Skip to main content

IoT becomes Outcome Orientated with SAP Leonardo - Finally

SAP Internet of Things
On January 10, 2017, SAP announced a bundling of their IoT portfolio of initiatives to focus on business outcomes instead of technology while combining the set of emerging products and solutions under the brand name Leonardo – as in Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the most forward looking artists and innovators ever. This announcement substantiates SAPs commitment to invest two billion Euro in IoT over the next 5 years.
The new portfolio will combine adaptive applications, big data and connectivity as packaged line-of-business solutions, covering a range of topics. It bases upon a rebranded – and repackaged(?) HANA Cloud Platform, enhanced by the micro services for machine learning that were announced earlier and which I covered here. This enhanced platform is now called SAP Cloud Platform.
As per a blog post accompanying the Leonardo announcement, the high level architecture of SAPs new offering looks like below and covers, besides a set of existing applications
·      an IoT adapter – SAP Leonardo for Edge Computing – which serves as a device independent data input layer, essentially a kind of middleware, probably built on or using HCI.
·      a foundational layer – SAP Leonardo Foundation – which includes the IoT business services that are to be exposed, enabling rapid development of applications. This makes up the functional core.
·      and a ‘bus’ layer – SAP Leonardo Bridge – which enables the combination of real time data with applications and processes
Leonardo High Level Architecture - Source: SAP
Leonardo is accompanied by a jump-start enablement program to accompany this initiative. This program includes introductory pricing and is intended to help organizations identify and validate IoT pilots and use cases, including expert staffing and using design thinking methodologies, thus easing the first IoT steps. Of course there will be a launch event to bring together customers, partners, and experts, showcasing innovations and strategies.
According to Tanja Rueckert, EVP Digital Assets and IoT SAP with Leonardo connects “things with business processes […] and with people”.

My Take

This was long overdue.
Overdue not only from SAP, but from any and every vendor. IoT is a means, not an end!
As Brent Leary very recently said in a podcast with SearchCRM, IoT is still trying to make its way to provide value for businesses. This is imho due to the IoT market being vendor- and technology driven. SAP now takes the lead in tightly integrating technology into business process, and to show a clear path to business value. This fits neatly into the core of SAPs overall value proposition as an enterprise software company and it nicely combines numerous technologies and services that have been developed by SAP in the past years into a holistic piece that can deliver business value. I see this mainly as a rebranding instead of something net new, although there are some new pieces to this solution portfolio. This is also a bit of a concern. SAP now needs to keep up the momentum and deliver new intelligent, IoT based business solutions.
What is interesting is the (important) combination of IoT and machine learning, which is mentioned only in the blog post, and which has the potential to make a real difference, e.g., when it comes to distributed intelligence.
As a final word of caution, SAP only announced introductory promotional pricing. This means that there are still important open questions about pricing overall, which should be a worry for customers.
However, overall this is good news for customers, as with this portfolio of services and technology every IoT investment can be tied to a business case and then business value. I expect that other big vendors

SAP clearly takes a thought leadership position here, if not a technology leadership position.

Comments

Last Year's Top 5 Popular Posts

SAP CRM and SAP Jam - News from CRM evolution

During CRM Evolution 2017 I had the chance of talking with Volker Hildebrand and Anthony Leaper from SAP. Volker is SAP’s Global Vice President SAP Hybris and Anthony is Senior Vice President and Sales GM - Enterprise Social Software at SAP. Topics that we covered were things CRM and collaboration, how and where SAP’s solutions are moving and, of course, the impact that the recent reshuffling in the executive board has. Starting with the latter, there is common agreement, that if at all it is positive as likely to streamline reporting lines and hence decision processes. First things first – after all I am a CRM guy. Having the distinct impression that the SAP Hybris set of solutions is going a good way I was most interested in learning from Volker about how there is going to be a CRM for S4/HANA. SAP’s new generation ERP system is growing at a good clip, and according to the Q1/2017 earnings call, now has 5,800 customers with 400 new customers in the last quarter alone. Many

SugarCRM explains how the third wave of CRM adds value

The news On October 4 and 5, 2023, SugarCRM held its Connected event followed by an analyst summit in London. The first day – Connected – was targeted mostly at customers while the second day focused on analysts.  The event started off with an intense speech by Katherine Grainger, DBE , a British rowing champion. Her core messages were about team bonding, the importance of communication, continuous improvement, and perseverance (well, at least that’s my take). This was followed by information about what is new in the software and, more importantly, a customer panel.  The main sponsor, Mobileforce , placed some words about the partnership. In addition, the analysts had 1:1s with customers, partners, and Sugar executives. The second day was filled with information targeted at analysts. CEO Craig Charlton and his executive team shared about financial status, strategy and more in-depth product news. Sugar being a privately held, VC backed company, the financials are of course under NDA, s

How to play the long game Zoho style

The news On February 7 and 8 2024, Zoho held its annual ZohoDay conference, along with a pre-conference get together and an optional visit to SpacX’s not-too-far-away Starbase. Our guide, who went by Chief, and is probably best described as a SpaceX-paparazzi was full of facts and anecdotes, which made the visit very interesting although we couldn’t enter Starbase itself. The event was jam-packed with 125 analysts, 17 customer speakers, and of course Zoho staff for us analysts to talk to. This was a chance we took up eagerly. This time, the event took place in MacAllen, TX, instead of Austin, TX. The reason behind this is once more Zoho’s ruralization strategy, transnational localism.  Which gives also one of the main themes of the event. It was more about understanding Zoho than about individual products, although Zoho disclosed some roadmaps. More about understanding Zoho in a second.  The second main theme was customer success and testimonials. Instead of bombarding us with presenta

Relevance, reliability, responsibility are key for AI – the SAP way

The News A lot is going on in the SAPverse during October and the early days of November 2023. First, SAP conducted its CXLive event with CX-related announcements, then the company reported good Q3/2023 figures, a new version of its CX software that includes new generative AI capabilities got released and lastly, it executed its SAP TechEd event with a good number of AI-, BTP-, and ERP related announcements. As this is quite a lot, I covered the CX world in a previous post and will cover the TechEd related news in this post.  So, what is new at SAP TechEd ? For one, it is enough to fill a 17-page pre-event news guide that SAP sent out. SAP certainly is able to stack up the news for major events. I took the liberty to ask ChatGPT for a summary of the document, which I slightly edited afterwards. Here we are: AI and Development Environments: ·       SAP introduces SAP Build Code with generative AI, improving application development and testing, while new AI capabilities are integrate

Don't mess with Zoho - A Zohoday 2022 recap

After spending two days in Austin, TX, attending the ZohoDay 2022, it is time for a little recap of this interesting event.  We were 99 analysts and 24 customers and plenty of knowledgeable Zoho personnel. The incredible Sandra Lo and her team organized the event around open and transparent communication. So, there was plenty of access for us to customers and the Zoho team.  Which was very important, as already the keynote session by founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu was quite hardcore. Vembu talked about how strategy and culture need to be one, how culture needs to be the root of strategy, and how Zoho implements this. The Zoho strategy lies on three main pillars ·       Transnational localism, a unique concept that in its essence is about embedding a company into a local community by not only selling into it but also by investing into it. This investment is e.g., by offering high paying jobs in areas where these are scarce, by fostering local education, but also by own local sourcing in