Tag: IoT

Dear Internet of Things startups,…

Dear Internet of Things startups,

As you may already know, SAP is one of the world’s largest software companies. We produce the software that most companies use to produce their goods. But what you may not know is that we don’t stop there.

On the contrary, SAP also has

On top of all that, according to our 2016 Interactive Annual Report SAP is now employing over 84,100 people globally, who create software for over 345,000 customer organisations spread across 180 countries. In fact, it has reached the point where 76% of business transactions globally now touch an SAP system.

And SAP is deeply committed to the Internet of Things. SAP pledged last September to investing €2bn (US$2.2bn) in the Internet of Things during the next four years, while also announcing the acquisition of two significant IoT companies Fedem and Plat.One.

And SAP’s desire to lead in the IoT space comes from the very top of the organisation as you can see in this tweet from our CEO Bill McDermott:

Cool, right?

Even better, you and your startup can be part of the SAP ecosystem, gaining access to those 345,000 enterprise customers, and their deep, deep pockets. How?

Become involved in SAP’s IoT Accelerator program.

What’s that?

The SAP IoT Startup Accelerator is a globally accessible co-innovation program for B2B startups, innovating in the world of IoT. The Accelerator helps startups grow and scale their business alongside SAP, our vast partner ecosystem and global customer base. We work with Accelerators, Incubators, Venture Firms, Academia and innovative technology providers to expand the IoT solutions ecosystem for our customers.

The SAP IoT Startup Accelerator seeks to find and enable the most promising IoT Startups to bring their solutions to market with SAP, and better yet because of that, SAP is not looking for fees or equity, we are looking for solutions that promote our shared customers success.

Curious to know more? Check out the SAP IoT Accelerator page on F6S.

What the Internet of Things will look like 10 years from now

I was asked recently where do you see the Internet of Things in 10 years?

It is a cool question to think about, and to frame it properly it helps to think back to what the world was like 10 years ago, and how far we have come since then.
iPhone launch 2007

Ten years ago, in 2007 Apple launched the iPhone. This was the first real smartphone, and it changed completely how we interact with information.

And if you think back to that first iPhone with its 2.5G connectivity, no front facing camera, 3.5 inch diagonal 163ppi screen and compare it to today’s iPhones, that is the level of change we are talking about in 10 years.

In 2027 the term Internet of Things will be redundant. In the same way that we no longer say, “Internet connected smartphone”, or “Interactive website” because the connectedness and interactivity are now a given, in 10 years time all the things will be connected and so the term Internet of Things will be superfluous.

Having said that, while the term may have become meaningless, that is only because the technologies will be pervasive, and that will change everything.

With significant progress in low cost connectivity, sensors, cloud-based services, and analytics, in 10 years we will see:

  • Connected Agriculture move to vertical and in-vitro food production, which will see higher yields from crops, lower inputs required to produce them including a significantly reduced land footprint, and the return of unused farmland to increase biodiversity and carbon sequestration (in forests)
  • Connected Transportation will enable tremendous efficiencies, and a major increase in safety as we transition to predictive maintenance of transportation fleets, as vehicles become autonomous and have vehicle-to-vehicle communication protocols as the norm, and as insurance premiums start to favour autonomous driving modes (Tesla cars have 40% fewer crashes when in Autopilot mode according to the NHTSA)
  • Connected Healthcare will move from the current reactive model to a more predictive healthcare, with sensors alerting of irregularities before any significant incident occurs, and the possibility to schedule and 3D print “spare parts”
  • Connected Manufacturing will enable the transition to manufacturing as a service, distributed manufacturing (3D printing) and make mass customisation with batch sizes of one very much the norm
  • Connected Energy with the sources of demand able to ‘listen’ to supply signals from generators, will facilitate moving to a system of demand more closely matching supply (with cheaper storage, low carbon generation, and end-to-end connectivity). This will stabilise the the grid and eliminate the fluctuations introduced by increasing the percentage of variable generators (solar, wind) in the system thereby reducing electricity generation’s carbon footprint
  • Human computer interfaces will migrate from today’s text-based and touch based systems towards Augmented and Mixed Reality (AR and MR) systems, with voice and gesture enabled UIs
  • And finally, we will see the rise of vast Business Networks. These networks will act like automated B2B marketplaces, facilitating information sharing amongst partners, empowering workers with greater contextual knowledge, and augmenting business processes with enhanced information

Many other aspects of our lives will be greatly improved (I’ve not mentioned improvement to logistics and supply chains with complete track and traceability all the way through the supply chain as a given, for example).

We are only at the start of our IoT journey. In 2007 when the smartphone was starting out the incredible advances we’ve seen as a consequence (i.e Apple’s open sourced ResearchKit being used to monitor the health of pregnant women) weren’t obvious, but they have happened. With the increasing pace of innovation, falling prices for components, and amazing network effects from the connected Internet of Things, the future looks very bright, even if we no longer use the term Internet of Things.

Photo credit Garry Knight on Flickr

SAP’s Vehicle Network explained by SAP VP Laurens Eckelboom

I had the good fortune to meet SAP’s VP Connected Vehicles, Laurens Eckelboom at Mobile World Congress recently and I invited him to come on the IoT Heroes podcast to tell us all about what SAP is doing with its Vehicle Network and other connected car initiatives.

Here’s the transcript of our conversation:

Tom Raftery: Hi everyone, welcome to the IoT Hero Show. My name is Tom Raftery, I’m VP & Global IoT Evangelist for SAP, and with me on the show today, I have Laurens Eckelboom. Laurens, do you want to introduce yourself?

Laurens Eckelboom: Absolutely Tom and pleasure to be here. My name is Laurens Eckelboom and I’m VP and Head of Business Development for the SAP Vehicles Network and Connected Vehicles working in Palo Alto California.

Tom Raftery: Okay, super. So Laurens what is a vehicles network, because we all know what vehicles are and we all know what networks are, but what’s a vehicles network?

Laurens Eckelboom: That’s a great question and actually SAP Vehicles Network is more like a marketplace. A marketplace around vehicle and mobility centric services with the focus on the B2B side of it, so what we are trying to do is connect on the one hand side supply, vehicle and mobility centric supply focused on parking, fueling and location based services. We aggregate, aggregators in that space, we try to standardize those business transactions and utilize a set of standard API’s to offer that aggregated inventory to the demand side of the marketplace, which are sales channels and sales channels could be vehicle manufacturers, it could be aftermarket providers, insurance companies, etc, etc with a large consumer base. That is in an nut shell what we do.

Tom Raftery: Okay, so and this is all delivered, the reason we’re talking is because it is all delivered using IoT technologies.

Laurens Eckelboom: Absolutely.

Tom Raftery: It’s being the IoT Hero show, I said I’d better bring it back to that. So there are many actors involved in this Laurens?

Laurens Eckelboom: Absolutely, there are many actors, there are many stakeholders that we bring together and again that is the power of SAP Vehicles Network, and yes, it is powered by SAP HANA Cloud Platform let’s emphasize that, but what we are trying to do is that we create an ecosystem where we did not only combined supply and demand where we bring not only content and transactionable content together and offer that to a large ecosystem of companies that have access to a large consumer basis. But we also try to come up with new cross pollination for data, new business models, new revenue streams, all because the more the marketplace is growing, the more the network is growing, the more the stakeholders are benefiting from it.

Tom Raftery: Okay and this is an unusual model I think because if we think about IoT and vehicles, people immediately think of maybe something like smart parking, but what the vehicles network is it’s much much bigger than that because if my understanding is correct. SAP is kind of standing in the middle of all kinds of vendors, of services for vehicles, so it’s a much, much bigger place, is that correct?

Laurens Eckelboom: That is absolutely correct and you’ve hit the nail on the head, if you look at it more realistically then of course we are a part of the SAP Leonardo Family, IoT family of brands within SAP and if you look at the value of proposition around the connected vehicles then we have 4 activities that we can identify, and SAP Vehicle Network is only 1 of those 4 activities, but if we look at it more broad then you know we are providing vehicle insights at more like fleet and B2B telematic solutions to a broad range of customers, not only data gathering, but also analysis and predictions that are associated with it, which is of course fascinating and a very rapidly growing activity within SAP.

The second activity that we do under the Connected Vehicles brand is ride sharing under the twogo brand, ride sharing to provide an economically friendly, more sustainable solution to companies to organize ride sharing initiatives that they have and also associate with all kinds of incentives around ride sharing.

Then the third activity is as we discussed SAP Vehicles Network, which is a B2B marketplace around vehicle and mobility centric services.

And last but not least, we are also providing SAP Connected Parking, which is a standalone Kiosk based on HANA Cloud Platform that is absolutely paperless and has the capability of being operated remotely in a new revolutionary design, very simple and very easy to do maintain and to operate, and again a 100% based on our cloud platform.

Tom Raftery: Okay, so just talking that one for a second, because that one is very easy to grok, the connected parking. Who would be the typical customers for that?

Laurens Eckelboom: So as you know SAP is a software company and the Kiosk is hardware right? So for us this is an outbound OEM solution where we will provide or are providing the IP of the hardware to what we call new ghost companies that will take over the design, the assembly and distribution, and install it at their customers inventory and then you need to think about parking operators, the large operators in America, but also think about other use cases such as airports, think about potential municipalities, real estate companies and other types of locations where you could use the unattended Kiosk in various ways of use cases.

Tom Raftery: Okay and this I presume obviously then connect back into the vehicle network as well, so you could have the two of them wired up together for all intents and purposes?

Laurens Eckelboom: Absolutely, the beauty of it is that the kiosk is part of opening up a lot of parking inventory that today is not accessible, that is not online accessible. So with the kiosk we are putting these offline locations on the grid, we make them available to reserve, to book, to pay, and that obviously benefits the whole ecosystem of SAP Vehicles Network because all the consumers now have a broader choice of parking inventory to go to in a seamless and frictionless way.

Tom Raftery: Okay and how long as the vehicles network been in operation?

Laurens Eckelboom: It’s pretty new, we launched the SAP Vehicles Network in America in October 2015 and in Europe in November 2015, so we have one and a half years on the way, but it’s exciting to see the growth, it’s exciting to see the development, and so we could not be happier with the direction that we’re going to today.

Tom Raftery: Okay, and in terms of, I mean do you call them customers or do you call them partners, people who are using the network, who interesting is on the network that we can work with?

Laurens Eckelboom: So we have two roles basically on SAP Vehicles Network, on the first of all on the supply side, every marketplace has a supply and demand, on the supply side we are working with companies that have access to a large inventory of parking spaces, and those parking spaces are online available, so that means that you could online or mobile interact with these spaces. We call that POP’s, Point of Purchase, which is different than POI’s, which is only static information. So we work with the market leaders for on and off street parking where we have the availability of their complete inventory, and by bundling that inventory, now suddenly through one API connection you have access to all this aggregated inventory, to these millions of parking spots, without the needs to sign up individually for these operators. [emphasis added]

And we do the same for fueling and we have a second activity within a marketplace is fueling, cashless fueling, where we could tie in a navigation experience towards a fuel station, with an identification use case through the head unit of the car, or through any companion app that through the cloud directly interacts with the transaction handler software, so we can activate the right fuel pump so that you don’t pay for the wrong fuel. And for somebody in front of you,

Tom Raftery: That’s important.

Laurens Eckelboom: Yeah, that’s of course very important. And we do the payments authentication and authorization through the cloud, and so all these elements are coming together, then the fuel pump will change its display you know saying hey, I’m ready. So the only thing you still need to do, we’re working on that as well, but you still have to get out of your car and put that nozzle in the gas tank and then that’s it.

Tom Raftery: It won’t fuel itself

Laurens Eckelboom: Yeah, that would be nice right, and we can tie that experience also into a business use case where if it would be a business trip, you could also tie that into Concur for your trip reporting.

Tom Raftery: Okay, so you pull up to the fuel pumps, you fill the car, you then have a reserved parking space you pull up to that, and at the end of the day the parking billing and the fuel billing all appear in your expenses report automatically?

Laurens Eckelboom: Exactly.

Tom Raftery: Or automagically maybe we should say.

Laurens Eckelboom: I like that better.

Tom Raftery: Interesting, so this obviously is great for business users. Is there a consumer aspect to it or is it all business to business?

Laurens Eckelboom: No, there is a huge consumer aspect to it. As I said prior in our conversation that we are looking for the demand side within the marketplace, for consumer facing companies, and we identify basically four tiers, one tier is of course the vehicle OEM’s where we are looking for direct integration in the head units combined with a companion app. The second tier would be rental car companies, where we interact with their user base. The third one would be aftermarket, where we work with dongle and Telco’s with an OBD2 Solution and a companion app that interacts with the car, and the fourth use case is of course an app that is out there whether it’s an insurance app or an existing parking app or maybe it’s a city specific app, where we can add locations and relevant services around parking and fueling into that app.

So those are the use cases that we have, and then seguing more towards your question, these services can be consumed by consumers, by a BMW driver, by a Mercedes driver that once you access parking, but of course they are also more like business use cases available that as basically comparable as a consumer use case, but by tying it to Concur, you can suddenly create a whole business use case scenario where a trip reporting and expense claim management is also integrated. I hope that makes sense.

Tom Raftery: It does and nobody likes doing expenses, so anyway you can make it easier for us, it’s so much appreciated.

Laurens Eckelboom: I feel your pain

Tom Raftery: You mentioned insurance, what would be the use case for the insurance industry?

Laurens Eckelboom: So insurance companies are realizing that there main channel of interaction is more and more mobile. Anyway they segue from people towards online, web towards mobile, and so to that ends they are adding more and more functionality into mobile apps, and that functionality goes further than a regular insight in your policy, there is now also a way to apply for an insurance policy whether it’s car or house or associated to insurance products, but also now they are looking on how they can increase interaction with their app, how they become more relevant, and have be brought interact more than twice a year, which is typically the renewal cycle of insurance to a more like weekly or even daily interaction, and to that end if you would add things like parking or fueling services to that app, suddenly the interaction with that app is becoming more repetitive and more frequently.

And by doing that they are adding more relevance and stickiness to their app and that is what they are looking for, they are looking more for a more like almost like a kind of a mobility value proposition to their end users that acts as there companion for more daily use cases.

Tom Raftery: Okay, interesting, nice. So we’ve covered a lot about it, is there anything that we haven’t talked about yet?

Laurens Eckelboom: Well, I mean there’s a couple of things that I think are really exciting and that is for instance the Hertz, Nokia, Concur and SAP showcase at MWC 2017 because I think that what is really interesting about SAP Vehicle Network is also that we can bring multiple large companies together, and create new innovative use cases, not necessarily by coming up with new technology, but by bundling the individual value propositions, and create whole new use case scenario that also provides a more delightful user experience, and more relevance and stickiness towards individual app or individual companies. So what we did in the Hertz case was that we used a Hertz mobile app as a front end and added additional solutions to it that would go way further than your rental car experience.

So to that end, you know the app during the Mobile World Congress, did not only enable you to, you know the moment you enter a rental car facility to select a car and do your regular rental car managements steps such as looking at the agreement, adding fuel services to it, maybe increase the insurance but after those steps you know the use case was that had interacted with vehicle to the cloud, so I’m a tall guy 6’4 I used to be 6’5, but at 6’4 these days, and so if I step into a car through the cloud the car recognizes me as Laurens, 6 foot 4 so the seat would go backwards, it recognized that I like 90’s music better than today’s music, so the radio would tune on 90’s music.

And the app could behave like a keyless access point, so I could pop the trunk, I could open up the car and there the keys of the vehicle would be available and I could actually start the car, so that would be one of the examples, but then we’re going to convert that car into a mobile wallet, the wallet on wheels by opening up the SAP vehicles network parking and fueling inventory, having the ability to push navigation from that transaction to the head unit of the car, and then when you’re at your point of interaction whether that’s a parking garage or whether that’s a fuel pump, there is an interaction through the cloud with that hardware, and by adding the components of Concur to this whole use case scenario, we suddenly create a whole business scenario.

And then also I think one of the unique things that we do is that we bring IoT also to business processes, and that’s of course our strength within SAP, and that is something unique and we are very proud of that. And so everybody is benefiting from it, it’s not only the user, the business traveler that has a delightful experience, but also these transactions through the cloud through the real world are coming back into one of the core things that we do, business processes.

Tom Raftery: Okay and that announcement, at Mobile World Congress with Nokia and Hertz, is that available now to Hertz users, or is it something that going to be rolled over the next however how many months or years?

Laurens Eckelboom: Yeah, absolutely. This is something that of course is not available today, it was a showcase, but it says something about innovation and the roadmap ahead, so rest assure that in the future that many of these elements will become available within not only the Hertz app, but also in other comparable use case scenarios.

And another example that I would love to give to you is with Mojio. Mojio is a aftermarket solution, it’s actually a connected car platform for T–mobile in the US and Deutsche Telecom in Europe, and here the Mojio team decided to add SAP Vehicles Network services around parking and fueling to their current use case, which is focused around basic telematics and navigation and issue management capabilities, and the unique thing is that they have access to a large target audience of T-Mobile customers in the US, and with the distribution network of T-Mobile stores in the US, so here you will see that hundreds of thousands of T-Mobile users and T-Mobile customers have now the ability in the next couple of months to start interacting not only with Mojio’s key and core competence, but also with transactions, paying for parking, starting to pay for fueling and this is all about the network you know.

Now you see that the transaction is starting to come in and now we also start to learn about behavior and other elements and that is very exciting, we could not be more happy about that.

Tom Raftery: Oh, fantastic, great. Okay, we’re coming towards the end of the show Laurens, we’re running out of time. Just for the people who are interested, what else is coming down the line with the Vehicles Network that you’d like to tell people about?

Laurens Eckelboom: I think that and that is great question. There’s a couple of things that we are working on besides the parking and fueling scenario, we are focusing now on location based services around parking and fueling, and we feel that parking was never a destination, but it will be great at the moment you parked, you could get a cup of coffee with a participating Starbucks around the corner or maybe a second bagel, and the same for fueling, of course I think the optimal use case scenario at a fuel station is that while you’re you know getting gas, you’re going to buy something at the convenience store, whether that’s a free coke or you know and we can tie that into your trip, we can also segment and fine tune that base on the time of the day, we could tie it in to how long you’ve been driving, so there are all kinds of deeper detailed scenarios available.

And after those services that I described, we will continue to add new vehicle mobility centric services to the marketplace. Think about I think in the near future insurance related services, roadside assistance related services, but also think about maintenance service, maybe in the future even multi modelling because again we also go to that direction, so it’s exciting and there’s a lot coming.

Tom Raftery: Fantastic, great. Laurens if people want to know more about you or about the vehicle network or any of these things, so where should I go?

Laurens Eckelboom: Go to sap.com and look for SAP Vehicles Network. We have a nice website with more examples, more information and the other way to reach out is send an Email laurens.eckelboom@sap.com and I’m happy to answer any question you may have.

Tom Raftery: fantastic Laurens it’s been great thanks for joining us on the show today.

Laurens Eckelboom: Thanks so much Tom I appreciate the opportunity.

You can listen to the audio over on the IoT Heroes website or check it out below:

Internet of Things, renewables and storage – a perfect storm for utilities’ digital transformation

Without doubt it is a time of great turbulence in the electric utilities space.

In most regions globally, wind and solar are now our cheapest sources of electricity generation, even without subsidies.

As a consequence of this, wind has overtaken nuclear, hydro and coal to become the second largest source of electricity generation in EU in 2016 [PDF]. And at the same time in the US, the solar market is smashing records and grew 95% in 2016 alone.

Then there is storage. Costs here have been tumbling too. So much so that Morgan Stanley predicts the storage market to grow from the roughly $400m in 2016, to a market size of $2-4bn by 2020. This will have big implications for utilities’ ability to add more variable generators (renewables) to their mix without destabilising the grid.

Speaking of grid stabilisation, the refrain up until now has been that for every MW of renewables built, a MW of gas had to also be built as a backstop (for days with no wind, or overcast days, or nights). However, this too has changed. Last August First Solar ran a tests with CAISO (the California grid operator) to test a solar farm’s ability to smooth out grid fluctuations. The results of the test demonstrated that solar farms are able to meet, and sometimes exceed, the frequency regulation response usually provided by natural-gas-fired peaker plants.

Things are changing on the consumption side of the house too.

solarinstall2016

Source: GTM Research / SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight report

As can be seen from the chart above, installations of residential PV are rising, as is home storage, and another form of potential consumption and storage (v2g), the electric car, saw sales rise by 37% in the US in 2016.

Then there is the whole digitisation of the grid. Now all new equipment is being built with inbuilt ‘smarts’ and connectivity, and even older infrastructure can be retrofitted, so with the advent of the smart grid, we will finally have the possibility of the Electricity 2.0 vision I was talking up back in 2008/09. This is a smart grid where appliances in the commercial or residential worlds can ‘listen’ for pricing signals from the grid, and adjust their behaviour accordingly, taking in electricity when it is plentiful, and switching to alternative sources/lowering consumption when electricity is in high demand.

With the cost of generation dropping, with no end in sight, the cost of storage similarly falling, as I have posited previously, there is a strong possibility that utilities will have to switch to broadband-like ‘all-you-can-eat’ business models with the utilities differentiating, and making their revenue on added services.

Everything is changing for the electric utility industry – and so, against that backdrop, and the fact that I will be presenting on IoT and Utilities at the upcoming International SAP for Utilities Conference in Lisbon, I decided to have a chat with IDC Research Director Marcus Torchia, about the implications for utilities of these huge changes.

We had a great discussion, and many of the themes we touched on, I will be talking about at the Utilities event in Lisbon.

You can check out our chat in the video above, play it in the audio below, or listen to it on the IoT Heroes podcast site.

IoT, and the transition to the digital services economy discussion with Constellation’s Andy Mulholland

Over on the IoT Heroes podcast I recently had a chat with Constellation Research analyst Andy Mulholland. Before coming out of retirement to head up IoT research for Constellation, Andy was Global CTO for Cap Gemini, and so he knows a thing or two about IT!

Andy publishes extremely insightful articles on the Internet of Things regularly over on his blog, so I was keen to have him come on the show.

In the podcast we had a wide-ranging discussion on the implications for (primarily) manufacturing organisations of the Internet of things, the transition to the as-a-service economy, and how people can get up-to-speed on happenings in the IoT space.

If you have any interest at all in the Internet of Things, and how it will effect our society, you should check out this episode of the show – you can subscribe to the RSS feed, subscribe on iTunes, or simply click Play on the player below to hear our discussion

 

Photo credit Toyota UK

SAP Announces: Leonardo, Jump-Start program, and Leonardo event to help organizations get started with IoT

…learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else

Leonardo da Vinci

SAP made a big announcement today related to its Internet of Things (IoT) products. The announcement is in three parts:

  1. SAP is branding its IoT Innovation portfolio SAP Leonardo – naming it after the great visionary, inventor, and artist Leonardo da Vinci
  2. Then, following on from SAP’s announcement of the €2bn investment in IoT, SAP is a launching a Jump-Start program to help organisations get started on their IoT pilot programs quickly and reliably and
  3. SAP also announced plans for its first global SAP Leonardo event for SAP customers, partners and IoT experts in Frankfurt Jul 11-12

 

SAP Leonardo

Digging into the announcement a little bit, SAP has long needed strong branding to pull together its offerings in the IoT space. The choice of the Leonardo name is a particularly apt one given, da Vinci’s timeless association with breathtaking vision (Leonardo dreamt up helicopters, tanks, submarines, amongst other things long before the technologies existed to create them). But there is another, possibly less obvious reason, it is an appropriate choice of name – the Internet of Things crosses all verticals (this is one of the reasons I find it so interesting), and so too did da Vinci. He didn’t restrict himself to painting, or sculpture, as many other great artists did. In fact, the Wikipedia entry for Leonardo states

Leonardo was an Italian polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time

Apt indeed.

The SAP Leonardo Portfolio has the following components:

  • Connected Products – Enable end-to-end visibility to product-centric operations and ability to optimize compliance visibility and service availability
  • Connected Assets – Connect production systems and assets with manufacturing and Maintenance business processes to reduce operational and maintenance cost and increase uptime of assets.
  • Connected Fleet -Track, monitor, analyze and maintain all moving assets, wherever they are in the network
  • Connected Infrastructure – Delivers new forms of digital operational intelligence to transform physical-infrastructure systems to improve service, drive economic growth, and allow for more efficient and cost-effective operations, infrastructure compliance and risk mitigation.
  • Connected Markets – Foster local markets, cities, urban and rural areas to optimize utilization of natural resources and assets, reduce emissions, congestion and energy usage and improve the environment.
  • Connected People – Strives to improve lives, work and health by connecting people and communities and providing better lifestyle experiences and opportunities for organizations to evolve into new business models

 

SAP Jump-Start program

Then under the new SAP Leonardo brand, and following on from the recent announcement of SAP’s €2bn investment in the Internet of Things, part two of the announcement talks about the new SAP Leonardo Jump Start program. This is, I believe, hugely important for any organisations looking to start an IoT pilot program in earnest.

The offering consists of an executive design thinking session to kick off the customer’s project and identify an area for innovation, a rapid prototyping workshop to develop a real prototype to validate the vision, and finally an implementation phase to convert the prototype into a live pilot project and define an IoT roadmap for further business processes.

To my mind, the most interesting aspect of the offer though is that it has a fixed price for the software and services to cover the pilot and first year of usage of SAP Leonardo solutions. I can see this proving very compelling for organisations looking to investigate seriously the IoT, but not wishing to encounter sticker shock.

The details of the offer are as follows:

  • Today there are offers for 4 solutions in Q1 – Connected Goods, Vehicle Insights, Predictive Maintenance, and Asset Intelligence Network
  • In Q2 SAP plans to further offer Global Track & Trace, Distributed Manufacturing
  • Jump-Start uses the standard solution in pilot and all are Cloud solutions
  • It is available in all regions
  • Industry Value Engineering is included to help generate the business case
  • The pilot includes services and a 1 year contract for the Cloud license for 1 solution. The pilot is a 3 month project.
  • Can be purchased by client through their sales representative or visit SAP.com.
  • And SAP are currently evaluating opportunities for 3rd party participation.

 

And finally there is the announcement of the first SAP Leonardo event this coming July.  This should provide an amazing opportunity for customers, partners, and SAP experts to discuss progress on the first six months of the SAP Leonardo announcement, and Jump-Start program.

Leonardo da Vinci once famously said:

…people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things

Leonardo da Vinci

With this announcement SAP are telling the market that now is the time for SAP to go out and happen to the Things.

IoT, IIoT, Industry 4.0 – what’s what?

The Internet of Things is a very nascent area, and as with all maturing topics, the language surrounding it can be a little confusing. This is especially true when the terms are so new, and not always self-explanatory.

So, what are the Internet of Things (IoT), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and Industry 4.0?

Well, IoT (the Internet of Things) is obviously the broadest of all the terms, and it encompasses the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as well as Industry 4.0.

 

However, IoT also includes the consumer’s Internet of Things. Devices like Nest thermostats, Philips Hue lightbulbs, and August smart connected door locks, for example fall into this category. As mentioned previously on this blog, smart home, or consumer IoT is languishing at the moment for a variety of reasons.

The Industrial IoT (aka IIoT), on the other hand is starting to really take off.

When you talk about the IIoT, you talk about everything along the value chain. Not only manufacturing, but also connected vehicles, transportation optimisation, instrumented agriculture, smart cities, and so on. This space is now starting to see serious investment because the technologies are hitting the right price point, the standards are starting to come together, and successful examples such as the SAP-TrenItalia implementation which is providing savings of €150m per annum on a €50m total investment demonstrate the viability of such investments.

Organisations such as the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) work with companies to set the standards, best practices and processes of the Industrial Internet. This work is vital for the success of the IIoT. This is why SAP is heavily involved in this organisation, with SAP EVP Dr Tanja Reuckert being Vice Chair of the Steering Committee.

Here’s my interview with the IIC’s Executive Director, Richard Soley.

And finally we come to the term Industry 4.0, which you can also hear mentioned in conversations about the internet of Things. What exactly is Industry 4.0? Well it refers to digitisation of manufacturing specifically – it focuses primarily on production and the shopfloor within manufacturing organisations.

The term refers to the fourth industrial revolution, and unsurprisingly it has its roots in Germany. Industry 4.0 (sometimes called Industrie 4.0) also has a number of organisations working with industry to create standards. One of the most active is Platform Industrie 4.0, a body which has its roots in the manufacturing arena, and is now converging with the IIC with respect to standards. And again, because Platform Industrie 4.0 is so heavily involved in setting the standards for Industrie 4.0, SAP are deeply engaged.

So, to summarise, IoT is the overarching term referring to all aspects of the Internet of Things, IIoT is IoT as applied to industry, while Industry 4.0 is IIoT specifically for manufacturing organisations.

IoT Heroes podcast

Back in the early days of podcasting (2005-08) I ran a popular podcast called PodLeaders where I regularly interviewed luminaries from the tech world such as Vint Cerf, Matt Mullenweg, Robert Scoble, and others.

I have always had a soft spot for podcasts. I love listening to them as I walk the dog every morning, and/or when I’m on planes, or when I’m driving. And so, with the recent upsurge in podcast popularity,  I recently decided to start up a new podcast focussing on the Internet of Things. I’m calling it IoT Heroes.

I will publish roughly one episode a week. Sometimes it will be a dedicated podcast, more often it will be a case of republishing the audio from one of the video interviews I carry out.

For example, I have just published as a podcast the recent video interview I did with Fybr CTO, Mrinal Wadhwa. Fybr do the full network stack for IoT devices which need to be in the field, reliably sending info back to base and using very little power so the battery life is in the order of 10 years. Typical use cases are parking meters for cities, soil moisture sensors for agriculture/horticulture, and sewage flow sensors for waste water organisations.

Apart from the interview with Mrinal, I’ve already published interviews with Industrial Internet Consortium Executive Director Richard Soley, with Eclipse’s VP Marketing Ian Skerrett, and with Labs Network Industry 4.0 Lead Anke Riechers.

If you want to subscribe to the podcast, the url is http://tomraftery.libsyn.com/rss, and if you want to add it to the blogs you follow, you can find it on IoTHeroes.com.

In the meantime, use the player below to enjoy the podcast with Mrinal:

New business models for utilities

Several months before joining SAP, I was asked if I would give a talk (and be on a related panel) at the European Utility Week conference in Barcelona this year on the topic of New Business Models for Utilities.

The event is the premier utilities event annually in Europe with 12,000 attendees, and 600 exhibitors. I was honoured to be asked, and of course accepted, without hesitation.

The talk wasn’t video’d but you can check out the slides I used above. In slides 3-29 I outline why utilities need to adopt new business models (revenues are falling due to factors like falling costs of generation, the rising popularity of renewables, climate change, etc.). In slides 33-40 I discuss some of the evolutionary business models open to utilities. While slides 41-60 outline some of the more revolutionary opportunities open to utilities – many being enabled by the Internet of Things, and utilities digital transformation.

With all the changes occurring, utilities need to disrupt, or they themselves will be disrupted.

Italy’s train operator invests big in IoT

TrenItalia has invested €50m in an Internet of Things project which it expects to cut maintenance costs by up to €130m anually, to increase train availability, and improve customer satisfaction ratings.

There is a lot of hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) these days, so it is refreshing to see an IoT story with some real traction (terrible pun, sorry!).

TrenItalia, the primary train operator in Italy, and SAP had a big launch event recently to announce a partnership whereby TrenItalia are using SAP’s IoT technology to help manage the maintenance of the TrenItalia fleet.

TrenItalia operates around 8,000 trains per day, which is in itself, no mean feat. However, it wanted to make its service even more efficient so it looked to the Internet of Things to help.

Historically maintenance on trains was scheduled based on how long the train was in service, how many kilometers it had travelled, or if a failure ocurred, and as a consequence many times the maintenance happened before it was needed.

Trains have had sensors installed for some time now, however typically they wrote their data to log files which were examined at the journey’s end. With the new Dynamic Maintenance Management solution (DMMS), TrenItalia is deploying sensors on all its trains to report back detailed data on the trains’ performance in realtime. The data is used to track where the trains are, to schedule maintenance when it is actually needed, and to increase the safety, and reliability of the entire locomotive fleet.

The trains have between 500-1,000 sensors capable of generating up to 5,000 data points per second measuring variables like motor temperature, line voltage, and braking effort. This data is transferred to TrenItalia’s 6 terabyte in-memory database, and can be stored ultimately in their 1 petabyte cloud storage facility.

The cost of the project to TrenItalia is €50m, which may sound like a lot, but according to TrenItalia CIO Danilo Gismondi, they expect the solution to save them between €104m – €130m per annum (8 – 10% savings in the annual maintenance budget of €1.3bn). There are also savings of an estimated €10-€20m from not having to pay fines and penalties to customers and regulators associated with train failures and delays.

Apart from the financial savings, other benefits of the solution include:

  • a reduction in the unplanned unavailability of trains (leading to a 5-8% increase in train availability)
  • a reduced stock of spare parts
  • a reduction in the amount of time locomotives spend in maintenance and
  • a realtime look into the status of the entire TrenItalia fleet with the ability to be alerted to issues on any one individual locomotive before problems arrive

At €50m, this is a significant outlay for TrenItalia, but they are now battling against competitors on many fronts (air travel, buses, and even ride-share schemes like Uber). Knowing this, a big motivator for TrenItalia’s undertaking the project was to increase customer satisfation ratings. As TrenItalia CEO Barbara Morgante put it

Customers have to choose us because we’re better than others

The transformative nature of the Internet of Things should not be underestimated. With this one solution TrenItalia is saving over €100m a year, it is increasing the safety and reliability of its trains, and it is providing a better service for its customers.