduce fraud, waste, and abuse.

Enablement from SAP – SAP has solution for Sustainable Government Funding – Tax and Revenue Management, Social Contribution Collection and Fraud, Waste and Abuse (SAP ECC).

Introduction/Proof Point: How Huston is increasing efficiency

10. Maintenance, Repair & Overhauling (MRO) – Of Trains, Airplanes, Ships etc

Enablement from SAP – SAP ECC

Introduction/Proof Point: Maintenance, Repair and Overhauling for Metro Rails/Bullet Trains/Flights which requires close and constant observations.

11. HCM in Organization for Human Capital Mangement – Better manage your most important asset – people – with HR software. Automate your core HR and payroll processes, improve talent management, run powerful workforce analytics, and find new ways to boost employee productivity and engagement. Attract, hire, and train the right talent for business – and measure employee success.

Enablement from SAP – SuccessFactors on Cloud with Social Networking or On Premise HCM in SAP ECC with ESS/MSS


12. Procurement – Purchase to Pay for complete transparency of the big projects or make smarter purchasing decision. Get full visibility into expenditures, drive repeatable cost savings, better manage the sourcing process – and ensure consistent product quality and compliance.

Enablement from SAP – Ariba on Cloud or ECC on Premise


13. Supply Chain Network

Enablement from SAP – SAP Supplier InfoNet Powered by SAP HANA or SAP SCM

Introduction/Proof Point:

14. Business Intelligence/Reporting

Enablement from SAP – SAP BW or SAP HANA

15. Public Service and Health Care

Introduction/Proof Point:

16. Citizen Portal/City Call Center

Enablement from SAP – SAP CRM/Portal

17. Information System – For Safety and Security of Citizens from Environment Calamity or Terror Attacks, Policing, Pollution checks etc.

Enablement from SAP – SAP ECC/CRM

Introduction/Proof Point: (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai)

18. Sensors/Cameras/GPS Capture/RF Hand Held Device/Bar Code Capture/RFID for capturing data in more scientific manner

So I see the above viable SAP touch points with respect to smart city’s techno-functional and behavioral requirements, probably we may have more.

There is no doubt cities worldwide have the opportunity to improve safety, sustainability, health, education, transparency and accountability using real-time data from assets, infrastructure, social sentiment, citizen sensors and transactional systems by connecting the dots between people, processes and data. But in order to take advantage of the massive opportunity in front of them, city governments need break down the silos between departments, citizens, and businesses and connect in new ways to achieve a new level of success. Not only will cities need to connect to smart Infrastructure but they must nurture the connection between agencies, citizens and businesses. The organization’s that either removed the vertical silos between departments and/or collaborated horizontally across and between agencies and across the community to better reach their objectives. There is a need to demonstrate the amazing potential of cities to adapt, transform, innovate and perform, no matter where you, what challenges you face or where you start from.

The people’s thinking & values are undergoing significant changes in this changing global environment. If people and the environment are both changing, then surely the cities that link them together must also change. Smart governance is expected to leverage the advancements of technology, adopt effective communication infrastructure, they are expected to gather real time information and utilize the same for effective decision making. SAP Urban Matter, does the same in a more simplified manner and places citizen at the heart of everything. SAP better connect the technology and solutions to address the concerns of the smart cities i.e. to cut crime, reduce fraud, improve tax collection, improve citizen satisfaction, improve cycle time. SAP think differently about the urban agenda and address a broader range of urban challenges, rather than adopt a solution first approach. SAP’s holistic approach to look at cities urban matter is more simplified, it looks at cities complex concerns as a whole and than breaks it down further in fragments as more addressable pieces, so that it can address issues at much more granular level, while the big picture is not missed. Surely the urban world is becoming ever flatter, with cities acting as nodes in a huge economic, social, political and environmental network, the urban world wide web means each day we become ever more interconnected, interdependent and reliant upon each other for a better urban future.

There is no doubt, if the project for development of smart cities becomes successful in India, it will change the face of Indian economy. It is hoped that the project for developing 100 mega cities will be a great success.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Great blog Hemendra ,this blog is useful for every one.. 🙂


      Ashish Baghel

      Author's profile photo Nishant Tomar
      Nishant Tomar

      Hi Hemendra,

      Thanks for nice blog. You forget to mention the application we have developed together in UI5 and CRM. Please see the below presentation URL.

      iSee+Video - YouTube

      Author's profile photo Hemendra Sabharwal
      Hemendra Sabharwal
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Nishant, It is pleasure feeling working with you and develop an outstanding mobile app in SAPUI5. I cannot miss to share this link of good mobile app, which caters to the dire need of cities and helps to provide connect between the citizens and the authorities of the cities. Please see the screen below for your kind considerations:



      Warm Regards


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice blog, Hemendra. Can some of these concepts and SAP technologies be applied to India's first smart city GIFT in Gujrat India builds first 'smart' city as urban population swells| Reuters ?

      Regards, Sanjeev

      Author's profile photo Hemendra Sabharwal
      Hemendra Sabharwal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sanjeev,

      Thanks for appreciation.

      I am not aware of the fact of adoption of SAP in India's first smart city GIFT. Although, The software major SAP is making inroads into the government sector in India. It is committed to help improve process efficiency thereby ensuring speedy and timely delivery of citizen services using technology tools. It is partnering India’s growth and is collaborating intensely with the governments both at the centre and state level helping provide thrust to e-governance initiatives. India is one of the largest public sector markets for SAP in the region after Australia and Singapore. However, some of the public sector customers include Maharashtra State Power Generation Co Ltd; Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board; Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM); Kalyan Dombivli Municipal (KDMC); Steel Authority of India; Bharat Earth Movers; Airports Authority of India (AAI); and, West Bengal R-APDRP implementation.


      Warm Regards


      Author's profile photo Pankaj Yadav
      Pankaj Yadav

      Gr8 blog hemendra's wonderful to have such information ....we can think of many things in SAP for smart cities...

      Author's profile photo Hemendra Sabharwal
      Hemendra Sabharwal
      Blog Post Author

      Thank You so much for your appreciation.

      Author's profile photo Niladri Bihari Nayak
      Niladri Bihari Nayak

      Wonderful article !! Any idea how many cities are going for SAP Public sector module for smart city?



      Author's profile photo Hemendra Sabharwal
      Hemendra Sabharwal
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Niladri,

      Not much Idea on your Q.

      Warm Regards


      Author's profile photo Lubraska Paz
      Lubraska Paz


      A excellent blog with wonderfull information to keep on hand every moment



      Author's profile photo Hemendra Sabharwal
      Hemendra Sabharwal
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Lub for your kind appreciation.

      Warm Regards