SAP Launches Aggressive IoT Plan Fueled by $2.2 Billion Investment


Edward GatelySoftware maker SAP plans to invest $2.2 billion over five years to help businesses and governmental entities gain efficiencies and other benefits from the Internet of Things (IoT).

SAP's Hans ThalbauerThe plan includes: accelerating innovation in its IoT portfolio; increasing sales and marketing; increasing service, support and co-innovation; and growing its base of partners and startups in the IoT market, which is estimated to reach $280 billion by 2020.

Hans Thalbauer, SAP’s senior vice president for extended supply chain and IoT, tells Channel Partners that IoT is a key pillar of SAP’s digital transformation framework for its customers of all sizes and industries. It will “fundamentally transform” business processes and help new business models as physical objects, such as machines, vehicles and goods, become digital, connected and intelligent, he said.

“More than 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020,” he said. “Not just smartphones and tablets, but almost anything with a sensor on it — coffee makers, cars, cattle, machines in production plants, jet engines, oil drills, wearable devices and more. These ‘things’ talk to each other, collect streaming data and insights, and can advise people about the best way to use them in real time.”

IoT – and the machine-to-machine technology behind it – is bringing a kind of “super visibility” to nearly every industry, Thalbauer said.{ad}

“Imagine utilities and telcos that can predict and prevent service outages, airlines that can remotely monitor and optimize plane performance, and health-care organizations that can base treatment on real-time genome analysis,” he said. “With IoT technologies and applications, the business possibilities are virtually endless.”

SAP IoT aims to make sense of big data from the multitude of things through offerings that apply machine learning and integrate with the core business applications of SAP S/4HANA, the company said.

SAP is introducing Industry 4.0 packages that feature IoT offerings to help customers’ digital business strategies. The jumpstart package is designed to initiate operational and business system connectivity as a foundation to monitor equipment effectiveness and provide insight into shop floor operations. The accelerator package adds an automated, paperless, manufacturing execution and control environment by supporting manufacturing planning and execution, performance analytics and advanced plant maintenance.

SAP also announced it has acquired …


… Plat.One, an enterprise-grade IoT provider, and Fedem Technology, an analytics software company, and both will be integrated into SAP IoT.

“Plat.One and Fedem are examples of complimentary, tuck-in acquisitions that fit with (the) technology portfolio and strategic direction to build out our IoT applications and add to our predictive innovation capabilities,” Thalbauer said.

And finally, SAP plans to establish locations globally to collaborate on Industry 4.0 and the IoT with customers, partners and startups. SAP IoT labs are intended as lighthouse locations and primary access points for IoT research, development, proof-of-concept modeling and incubation, with IoT showcases, thought leadership, expertise and infrastructure for strategy and product co-innovation, the company said.

“With billions of connected devices, we now have the potential to reshape society, the economy and the environment,” said Bill McDermott, SAP’s CEO. “SAP HANA is the data platform we knew would unlock the Internet of Things. Only SAP empowers businesses to innovate from the core to the edges to the networks.”

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