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Author's profile photo Karan Singh

IoT & SAP Leonardo for Business Transformation

Just a decade ago, it was hard to fathom devices, as small as a watch, to tell anything but the time. Similarly, it was difficult to conceive the idea that you could control devices like your fridge or coffee machine with just your phone. We have come a long way from just having this notion to actually making things work using the internet. As we speak, we are hurled forward into a world where most, if not all, devices are connected via internet and we can actually communicate with them. In some cases, the devices are themselves communicating with each other. This concept of connecting previously non-internet-enabled devices with internet has led to the evolution of IoT.

IoT is expected to grow at an exponential rate both in terms of no. of connected devices and the revenue. The IoT installed base (or connected devices) are expected to reach 20.8 bn units by 2020 whereas the revenue is expected to explode to more than $3 trillion by the same time.

This has led to a completely new focus area in IT as well. The IT sector is now focusing on architectures which support IoT solutions and companies are expanding their portfolio to support technologies which work in sync with IoT, some of those technologies being Big Data and Analytics.

Basically, with the convergence of IoT and other technologies, the data gathering, data mining and eventually data analysis becomes a cakewalk. This is where SAP Leonardo comes in.

SAP Leonardo is a blanket title given to a cocktail of technologies namely IoT, blockchain, machine learning, big data and analytics. By introducing Leonardo, SAP is offering a whole spectrum of enterprise solutions to customers instead of a simpleton IoT solution. The solutions are meant to take make use of different SAP modules as per requirement such as SAP S/4HANA, Ariba, Hybris etc.

Below are a few use cases of SAP Leonardo –

Player / Industry Use Case
BASF The German chemical company used the machine learning capabilities of Leonardo to build an email routing bot.
Automotive Industry Leonardo can be leveraged in connected and predictive smart cars, predictive maintenance, supply chain management etc.
The SAP Leonardo industry innovation kit for Automotive Industry, fleet insights option, is relevant for any organization managing a fleet of cars, trucks, or other vehicles. Track fleet status, including utilization, vehicle outages, and parts inventory monitoring, to improve fleet availability, and margins
Retail Industry SAP is co-innovating with customers and has developed the industry innovation kit for retail, zero waste option, for SAP Leonardo. The idea is to minimize waste and to maximize margin.
The SAP Leonardo industry innovation kit for retail, assets option, can help automate the cooling units along by automating inventory checks and improving consumer safety



In the end, it’s worth noting that Leonardo might not be meant for everyone. For organizations looking to transform their businesses with the help of machine learning, IoT and big data analytics, adoption of Leonardo would require a long term commitment to the SAP cloud services. Given the spectrum of technologies on offer and the wide range of use cases in various spheres, Leonardo should be able to disperse any apprehensions regarding its viability.

Below are some of the IoT reference use cases across different industries:

Industry Player Use Case
Manufacturing Tesla Autonomous driving systems based on IoT along with Cloud technology to build driverless cars
Agriculture Semios Sensors to monitor insects and pests and schedule release of pesticides
Retail Ralph Lauren Polo shirts that monitor and show heart rate and calories burned if worn during work-outs
Healthcare Diabetes Care Sim-enabled glucometers to monitor and analyze diabetic patients

Transport and


FedEx Tracking devices to keep tabs on temperature, location, condition of packages



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