When I arrived at SAPPHIRE early Monday morning, I picked up my coffee from the coffee maker, just how I like it. Later, I grabbed my favorite snack and soda from a vending machine. To people who’ve attended a conference, this is normal behavior. But very soon, it will change completely.

All around us, the world is undergoing a seismic shift as individuals and businesses cope with the rise of the internet and connected devices. As those devices become more and more prevalent, we’ll see them touching even the most basic aspects of our lives – in this case, remembering my favorite coffee, snacks and soda, and preparing them when I walk towards the machine, or letting me order what I want through a smartphone app.

That hardly sounds worth the effort, doesn’t it? But then I think of the minutes it would save me each day, not standing in front of a brewing pot of coffee. And then I add those minutes up not only for me, but for each and every person around me, and what was once a few minutes quickly becomes hours, days, weeks of additional time, simply because we don’t have to stand around waiting for our coffee to brew anymore.

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The backbone we are building to make all of this possible is SAP’s Connected X solution. By building simple to use tools and management solutions into the Internet of Things (IoT), Connected X allows companies of all kinds to leverage data from their “things” to drive “as-a-service” business models, customer engagement, and a consistently high level of service and operations, changes that can improve both top and bottom line production.

My team’s Connected X solution, designed to be deployed across high volume, lower cost assets such as coolers, coffee makers, water filters, baking ovens and so forth, allows companies to gain a better understanding of their customers’ product usage patterns, discover correlations between product usage, asset data, geographic profile, and external data, and understand trending in machine errors. Taken together, this allows those companies using Connected X to leverage information to improve market segmentation and targeting down to the individual level, and allows the creation of replenishment as a service.

Inventory.jpgReplenishment as a service is a feature that drives both top line and customer satisfaction, as well as improving corporate efficiency. Customers know that as they reach the end of their inventory, such as printer ink, a new stockpile will arrive, without needing to schedule in advance. It removes worry from customers, creates another saleable item, and allows corporations using Connected X to have a high quality forward-looking view of inventory needs.

If you want to see how SAP’s Connected X platform can change the future for you and me, grab a coffee from the not quite smart vending machines, then come visit me at the SAP Runs SAP booth. We all have devices that are better smart than dumb. Come find out how to make the transition.

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