For more than ten years, SAP has been making a big show of the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. And since acquiring Sybase and its mobile competencies in 2010, it’s stepped up its device-centric focus.

Of course, this brand of mobile isn’t just about smartphones. It’s about all the mobile connection points emanating from the Internet of Things (IoT) that have the ability to produce, channel, and to a varying degree, store and analyze data.

SAP Leonardo's IoT Ancestry

In the context of SAP mobility solutions, let’s remember that before SAP Leonardo was a more complete design thinking platform, it was directly positioned as a dedicated IoT development toolset.

For the most part, the SAP mobile story has been evolving organically, although occasionally new DNA has been inserted through acquisitions and major new platform developments. Now the question is: What kind of strategic play is SAP making with its current mobile strategy?

SAP’s Next Mobile Play

The company now states that SAP Leonardo’s IoT capabilities are ready for the Industry 4.0 revolution with its cyber-physical systems and cloud-based artificial intelligence. But how?

Specifically, SAP is saying that it is uniquely positioned to bring IoT data together with business processes. That’s because it knows software and data, the ins and outs of business, and now the IoT.

According to an official SAP statement: “SAP Leonardo IoT will help customers increase productivity, redefine their customer experience, and grow their revenue streams. It will enable customers to embed IoT into line of business (LoB) solutions, enhance business applications with IoT technology, and develop new business models based on the new data the IoT solutions generate.”

Flowing IoT Data into the Business

SAP Senior VP and Global Head of IoT, Elvira Wallis, talks about embedding IoT data into business processes. But how exactly will the company manage that process?

SAP appears to be examining its existing knowledge of the way business applications and databases operate for the 425,000 customers it currently has. It is taking the knowledge of which apps need what type of running environment and then “grafting” the new streams of IoT into those applications as they execute.

SAP will already be familiar with the most mission-critical data systems according to customers, so it can instruct SAP Leonardo IoT to classify data to send it to the right place at the right time.

Drinking from a Firehose, Intelligently

People often talk about the surge of data from IoT sensors, cameras, accelerometers, GPS trackers, and so on being like “drinking from a firehose.” But this new vision is more like being able to fit the right nozzle on the firehose, and then pointing it in the right direction at the right moment.

For guidance on how to accomplish this, SAP Leonardo IoT offers a set of business services and development templates that allow customers to build applications that work inherently with IoT intelligence.

The Right Connection

SAP also has the cloud-to-cloud interoperability of SAP Leonardo IoT with Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, providing users with a choice of connectivity and device management. Once again, it’s all about connecting the pipes and making sure there’s no overflow.

According to the company’s official statement: “SAP Leonardo IoT will allow customers to innovate and enhance business processes using data-driven intelligence and operational context from machines, products, supply chains, consumers, and partners.”

The most important words in the above quote are “operational context from machines.” This is IoT machine data flowing into business operations with context that helps drive the bottom line.

IoT Machines, IoT Apps, IoT Processes

SAP is encouraging its customers to start building IoT intelligence into the way they run their business day to day.

Not only should your firm be thinking about IoT machines, it should also be building IoT apps and, ultimately, it should be moving toward new kinds of IoT-oriented business processes while keeping core processes stable. This is precisely the theory behind what SAP calls “open innovation” inside SAP Leonardo IoT.

Customized IoT for Your Business

According to SAP, customers can also use the services and tools available via SAP Leonardo IoT to extend their applications with additional IoT-centric capabilities. This provides the opportunity to consume, design, and scale the intelligence available from the IoT, but in a way that is custom-tailored to their individual needs.

The result is a more business-centric and more useful approach to the IoT itself. That is what SAP will be hoping for. This is the major promise behind SAP Leonardo IoT.

What’s the point in having all those whirring IoT robots if we don’t ask them to complete a decent day’s work and start to plug data into what people need to do their jobs better, right?

If you’re planning to attend SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, don’t miss the day of learning about SAP Leonardo. There will be an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar on Business Process Innovations for the Intelligent Enterprise and all things related to SAP Leonardo. Register today and save your spot.

Want to continue reading this article?

Become a member and get access to all ASUG benefits including news, resources, webcasts, chapter events, and much more!

Log in

Not an ASUG member? Learn more