OSIsoft SAP tool kills the ‘data janitor’
OSIsoft SAP tool to kill data janitor
All these screens and no Pac-Man? Image Source: OSIsoft

OSIsoft SAP tool kills the ‘data janitor’

SAP’s Sapphire Now 2017 conference in Orlando is now behind us, but it’s always interesting to pick up some of the tastier morsels of partner and affiliate news that get overlooked during the heat of keynote fever.

Take, for example, OSIsoft, an SAP partner specializing in operational intelligence with several fingers in the IoT pie. The company used its appearance at the SAP show to demo a new version of its product, SAP HANA IoT Integrator.

If SAP HANA is essentially an expanded notion of a database with extreme in-memory power extensions to allow it to act as an ‘analytics software appliance’ in its own right, with a columnar-based (as opposed to row-based) data store, then it is already engineered (in theory at least) for speed of data throughput.

What OSIsoft appears to have done is to put what might be called high-fidelity data streaming capabilities into the burger mix. This way, SAP HANA can consume both operational and transactional data at the same time – actually HANA is inarguably good at doing this already, so OSIsoft needs to add an extra splash of secret sauce.

Read more: SAP shifts gears of IoT into business ERP

Secret IoT silo sauce

That sauce then, if it does indeed exist, is just that little bit more IoT-centric than the purposes for which SAP HANA may have been originally envisioned.

Software functions inside SAP HANA IoT Integrator by OSIsoft (it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?) works to break apart data silos and automate the data ingestion process from different ‘things’.

In real operational terms, this means being able to splice apart and differentiate data coming from machinery, SCADA [supervisory control and data acquisition] systems used to monitor plant equipment, IoT gateways and other operational devices into SAP applications.

So, in other words, SAP HANA IoT Integrator cleans, augments, shapes and transmits data from OSIsoft’s PI System (an operational intelligence system that connects sensor-based data, operations and the people that have to run live systems) for use and consumption in SAP HANA, SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service and other SAP Leonardo solutions.

Read more: Finger Food organises IoT augmented reality project – in a brewery

Streaming dynamism is the new black

Using this software, financial departments can obtain production data across multiple plants from the OSIsoft PI System and combine it with sales and shipping data to analyze productivity, for example. Supply chain departments, likewise, can use the solution to fuse real-time data more easily into shipping schedules.

The first version of the integration technology, which debuted in 2015, was designed to harvest OSIsoft PI System data at intervals created by users – for example, every minute or every fifteen minutes. The new version provides flexibility to send data whenever new data is generated or in pre-determined timeframes, helping ensure that users can choose the most efficient view into their operations – this, logically, is why ‘streaming dynamism’ and ‘automation’ are the new black.

Read more: Dunelm boosts supply chain operations with IoT and SAP

Killing the data janitor

“Data scientists often spend more than 50 percent of their time on ‘data janitor’ tasks like preparing and organizing data and it’s often the least enjoyable part of their work. As a result, big data and digital transformation often can take far longer and cost far more than necessary,” said Aaron Pratt, director of IoT global channels at OSIsoft. “We’re very excited to be working with SAP to simplify the process and give more people the ability to tap into the vital signs of their company.”

As an additional note, we hear that SAP HANA IoT Integrator by OSIsoft has already been adopted in several industries including renewables, oil and gas and manufacturing. Just to be even more helpful, OSIsoft and SAP partners including Capgemini and Critigen have built additional use cases… which is nice.

Editorial disclosure: No janitors, domestic engineering staff or industrial data cleaning & preparation professionals were hurt in the production of this article.