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Author's profile photo Camille Bui-Nguyen

Imagining the Internet of Good Things


According to Bob Caswell, Senior Product Manager of the Internet of Things (IoT) at SAP, close to 90 percent of the general public is unaware of IoT.

However, he’s hoping this number will decrease with the introduction and launch of Imagine IoT, a new openSAP course centered on harnessing IoT to improve everyday life.

“As a baseline, this course has no prerequisites. It’s meant to take you end-to-end through being completely naïve to coming out the other end being pretty well educated on what IoT is,” Caswell said, noting that participants in the class will be learning the fundamental technologies of IoT, including sensors, the cloud, and voice recognition.

Patterned after other openSAP courses, Imagine IoT is a three-week class open to students, employees, partners, customers, and whoever else is interested in learning more about IoT.  Students will also learn what SAP is doing in IoT in its mission to help businesses “run simple.”  Additionally, Caswell said there will be a handful of guest speakers from outside of SAP talking to students about IoT, with presenters coming from Intel, XMPro, and Blue Ocean Systems, a SAP partner based in Singapore.

“We just want to show that SAP isn’t doing this alone,” he said. “We want to contribute to this new open standard of how things will be connected and how that will improve our lives.”

With such a large emphasis on using IoT to better lives, it may not come as a surprise that the course is adding some optimism into its curriculum.

“We’re also positioning it as, what we like to call, the ‘Internet of Good Things,’ so part of the experience is not just thinking of how the Internet of Things can improve life for business, but for life in general,” Caswell said.

The mission of inspiring students to take what they learn out of the classroom and beyond business climaxes with a class-wide prototyping challenge at the end of the course’s three weeks.  Applying Design Thinking, Imagine IoT students are invited to pick any scenario from their business, personal life, or relevant use-case that can be improved by an IoT-type experience or implementation.  From there, students will put together mock ups of their proposed products and apps through SAP’s BUILD tool, which launched earlier this month. BUILD allows users to collaboratively develop prototypes with respective project teams, engage with end-users for feedback, or use various BUILD prototype templates while getting a hands-on experience with the design process.

“In the end, we are teaching them how to use BUILD,” Caswell said.  “BUILD allows you to upload or import hand drawn pictures and connect screens and share them with your peers or friends and have people actually try to navigate through your first prototype and you can see a heat map and get notes on their experience.”

Using BUILD to create their mockups, competitors will go through an anonymous peer review process on openSAP, with the top rated prototypes being showcased in a gallery at the course’s conclusion.  During the gallery show, a panel of internal experts will judge and decide the top 10 prototypes, who then get to choose how SAP donates $5,000 to a charity on their behalf.

Imagine IoT takes places from Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016 to November 17, 2016.  To learn more about the course, click here.

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