Today, SAP is spiking in developing Internet of Things (IoT) applications and IoT services. SAP has a clear vision about the investment. There are three new IoT services which are aimed at helping enterprises to reduce costs and to develop IoT applications. The IT resource needs to manage IoT data, and derive business value from the same data.
The IoT services are SAP Connected Goods, SAP Dynamic Edge Processing and SAP IoT Application Enablement. It appears that a solid IoT application environment with new IoT services is settled by SAP to the foundations.
IoT functionality is added in a smart way for the customers to build IoT solutions, with the help of SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). It is seen that IoT solutions in their real implementation differ substantially between deployments and need a platform as a service. Now SAP has to look forward towards the customer adoption validating the market viability of the IoT packages SAP has built. SAP’s IoT services offerings look good on an individual basis, but it may lack a coherent narrative.
SAP’s IoT approach has come a long way in a couple of years. Many take advantage not only of HANA, but so called end-to-end scenarios that top into SAP’s ERP strengths. A role can be played by SAP’s HCP for customers looking for IoT services and a platform to build on. But there should be more logical view of working of all these IoT initiatives together. It is very difficult from the outside to explain how they fit together into one value proposition for customers as there are a few groups in SAP that seem to have their hands in IoT projects.
Vendors and their customers try to recognize whether IoT data can benefit their business or not. There are three aspects from which SAP access new products and challenges and they are machines, data origination and virtual modeling.
SAP Connected Goods is an HCP-based application. It is designed to help the businesses to manage and get value out of mass market devices and machines. The reason behind getting these goods is really interesting for the customers, because the value chain can be extended whether one is a manufacturer or OEM provider. Information can also be derived from these devices and have a lot more knowledge.
It can be ensured that the machines are stocked adequately and the goods are stored properly from the data collected from the devices. It can also help identify relevant device trends and use patterns, and then set up rule-based alerts to replenish stock. SAP Connected Goods also includes built-in integration with SAP Business Objects Cloud, which enables the creation of customized dashboards for analytics.
For example, take industrial coffee machines which are put in offices or stores. The type of coffee consumed can be measured and it can be known for what kind of coffee people consume from every machine, and then correlate that with location data. Now onwards, it can be figured out if there are patterns, like if people in rural areas consume different than urban areas or in different states. This allows spending the marketing money better in areas where one can know what they drink. There is no need to spend on fancy milk drinks if they, by and large, drink black coffee.
Data Living on the Verge
SAP Dynamic Edge Processing is designed in a way to help deal with the data flowing into organizations from billions of IoT connected devices and sensors. This enormous and growing volume of data can overwhelm the bandwidth needed to send the data to core processing centers. So the goal of SAP Dynamic Edge Processing is to process more data at the verge of enterprise network. This can reduce transmission costs and at the same time, conserving the real-time acumen derived from the data.
A lot of the customers start small, with maybe a few hundred or thousand devices. But, eventually, it becomes a big data problem and then there is a need to filter data at the edge. This means not to transmit the data, save transmission costs and storage costs. So it is basically targeting the notion of handling large volumes of data and detects patterns at the edge where the data occurs. SAP Dynamic Edge Processing integrates business context information with IoT decision-making at the verge. It combines algorithms, syncing architecture and database technologies with features for device connectivity and many more.
Model Demeanor for IoT
SAP IoT Application Enablement provides a way to consume and manage IoT big data without any efforts to manage the underlying data storage. To create an enhanced virtual representation of the product, it combines sensor data, business data and contextual data. Combining an accurate virtual model of how a thing operates with real-time data collected by sensors allows detailed and realistic digital representations of a physical asset over its lifetime.
If there is any reference implementation of how to handle coolers or coffee makers, there will be customers who say, ‘My model of coffee maker is different, so I want the following attributes added.’ So, underneath all these models is something called a thing model, and the idea is to quickly whip up the next thing. Micro services are included in IoT Application Enablement for SAP HCP which allows other systems to retrieve enriched digital twin data, including business semantics, product master data hierarchy data and customer contact documentation.
SAP IoT Application Enablement includes a software developer’s kit to build IoT applications faster by focusing on design, rather than coding for developing IoT applications. Built-in features also minimize the need to define data management by calculating aggregates, splitting data into warm and cold storage and applying data retention policies.