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How Improved Interoperability Also Improves SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain Service

Recently, SAP partnered with Microsoft in a bid to make Azure cloud services more accessible for SAP users. Now, combining SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain services alongside Microsoft’s Azure cloud framework and tied to Azure Blockchain Service, users of SAP’s system will benefit immensely from the interoperability of these systems. The interconnectivity of these systems seems like a step in the right direction, as the Blockchain remains one of the most impressive new technologies that SAP users can look forward to using.

What are Blockchain Networks?

Most tech-savvy professionals already know what the Blockchain is. For those who haven’t experienced its use or implementation first-hand, the Blockchain is a distributed ledger system that allows individual nodes to keep a full copy of a transaction record on each. The complete copy of the document cannot be falsified because it requires consensus from each node before the file is changed. Thus, theoretically, it is impossible to create a falsified record in a blockchain without editing at least half of the nodes on the Blockchain simultaneously.

From a business perspective, this provides a secure method of managing things such as land ownership, logistics, supply-chain details, etc. in a system that the users can query when they need to present specific information. The increased security allows stakeholders absolute peace of mind. The Blockchain ensures that there is less chance of a product being a fake, and enable the company to put more trust in its brand.

Blockchain systems can be implemented in four different ways, namely:

  • Public
  • Private
  • Semi-private
  • Consortium

The network that incorporates SAP and Microsoft is a consortium, enabling pre-selected companies read/write privileges on the Blockchain. Consortium-type blockchains are an ideal solution to developing and supporting supply-chain management and B2B networks.

Partner Consortiums Making an Impact

Microsoft and SAP offer complementary services. At current, Microsoft’s Azure is the preferred framework for running SAP cloud installations for applications. Because of the ease of scaling and installation provided by Azure, many companies prefer to use it to host their SAP systems. Blockchain is simply the most recent partnership that the companies have invested in. By allowing customers to operate their systems with either the SAP Blockchain Service or the Microsoft Azure Blockchain, both companies stand to benefit from interoperability between their individual software systems.

In addition to the interoperability of blockchain systems, SAP and Microsoft announced a potential integration that combined SAP Leonardo IoT and Azure IoT Hub in February of 2019. The partnership aimed to allow users to merge data lakes that existed as SAP data into Azure data lakes. The interconnectivity enables users to leverage Azure IoT Hub alongside Microsoft Intelligent Edge to provide data which is then processed and displayed on SAP Leonardo IoT. Additionally, based on those insights, companies can deploy solutions in SAP S4/HANA or SAP C/A4HANA as necessary.

The most significant impact the interoperability of these systems has on current businesses is the ability to automate large parts of their networks. Blockchain solutions offer secure, reliable data, which can be generated by IoT devices linked to Azure IoT Hub. The hub can pass this data to ERP systems, product lifecycle management systems (PLMs), or transportation management systems, which would trigger automatic flags based on what the incoming insights suggested. With proper automation of these systems, a company could save both time and money in its operation scheme.

SAP Customers Stand to Benefit

The interoperability between SAP and Microsoft immediately opens the doors to partnerships that might have been impossible due to an inability to interface correctly. Business cases for Blockchain can be similarly revisited. The increased processing power and scalability offered by Azure can be useful to companies looking to expand while integrating blockchain record management.

Blockchain offers an exciting new technology for companies that operate supply chains. Many of these companies have used the SAP solution for their supply chains. Still, blockchain technology suits supply chain management far better, so these businesses should re-evaluate their current methodologies. Companies that need the increased security of a blockchain and reliability of data results can celebrate since they have access to two distinct blockchain systems that can be used for that purpose.

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