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Author's profile photo Susan Galer

Answering the Trillion Dollar IoT and Blockchain Question

Blockchain and IoT are responsible for some of the biggest market growth numbers. IDC predicted worldwide investments in IoT will reach $1.14 trillion in 2023. Gartner predicted blockchain will support the global movement and tracking of $2 trillion in goods and services annually, by 2023. The business challenge is bringing all that data together in a meaningful way. For example, the promise of electric cars is real, but only if companies can connect intelligent data between vehicles, charging stations, and utility providers in real-time. This was the premise of a VIDEO demonstration I saw at the recent SAP TechEd event in Las Vegas.

Real-time data is star of the show

On the show floor, sensor-based toy cars traveled around a miniature gameboard that represented a map of Las Vegas. The large screen displayed information from the respective cars as the two drivers zoomed between garages and electrical stations, stopping to park and recharge. SAP subscription billing, running on the SAP Cloud Platform with SAP Hyperledger Fabric, used blockchain to capture IoT-based usage data from each car and charging stations.

“This is how companies can use multiple SAP solutions to support complex business models with real-time data,” said Dr. Oliver Gass, product manager, SAP S/4HANA Cloud Integration. “Every industry has similar end-to-end scenarios where integrated data from many devices needs to come together for daily efficiencies, powering new experiences leading to business model transformation.”

Indeed, according to IDC, the top sectors for the highest IoT adoption include not only transportation, but also manufacturing, utilities, state and local government, and healthcare. The opportunities came alive in the model I saw for consumption-based billing for parking and charging that electric car.

“Using SAP C/4 HANA for subscription billing, garage owners could create personalized pricing models by driver, depending on parameters such as peak or off-peak hours to ease traffic congestion, encouraging usage when the garage is less full,” said Gass. “Then they’d use SAP S/4HANA Cloud for seamless invoicing, accounting, and controlling.”

Solid business case for blockchain

In another IDC survey, over 50 percent of companies across industries said that blockchain already is or will be a key part of their digital transformation in the near future. Blockchain helps companies share trusted data in an immutable ledger, making it ideal for the many participants involved in a business scenario like driving, fueling, and garaging electric cars.

SAP Subscription Billing could constantly monitor the blockchain for real-time data based on actual parking usage. It picks up the data on the chain and adds it to the parking or energy bill of the drivers, which is then shared with the garages and utility companies for billing and invoicing,” said Gass. “With near real-time information on a mobile device, drivers could see their parking costs and energy consumption, monitoring costs easily.”

Blockchain also decouples garages and other groups involved in charging infrastructure from utilities. Those companies could offer usage-based services, such as parking and charging drivers without being dependent on any particular utility provider. Blockchain can also verify cars and drivers, securely identifying vehicles and people cleared to validly park in specific garages and use designated charging stations.

It’s perfectly okay to get excited about huge market forecasts. Intelligently connecting all the data from blockchain, IoT, and other innovations will make those predictions come true.

Follow me @smgaler

This blog also appeared on the SAP News Center.

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