German software giant SAP has added a new “jump-start enablement program” to its growing portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) products and services.
The solution is aimed at helping firms integrate emerging connected devices with customer strategies, people and internal processes to accelerate business growth. This comes as the firm recently announced that it would invest 2 billion Euros ($2.1bn) into improving and growing its varied IoT portfolio over the next five years.
Creating workable IoT strategies
SAP’s IoT portfolio consists of adaptive solutions, big data applications and connectivity products, all of which are packaged to work across a range of industries and use-cases.
The company currently develops solutions that can be used in the management of connected products, assets, infrastructure, vehicle fleet, markets and people.
Introduced as part of the SAP Leonardo Labs global enablement network, the jump-start program is fully consultative and is run by a team of industry experts. It’s being described as a multi-phase engagement that takes a design-thinking approach to link new IoT innovations with customer strategies and objectives in pilots.
IoT in the early stages
The service is to be made available worldwide and has been created to help companies survive the first steps of adopting IoT by running internal pilot activities.
These, SAP hopes, can help companies better define business cases for IoT products and convince them to make further investment in connected technologies.
Because this is a new product, SAP is trying to win over customers by offering them a promotional fixed cost structure for software and services covering pilots.
At the core of SAP
The promotional opportunity will cover core SAP Leonardo IoT solutions, including SAP Connected Goods, SAP Vehicle Insights and SAP Asset Intelligence Network.
Leonardo forms an essential part of SAP’s IoT operations. According to the company, it extends its enterprise core into areas such as automation and intelligence.
Dr. Tanja Rueckert, executive vice president of digital assets and IoT at SAP, said: “Moving from things to outcomes is about new business processes such as Industry 4.0, new business models and new ways for people to live and work.
“With SAP Leonardo, we connect ‘things’ with business processes that are instantaneous and proactive, and with people who can manage more effectively with augmented intelligence and autonomous systems.
“Our SAP Leonardo IoT portfolio delivers on SAP’s commitment to produce superior business value through enterprise IoT innovation.”
Filling in the gaps
James Saye, a technology analyst at Roke Manor Research, said that common standards and solutions for testing are needed in order to see the IoT industry grow even further.
“Standardization has nearly always proven necessary in the tech industry with consumers often being nervous about big purchases without it, even if this nervousness is unconscious,” he said.
“Already in the IoT industry consumer uptake has been relatively slow with the many competing offerings from the Big 3 (Apple, Google, Amazon) being partially to blame. Consumers seem nervous about buying into a single ecosystem at such an early stage in the IoT lifecycle.
“With each of these, and others, all using different protocols and standards we’re already seeing fragmentation with companies forming exclusive partnerships. For IoT developers, it can prove very expensive to develop a single product that works with all standards.
“A common protocol (solution) across the IoT industry should help to increase competition and innovation between developers as the potential market increases.”