Business and IT leaders across industries are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to service and delight customers.
Succeeding in this environment requires:
- A customer-centric view that focuses on the customer experience through the full engagement cycle
- A distributed manufacturing process that leverages technologies such as automation, 3D printing, and robotics to address the “segment of one”
- A networked economy of assets, manufacturing, logistics, partners, and, of course, people
- A recognition of urbanization as a reality that requires smarter cities, smarter infrastructures, and smarter usage of natural resources
The New Reality
Connected markets foster local markets, cities, and urban and rural areas to optimize the utilization of natural resources and assets; reduce emissions, congestion, and energy usage; and improve the environment.
Unprecedented Change in the World
Before we dive into the topic of connected markets, lets reflect upon some of the macro trends shaping the world today and the net positive impact that Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can have on the future state of the world.
“To understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces―Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)―are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community.” — Tom Friedman
Could IoT powered solutions be the key to making a more equitable and sustainable world?
Ready for the Digital Economy?
Every business and government entity has to ask this very vital question about their readiness to work within the digital economy defined by massive forces of:
- Hyperconnectivity: is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, arising from their studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and networked societies.
- In general, a smart machine is an intelligent device that uses machine-to-machine (M2M) technology. Smart machines include robots, self-driving cars and other cognitive computing systems that are able to make decisions and solve problems without human intervention.
- In computing, Ambient Intelligence refers to electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people.
- Outcome based economy is an economy contingent on the marketing, pricing and selling of goods and services based on the results or outcomes they produce for customers, rather than on an item or service’s face value. The trend toward an outcome-based economy is in large part enabled by digital technologies, including hardware sensors, cloud-based analytics and ubiquitous bandwidth.
Architecture for the Digital Business
The fundamental construct of future digital businesses will be the ability to seamlessly merge the domains of business intelligence and business processes in a seamless and infinite continuum.
On one end of the spectrum there are all manner of sensors generating a digital data stream that needs to be tapped, ingested, sorted, managed, analyzed and visualized to glean insight.
Insight that could point to a potential risk or an opportunity in the making that the business will need to mitigate or leverage to avoid serious cost, material and immaterial, or gain disproportionate benefit and profit off of, respectively.
The insight produced via business intelligence needs to be acted upon in the moment by tying back the insight to business systems of process, governance and record.
The actions above would produce a very desired outcome for the business.
SAP for the Digital Business
All the above can easily be achieved by the leverage of end to end SAP solution portfolio cutting across multiple domains.
- The digital core: A new generation of ERP solutions, running in real time and integrating predictive analytics, Big Data, and mobile, is changing how businesses work and how information is consumed.
- SAP HANA® platform and SAP Cloud Platform: A new in-memory computing paradigm is the ultimate simplifier and the platform for innovation and digital business.
- Human capital management: People with access to digital, consumer-grade technology work smarter, faster, and better.
- Customer engagement and commerce: Customers expect simple, seamless, and personalized experiences across any channel. We provide a path for creating the new digital front office.
- Business networks: Business-to-business transactional efficiencies range from sourcing and transacting to payment processing.
- Internet of Things: the most dramatic change in the digital economy is driven by hyper connectivity and the science of Big Data, transforming nearly every business model.
- 25 industries: What differentiates best run companies from average companies? Often, it is industry-specific software. Our best practices, processes, and benchmarking — preconfigured for 25 industries — give business users the exact functionality they need, when and where they need it.
The Internet of Things and the MGC Architecture
Before we dive into the specifics of SAP Leonardo and Connected Markets, lets do a quick look at the Internet of Things and the underlying “MGC” architecture. It is an architecture construct that tries to tap into the physical world via sensors embedded in the “things” that make up the IoT. These sensors are dedicated to sensing things like temperature, vibration, light, video, audio, smell, gas detection and many other chemical detection’s among other use cases.
The sensors can convert the real world physical phenomena into a digital bit stream that needs to be understood by a gateway device dedicated to the sensor. This gateway device can be an intelligent gateway and analyse the bit stream information coming via the sensor and the compute processing capabilities around the sensor or it could be a dumb gateway just ensuring that it is a conduit device for all the data being generated by the sensor.
The gateway talks to the center of the IoT deployment, essentially a bank of computers that can ingest, store, analyze and allow for the visualization of a huge amount of data, either near the sensor deployment (nuclear power plants, huge industrial operation, and the like) or for IoT situations where the data streams are relatively lighter, the center could be deployed in the cloud, with data transfer over telecommunications for the internet infrastructure, for further processing.
As of the moment there are roughly 400 hardware and software platforms out there that can serve this MGC continuum of the IoT.
SAP Leonardo and its key differentiation
The wise person will ask the question, what differentiates SAP for the 400 other vendors?
The ability to map back sensor data seamlessly with business and government data stored in the business and government systems of record, namely, primarily in the domain of ERP, SCM, CRM, HR and business networks.
This is the crux of the differentiation that players like SAP bring to the mix of IoT and then drive the power of SAP Leonardo.
Relevance of SAP
The numbers speak for themselves in terms of the presence of SAP across various industries, business, government and other entities of industry.
SAP and the 2BN EURO investment in SAP Leonardo
The confidence in the ability to serve such a diverse customer base provided the confidence to SAP to come out and make a strategic bet on the IoT space in 2016 and boldly announce an investment of 2BN EURO.
The above messages in the video are just the tip of the iceberg of the possibilities with the IoT and SAP.
Things to Outcomes
Business and governments are constantly looking to drive new and amazing outcomes for consumers and citizens. SAP solutions across the spectrum of sensors to business systems of record have the capability to provide the right insights, driving the correct action resulting in amazing outcomes for all parties involved.
The video above details some of the core principles of user engagement and solution architecture that dominates the thinking related to SAP Leonardo.
SAP Leonardo Vision
SAP Leonardo provides governments and business the ability to bring together people and things with business processes to create amazing outcomes.
SAP Leonardo combines adaptive applications, Big Data management, and connectivity in packaged solutions across lines of business and industry use cases, ranging from connected products, assets, and infrastructures to vehicle fleets, markets, and people
Solutions for the Industrial Internet
- Connected products enable end-to-end visibility into product-centric operations and offers the ability to optimize compliance visibility and service availability.
- Connected assets link production systems and assets with manufacturing and maintenance business processes to reduce operational and maintenance costs and increase asset uptime.
- Connected fleets track, monitor, analyze, and maintain all moving assets, wherever they are in the network.
Solutions for the Internet of Everything
- Connected infrastructures deliver new forms of digital operational intelligence to transform physical-infrastructure systems to improve service, drive economic growth, and allow for more efficient and cost-effective operations, infrastructure compliance, and risk mitigation.
- Connected markets foster local markets, cities, and urban and rural areas to optimize the utilization of natural resources and assets; reduce emissions, congestion, and energy usage; and improve the environment.
- Connected people enables improved lives, work, and health by linking people and communities and providing better lifestyle experiences and opportunities for organizations to evolve into new business models.
SAP Leonardo Bridge combines real-time information from connected things with business processes to turn extended supply chains into live supply chain environments.
These end-to-end solutions are built on a technology foundation that enables SAP, our customers, and our partners to build Internet of Things solutions of a consistent framework:
- SAP Cloud Platform is the key strategic platform-as-a-service infrastructure that provides the framework for SAP Leonardo. Additionally, SAP Cloud Platform provides end-to-end micro services for machine learning, analytics, Big Data, security, user experience, user management, and backend integration application program interfaces.
- SAP Leonardo includes best-of-breed business services that enable users to rapidly build Internet of Things applications, allowing them to develop digital twins, create reusable application services, and apply predictive algorithms. These core technical services offer opportunities for users to process a high velocity of data, with the ability to stream analytics and run predictive scenarios. This is all delivered on the next-generation SAP Cloud Platform, which is connected to millions of devices
- SAP Leonardo for edge computing ingests data regardless of connectivity, latency, or device protocol concerns, all while delivering intelligent edge applications.
This brings is to the topic of the day, Connected Markets.
Right from the days of ancient market places like Jamaa El Fnaa, civilizations have attempted to smooth the friction involved in bringing together buyers and sellers of goods and services from across the world bridging huge distances, language and cultural barriers and many more other annoyances in this journey.
The IoT promises to eliminate all manner of friction across the globe, including the leverage of other related technologies, virtually offering the capability of addressing a consumer need in the moment that it arises.
As part of our SAP Leonardo, Connected Markets, Market Insights offering, SAP wants to offer businesses the capabilities to understand a consumer intent in the moment that it arises and offer up an ability to serve the need right then and there.
A marketer can create moments of connection through great customer experiences. And, as a marketer, its about finding the sweet spot where emotions lead to action. SAP Leonardo offers marketers the ability to trigger the creation of these experiences and act upon the moments that lead to increase customer loyalty with the business.
Today’s hyper connected consumers, citizens and visitors demand consistent and seamless experiences irrespective of the constraints of time, space and geography. SAP Leonardo leverages beacons, mobile connectivity, identity and security to provider hyper personalized experiences to the consumers, citizens and visitors in a particular market. The ability to interact in an all knowing digital or physical marketplace provides an excellent all around personal experience benefiting businesses able to harness this new mode of interaction to its fullest.
With a rapid increase in population and the shortage of natural resources, the agribusiness needs to transform and grow to both do more with less, and leverage the wealth of digital information now available into business value. SAP Leonardo enables you to consume data from agricultural machines and equipment to increase farming efficiency and predictability and create transparent and sustainable food supply chains while managing price volatility. Farmers and growers can connect to global value chains through IoT and mobile technology. This enables the agriculture business to incorporate precision farming competence even in the most remote rural areas globally.
The future of farming is digital. Crucial data from across entire farms are now collected and analyzed by a single cloud platform. Digital farming connects all parties: farmers, agricultural manufacturers, and suppliers alike. This makes farming more efficient and sustainable.
Urban areas stand to benefit tremendously from SAP Leonardo with the rise of automation, blending seamlessly with the physical reality of urban spaces, be it traffic flow and management, parking management or the management of physical infrastructure across buildings, lighting, open public spaces, yards, ports and other infrastructure that make up the modern day urban landscape. This can improve environment, health, and safety of urban public spaces across construction, services and other smart city and government offerings.
By 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in cities, bringing challenges and opportunities for urban citizens. SAP and SAP Leonardo solutions are at the forefront of helping cities counter multiple challenges across governance, economy, mobility, infrastructure and citizens.
As the world embarks towards a more connected future, SAP Leonardo solutions will be at the forefront of serving business and government needs building off of technology paradigms like the Internet of Things.
Thank you for your time and effort in reading this blog.
Please feel free to reach out to your SAP representative in case you would like to know more about SAP, SAP Leonardo, Connected Markets and the Internet of Things.
A version of this blog is also posted at this link.