SAP plugs IoT into Leonardo toolkit to woo big money industries

Cloud-to-cloud interoperability with Microsoft, more vendors to come

MWC Germany's big name in back-office tech announced a suite of IoT capabilities in its SAP Leonardo toolkit at Euro mobility gabfest Mobile World Congress.

The move comes as SAP tries to reinvent itself as a customer-facing business and move away from the ERP systems it is better known for.

This has brought no end of buzzphrases. In June it pushed the idea of the "intelligent enterprise". This is where Leonardo comes in with the ability to embed automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence – and now IoT as well – into business processes.

SAP has also been talking up the idea of "experience management" after paying €8bn cash for data-slurping and analytics biz Qualtrics, and said today that Leonardo's IoT chops would "redefine customer experience".

Other targets for the IoT release are line-of-business customers and those in high-value industries. SAP said the new tool could be put to work to boost revenues and productivity by harnessing information from machines, products, supply chains, consumers and partners.

"SAP delivers valuable insight and drives business results by embedding IoT data into business processes," Elvira Wallis, senior vice president and global head of IoT at SAP, said in a canned statement.

"With the launch of SAP Leonardo IoT, SAP solidifies its commitment to the IoT, and in particular Industrial IoT. The combination of IoT and our depth and breadth of high-value industry and application expertise helps customers gain greater business value and a stronger competitive advantage."

Leonardo IoT will be available in three ways: by extending existing SAP IoT applications; building new intelligence IoT solutions and to combine IoT data with business process data in SAP's applications. These include its ERP tool S/4HANA, CRM C/4HANA, human capital management app SuccessFactors, procurement tool Ariba and other digital supply chain products.

The firm also announced cloud-to-cloud interoperability with Microsoft Azure IoT Hub. SAP said customers could use Microsoft's hub as the connectivity and device management layer for IoT telemetry data, with the info "seamlessly relayed" to Leonardo IoT.

Meanwhile, SAP Leonardo IoT Edge will give customers the option to extend support for business processes locally on top of Microsoft Azure IoT Edge runtime.

And essential business function modules based on SAP Leonardo IoT Edge are planned to run in containers on Microsoft Azure IoT Edge, which SAP said would reduce customers' dependency on latency, bandwidth and connectivity.

The firm said that it was planning to offer the same interoperability with other partners in the future. ®

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