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Minneapolis-based Tennant Company is a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing equipment for maintaining surfaces in industrial, commercial and outdoor environments. As more of our customers voiced the need for tools to manage their fleets of cleaning machines, Tennant created a new technology in 2005 for machines that equipped them with cellular telemetry to communicate weekly hours of usage.  Customers’ initial usage was limited to ad-hoc reporting and emails to remind them of replacement parts needed.  While this was valuable and helped customers with maintenance, it was not comprehensive enough to address many of their other asset management concerns.

So we at Tennant Company quickly assessed the need for a much more scalable, robust database management platform and reporting solution.  Working with the SAP IoT team in 2013, we developed a strategy using SAP HANA, and its big data capabilities, to integrate machine and SAP ERP data.  Machines are often in the field for many years and we know that HANA could easily handle the potential for large data volumes over time.  The final solution takes data from our machines and our SAP ERP and sends it to HANA where customers can view the near real-time data through our IRIS Asset Manager dashboard portal developed on Business Objects.

Now customers can measure usage across their fleet to drive operational consistency, track machinery to reduce lost assets, and pinpoint cost savings opportunities from a fast scalable solution.  Giving our customers access to this kind of data helps differentiate us in the marketplace as well as create new revenue streams.  We also plan to achieve greater service efficiencies and grow service contract revenue because of the value the data represents.  And we’ve just begun leveraging HANA’s capabilities.  In the near future, we plan to use predictive analytics and build out more robust machine data offerings.

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