SAP Aims to Close the IoT Gap

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    Aiming to close the divide that currently exists between most operational systems and backend IT platforms that need to converge in an Internet of Things (IoT) environment, SAP this week unveiled a SAP Dynamic Edge Processing server while at the same time updating a SAP Connected Goods cloud service.

    Elvira Wallis, senior vice president for the IoT Smart Connected Business at SAP Labs, says the Dynamic Edge Processing server, based on an instance of a SAP SQL Anywhere, is designed to push analytics closer to the IoT gateway where SAP SQL Anywhere resides. It employs algorithms and synchronization to manage device connectivity and onboarding, offline operation, data reduction as well as local applications and storage, says Wallis.

    SAP Connected Goods, meanwhile, makes use of the SAP HANA Cloud to not only collect and process data, but also enable organizations to, for example, turn off devices using geofencing capabilities should a particular device roam beyond a specific location. Wallis says SAP Connected Goods identifies IoT device trends and usage patterns, provides rule-based alerts when goods need to be replenished, and offers access to customize dashboards via built-in integration to the SAP BusinessObjects Cloud service to provide access to advanced analytics.

    Rather than having to rely on custom applications, SAP is clearly making a case for getting a jumpstart on IT using commercial databases and cloud services. The challenge many organizations face today, however, is that IoT is moving faster than their business models can accommodate. Most organizations today have not yet worked out pay-per-use pricing models that would be enabled by IoT applications. Wallis notes that many organizations will need to change everything, from the way they compensate sales representatives to how their ERP systems recognize revenue.

    Of course, most organizations are going to have little choice in terms of moving forward. In the short term, early IoT adopters will be able to derive additional streams of revenue from IoT services. But before too long, those IoT services will become table stakes as competitors within each vertical industry begin to master them.

    “As a differentiator, IoT may not be sustainable,” says Wallis. “But companies are realizing the only thing they can compete on is service. It’s a continual race.”

    Like most races most of revenues that are generated by IoT applications, however, will clearly go to the swift.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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