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Author's profile photo Elvira Wallis

IoT Provides the Key to Unlocking Your Intelligent Enterprise

You’ve likely been hearing a lot about SAP’s promise to deliver the Intelligent Enterprise to its customers. Let’s face it – running a business isn’t trivial.  And no matter your industry, line of business or company size, you should be given the tools to become a best-run business.  Enabling technologies like machine learning, analytics, blockchain and IoT are not just nice-to-have’s; they are fundamental to the success of your business. That’s why SAP is here. We offer customers such innovative and scalable technologies that are embedded into business applications that provide real-time intelligence and insight. Customers can realize a step change in productivity, deliver a better customer experience, and enable new business models, while running their business from the Cloud to the Edge with greater flexibility, to make faster, more confident decisions. This is what we mean by an Intelligent Enterprise.

Delivering the Intelligent Enterprise with IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a key enabler of the Intelligent Enterprise, where data enables intelligence which feeds process automation and ultimately, innovation. At SAP, we believe best-run businesses are data and process driven – and we’re committed to help deliver on this promise. IoT will help unlock the Intelligent Enterprise with embedded IoT in your Line of Business (LoB) applications. Imagine enriching business transactions with IoT data for additional business context. With real-time data, insights, and analysis from sensor-enabled IoT devices, machines can predict maintenance needs, quality issues or problems with manufacturing processes in advance, to expedite resolution.  These data-driven insights, combined with customer preferences, can lower material costs, reduce risk and significantly decrease asset downtime, often by as much as 50%.  That’s impactful by any measure.

Additional capabilities are available to support interoperability, connectivity, device management, or edge computing, in close collaboration with our expanding partner ecosystem (more on that later).  With SAP Leonardo IoT Edge, you can run your business from the cloud to the edge, without dependency on latency, bandwidth or connectivity. By connecting business processes and embedding them with real-time intelligence at the edge or otherwise, our customers can make more confident decisions to achieve better business outcomes.

The SAP Leonardo IoT Imperative

As the head of SAP’s IoT business, I’ve met with many customers about their business challenges and pain points. The recurring theme I keep hearing is the massive influx of IoT data being generated from physical devices. Customer demand for IoT solutions is on the rise, with a strong desire to gain new insights, such as product or asset situational awareness, increase operational visibility, enhance the customer experience, and enable intelligence at the edge, where the data is.

The good news is that SAP can help.  Our new flagship IoT cloud solution, SAP Leonardo IoT, is an industrial IoT solution to help customers interpret and analyze their IoT data, make more informed real-time decisions, achieve better business outcomes and even create new business models.  The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) focuses on smart connected operations to create products and services, in conjunction with integrated software capabilities for business process automation.  Customers can embed IoT directly into LoB solutions or extend existing business applications with IoT capabilities.

SAP Leonardo IoT Business Outcomes

As part of our overall IoT strategy, SAP Leonardo IoT brings intelligence to the enterprise by offering customers multiple paths to innovation, accompanied by a comprehensive set of industry-specific business services and IoT capabilities, to meet their business needs.

  1. EMBED: SAP Leonardo IoT embeds into SAP LoB applications, like S/4 HANA, Digital Supply Chain or C/4HANA, so customers can benefit from the IoT enabled Intelligent Enterprise Suite.  For example, with SAP C/4HANA Field Service Management, IoT usage data is provided to technicians in context with corresponding business information for problem diagnosis.
  1. EXTEND: SAP Leonardo IoT enables developers to extend existing SAP business processes by gaining information and insights from previously unconnected devices (g., machines, products, assets), thereby extending the value of existing SAP applications and processes.
  1. TRANSFORM: SAP enables partners and customers to pursue open innovation and create new business models enabled by IoT, in the context of SAP business systems, while keeping core business processes stable.  For example, our customer Kaiserwetter created a service schedule for wind farms, based on sensor data input, correlated with commodity prices of energy, to determine the most optimum window for maintenance.
  1. ENABLE BUSINESS PROCESSES AT THE EDGE: SAP provides intelligent data processing at the Edge orchestrated from the cloud.  SAP Leonardo IoT runs business transactions correlated with device data, close to the source of IoT data, at the Edge.  For example, SAP Edge Services in oil rigs allows for intelligent data processing, bringing in business data from SAP Plant Maintenance and inventory systems for streamlined maintenance operations.

 Cloud-to-Cloud IoT Interoperability

SAP is committed to a strong partner ecosystem across industries and LoB applications. These partnerships are invaluable to our customer base, offering flexibility, choice and open integration for IoT cloud-to-cloud interoperability.

We offer end-to-end solutions leveraging multiple partner options for infrastructure capabilities, including connectivity, device management, and security features at scale.  SAP Leonardo IoT will continue to leverage the business value of partners by integrating sensor data correlated with business processes, event driven business actions, real-time analytics and IoT enabled intelligence to optimize business outcomes.

SAP continues to be committed to a strong ecosystem for IoT and understands the value its partners can bring to joint customers. To that end, we are reinforcing and expanding our partner ecosystem. Today, at SAPPHIRE NOW, we announced another strategic partnership, with Amazon (AWS) IoT Core and SAP Leonardo IoT to support cloud-to-cloud interoperability. For more details on this new partnership, please read my AWS blog.

In February, at the MWC 2019, SAP announced our extended partnership with Microsoft in the Internet of Things space to kickstart our cloud-to-cloud interoperability strategy and offer customers the option to benefit from the secure, scalable and best in class device management  and connectivity capabilities provided by using Microsoft Azure IoT Hub. Sensor telemetry data collected with Azure IoT services, is relayed to SAP Leonardo IoT and intelligently combined with business applications. In addition, SAP Leonardo IoT Edge gives customers the option to extend support for their business processes locally on top of Microsoft Azure IoT Edge runtime.  Essential Business Function modules based on SAP Leonardo IoT Edge are also planned to run in containers on Microsoft Azure IoT Edge, reducing customers dependency on latency, bandwidth and connectivity.

I am happy to announce that cloud-to-cloud interoperability with Microsoft is now Generally Available (GA) and our joint work on the above-mentioned Edge scenario is expected for GA later this year.

With choice comes flexibility and opportunity. We offer a choice of multiple clouds for better business agility and outcomes. By choosing to partner with the best technology partners on the market, we all become best-run businesses and help the world run better.

With SAPPHIRE NOW 2019 in full swing this week, we hope you will stop by and join us at the IoT show floor to learn more about SAP’s IoT portfolio and strategy, hear first-hand from customers and their experience leveraging SAP’s IoT technology, explore industry relevant demos, and discover how you can unlock the Intelligent Enterprise for your enterprise. We have the key – and invite you to open the door and take the first step.

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