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Author's profile photo Elke Speliopoulos

How You Can Drive New IoT Models on the Cloud Platform


SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 is over.

You simply cannot imagine the kind of effort that goes into pulling off such a huge event. Hats off to the teams that spent many months getting this fabulous happening off the ground! As an SAP employee, it is always a real exciting time to see the truly mind-boggling innovation being shown every year. Trust me, with SAP now having over 78,000 world-wide employees, we do not get to see our own developments on a regular basis, so we are just as excited as our customers!

At SAPPHIRE NOW – SAP’s largest customer event, co-located with the Americas’ SAP User Group (ASUG) Annual Conference – in Orlando, I was privileged to be able to share the exciting shift SAP is driving around IoT – the Internet of Things.

This, of course, is very important to our customers who look at IoT scenarios through their particular industry’s lens. Needless to say, this is something SAP has 42 years of experience in! In particular, I wanted to focus on our Services offerings during my session since I work in that part of SAP, but it was important to do so in light of a particular customer’s example. I have been at SAP since 1997, and I have heard many customer stories, but this one I got to tell truly excited me!

One of my sessions was entitled Drive New IoT Models on the Cloud Platform. I am happy to say it was very well attended with many follow-up questions and requests posed to me.

I shared with the audience the evolution of the Internet of Content (think ‘static content’ = information) to the Internet of People (think ‘social networks’ = collaboration, connectedness) to the Internet of Things. Well, what does IoT bring us, you may ask? In short, people, processes, data, and machines communicate in a bi-directional flow of information that will transform businesses beyond any boundaries ever seen!

During my session, I shared the story of a company that is already living the IoT realities for their business: STILL GmbH in Germany. As a leading supplier of forklift trucks, platform trucks and tractors as well as the latest intra-logistics systems, STILL is transforming from a pure products to a services company.

A co-innovation project between STILL, Sick AG, Fraunhofer Institute of Material Flow & Logistics and SAP developed an adaptive logistics solution that shows how highly flexible and convertible hardware technologies like the STILL cubeXX fork lifter can be brought to an IoT reality – leveraging the SAP HANA Cloud Platform and its IoT capabilities.

Through an on-board IoT connector that connects it to cyber physical systems and cloud apps, the cubeXX can become a smart facilitator of innovative, IoT-driven warehousing processes. Using a smart device, the warehouse worker manages tasks between people and machines.

A rotating sensor produces a 3D picture of the environment, and the cubeXX learns about its orientation and positioning. The image produced is displayed on a grid map on the warehouse worker’s tablet – so the intelligent truck is able to identify persons, warehouse lanes and pallets digitally and in real time. It can also automatically complete transport tasks directly received from the SAP Extended Warehouse Management application (SAP EWM).

The integration via IoT adapters for the cubeXX have enabled the truck to communicate with the SAP HANA platform and the respective applications via standard protocols. This allows the cubeXX to receive transport job data, autonomously transforming the truck into the necessary configuration needed for the transport. How? The received information is automatically evaluated regarding type, location, quantity and weight or size of the materials to be moved.

In this way, all components of the logistics process – humans, materials and load carriers – are interconnected in a grid that integrates them into a holistic system. Welcome to the ‘the future is here now’ world of IoT, right here, right now at STILL! You can see the exciting story here.

These paradigm-changing and value-producing scenarios can come to life quickly and easily through a series of services offered by SAP Services. Why would you choose SAP and our services offerings? Here is the differentiator: SAP is the only company that enables IoT from core to edge. The intelligence being connected from the edge has to be transformed into new business operations, and this logically needs to lead to the reimaging of business models.

Remember the STILL desire to go from a product to a services company? That is what we are talking about. Market-differentiating change! SAP has the industry experience and the technology to make this happen. And SAP Services has been right along on the exhilarating IoT ride with our development.

This is why SAP Services is in pole position to drive the success of your IoT project. From the starting point of discovering your organization’s IoT journey, to advising about and planning toward a concrete IoT project, to then building and launching the IoT innovation (including quick start services), to finally helping it not just run, but run in an optimized manner, your IoT project is in safe hands along the entire lifecycle. All of this is, of course, undergirded by SAP’s strong learning and change management offerings.

The Internet of Things can be a scary topic because there are just so many possibilities. Allow me to help you! To help our customers start with their IoT journey, we offer a starting block: a one-day complimentary workshop, the IoT Discovery Workshop. Our business transformation experts will work with a team from your organization on working through the ‘IoT ocean’ of possibilities and finding that perfect ‘wave’ for you to focus on to your first step in the digital transformation journey. We will listen to you, share customer stories with you, and then help you formulate – through the use of design-thinking methodologies – where your first IoT project makes the most sense.

Here is what the one-day workshop is all about:

IoT Discovery Workshop.JPG

If I have whet your appetite to investigate what IoT (and, of course, SAP) can do for you, shoot a note to – we will be in touch quickly to set up a complimentary IoT workshop for you!

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