September 21, 2018
Internet of Thinking: Bringing intelligent environments to life with SAP-based IoT
By: Jordi Roca

In this blog series, I’ve been looking at how we’re using the “new SAP” to help our clients become intelligent enterprises. It’s all about building on the data and processes in the SAP systems that provide the foundations for so many businesses today.

By combining these with real-time systems of record and engagement (powered by SAP S/4HANA and SAP C/4HANA) and new technologies like IoT, AR/VR and analytics—enabled through SAP Leonardo and the SAP Cloud Platform—it's now possible to infuse intelligence everywhere in end-to-end business processes. This way, organizations can transform their enterprise DNA, enable new service paradigms and elevate business performance.

The 5 #TechTrends of #TechVision2018 for @SAP are already proving to be powerful disruptors & catalysts for reinvention


Each of the five trends in this year’s Accenture’s 2018 Technology Vision enables companies to tap into the game-changing potential of the intelligent enterprise. The fifth and final trend, Internet of Thinking, focuses on intelligent distributed systems—what they are, and how to create them.

It’s not just about Internet of Things (IoT). Internet of Thinking entails adding robotics, immersive reality, AI and connected devices to bring a whole new level of technological sophistication to the physical world. As such, it really refers to “Digital Twins,” the overlap between the real and the virtual worlds.

To enable this next generation of technology demands an overhaul of existing IT infrastructures. The objective? Bringing intelligent environments to life by seamlessly extending infrastructures out into dynamic, real-world situations.

That’s what we’re doing with some of the 100+ applications we’ve developed using new SAP solutions and technologies. With AI, IoT and machine learning, these applications enable our clients to increase their understanding and gain new insights from the massive amounts of connected device data at their disposal.

Let’s look at a couple of examples. We’ve developed our Well Performance Dashboard application to drive better, faster, more automated decision-making for oil and gas companies.

By digitizing the upstream process with SAP Cloud Platform, IoT, SAP Advanced and Predictive Analytics, and SAP Fiori visualization, we’ve created a unique resource for monitoring production, comparing actuals vs forecasts, and identifying existing and potential production issues through sensor data collection and analysis.

All the key information is presented through a unique dashboard with KPIs to enable real-time decision-making. Because the app is integrated with SAP S/4 HANA, upstream production teams can also use it to create work orders.

Current predictions suggest that by 2020, smart sensors and other IoT devices will generate at least 507.5 zettabytes of data.1 Trying to do all of the computational heavy lifting offsite will ultimately prove impractical, if not impossible.

To fully enable real-time intelligence, businesses will have to shift event-driven analysis and decision-making closer to points of interaction and data generation. The bottom line? Delivering intelligence in the physical world means moving closer to the edge of networks.

That’s the logic behind Well Performance Dashboard. It’s also the inspiration for New Supply, an application we’ve developed to track the end-to-end inbound warehouse process. This brings together video analytics, SAP Leonardo IoT (to integrate RFID sensor geo-fencing) and SAP Cloud Platform (to integrate business data from SAP S/4 HANA).

New Supply supports yard management and enables gate and carrier tracking, as well as consuming and analyzing video data, to provide real-time analytics in docks. It means yard managers can check where trucks are in relation to warehouses, monitor dockside cargo issues and confirm that trucks are fully loaded/offloaded.

It shows the power and flexibility of SAP Leonardo. Because the platform allows companies to combine third-party solutions with new SAP technologies, all integrated with the back office through SAP S/4HANA, they can acquire a whole new level of control and insight over last-mile warehousing processes.

It’s been a real pleasure introducing these new applications to you over the past few weeks. If there’s one message that I want to leave you with, it’s that none of this is theoretical. Uniquely, new SAP solutions and technologies can now be united with the data and processes in companies’ existing SAP systems to create breakthrough outcomes.

The era of the intelligent enterprise has truly arrived. If you’d like to hear more about the work we’re doing in this space, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.

1 Shacklett, M. (2017, July 21). Edge Computing: The Smart Person’s Guide. TechRepublic.

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