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Active Participant

Since SapphireNow 2015 concluded, at least every other week since then  I’ve said to myself, “self, you need to post a COIL blog”.  Until now of course, I’ve managed to find something else to take up the roughly ninety minutes of time it takes to try and cover off either a specific project or to share a small update for 3 or 5 projects. We knew before middle of January that we were destined to take on more project work in the lab than in the previous 7 years since I joined the team.

We didn’t know just how all-consuming it was to become for our local COIL team.  It has definitely crimped blog time.

We have 14 projects in flight right now with 9 additional projects in our queue here in COIL Silicon Valley. We spend so much time doing co-innovation work that we sometimes leave ourselves little room to develop the stories and to provide others with a small glimpse into the work and to learn a bit about the people behind each of the projects.

For this post I’ll bounce around a bit to talk about the projects in motion today. I managed to post right before Sapphire back in April so from then until now is where I’ll try to focus my comments and updates.

New Sponsor-

Fujitsu Ltd. Has joined COIL as one of the lab’s newest sponsors of Hardware. We now have deployed one Terabyte Primergy and two terabyte PrimeQuest servers with NetApp attached storage and two additional 2U application servers to our computing center in Silicon Valley. The equipment is supporting both SAP/FJL projects as well as broader SAP ecosystem co-innovation projects.

To offer a bit of context, shortly after the Fujitsu Sponsorship was signed, COIL had the good fortune to host an exec level meeting back in February to discuss different dimensions of the SAP Fujitsu strategic partnership examining how things look and work today and to share some perspective on where co-innovation of mutual interest can further support, strengthen and broaden the relationship with complementary technologies and business models in the areas of IoT, cloud and mobility.

This first meeting included Tanja Reuckert for Products & Innovation and Rayn Veerubholta for GPO. From Fujitsu, Vera Schneevoigt, Senior Vice President Product Supply Operations for Fujitsu’s Service Platform Business. It was a productive meeting in that it spearheaded further efforts into identifying where co-innovation between the two companies could result in IoT, cloud and mobility solutions for some discrete industries and support a mutual interest for both companies to evolve growth opportunities in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. 

Once we had some areas of focus identified and exploration started, we later hosted a COIL Co-Innovation in Action Series with Fujitsu to allow them an opportunity to demonstrate its different technologies that could represent elements for solutions co-innovated with SAP. The target SAP (And SAP partner) audience that day was those who in particular are exploring and pursuing IoT goals and objectives to introduce them to what FJL offers. The 90 minute session started with an IoT interview I did with Tanja and Vera followed by 3 discrete technology demonstrations. The interview was maybe a bit too structured in terms of the questions and answers covered in such a short period of time (I'd design it differently next time), but there was a lot of important information and insights shared and the demo content was good and quite relevant.

The first SAP/FJL COIL project is a multi-phased effort to examine how the Fujitsu teraSpection cloud-based offering featuring tablet-based augmented reality capability might integrate with Hana. The SAP Hana Partner Engineering team has been working with FJL in the first phase work.  Simultaneously, and with continued focus upon how specific SAP Apps, SAP Hana and HCP might fully intersect in ways to solve operational-based requirements not only for O&G but for clusters of ENR domains like Utilities, Mining and Chemicals. We are teaming with colleagues from development in Walldorf who are focusing upon mobility and AR as well as with the O&G IBU to go further in developing a use case addressing a major operational need that will resonate with customers who can verify for the IBU that it’s a valid solution that meets or exceeds expectations.

This is not a fast process with so many facets to assess, analyze and then manage. We are currently in the midst of determining where all of the key technical intersects need to be and to understand what systems must all be integrated or orchestrated to deliver the solution. The challenge for everyone is to center upon a game changing co-innovation. It cannot only be an exercise in making a certain capability work or how one or more systems connect and interact. Fujitsu may have little to no visibility among North American O&G customers and subsequently no mature selling channel compared to other established partners in the channel now.

The first use case we are developing came from our colleagues in Walldorf who identified a need with a middle east based O&G customer that was interested to detect pipe leaks (gas or liquid) using IR-based photography. What has so far been explored is how a teraSpection-enabled inspector or discrete field worker could use the capability to capture IR photos and other on-site environmental data that can be either sent back to remote management and support teams who then use the data to direct next actions and provide augmented reality enabled guidance to support action taken in the field. The captured IR digital photo data could also be sent back into the cloud for further real time analysis to further enrich predictive and prescriptive analytics useful to optimize asset uptime. 

We have an IoT project focused on this exact capability that I’ll cover in more detail in a moment. We can envision existing signatures signifying normal behavior for a machinery-based asset’s health based upon different machine sensor data allowing for multivariate analysis that could include in our first use case, injection of the IR camera data needed to not only verify a leak but to further describe what could be causing it to leak. With such insights, work orders could be triggered automatically and reduce downtime and operational costs. Using all of this sensor data, historian (work orders, work notifications, sensor data, asset metadata, etc.) and streaming could even provide a means to do simulation useful to further reduce downtime and increase operational capacity.

The use cases we are exploring are compelling and real but the substrate of work required to understand all of the required components from both SAP and FJL, how they may complement or conflict, as well as the complexity or simplicity with respect to how the final solution gets delivered is the work in progress today.

Much to do but the level and effort of activity is strong and is additionally complemented with FJL also exploring project work with SAP and other partners like Intel, NetApp and some of our newest pending project members too. Welcome to the COIL Fujitsu- you are off to a good start.

COIL Projects of Interest:

The way I’ve entitled this section might suggest that I only consider a subset of projects going on at COIL as worthy enough to make my blog post. Far from it. Every one of the projects we are running right now has content for an exclusive 2-3 page blog. In this instance and in the interest of time, I will only update on a small number but the intent is to get some more lab insights with some new blog posts  out shortly.

COIL IoT Kickstarter Program:

The COIL IoT Kickstarter Program is one that certainly deserves its own dedicated posting and update,  but it’s the best place to start in calling out some of our IoT project work going on in this COIL SV today. We have 3 and I’ve blogged about them in the past when they were just forming up.

SAP MTell/Rolta-

The first is our Predictive/Prescriptive Analytics IoT industry specific solution for O&G where SAP and our Oil and Gas IBU is working with MTell and Rolta. The good news for me is that our Silicon Valley Marketing team helped me produce a recent SCN article on the solution so I can redirect you there for some excellent detail. The only added update here is that the team saw MTell acheive an ICC certification for Hana and is finishing up this first project with finalizing two whitepapers plus a live and recorded demo. The other heavy work in progress is working with GPO and the SAP IoT Marketing team to finalize the go to market with the partners. Follow on project work is under development to explore further integration of MTell and Hana as well as how this bundled solution can be delivered to O&G operations customers from HCP.

SAP Illumiti/Vandrico-

The second project I’ve described previously is SAP and our Mining IBU working with Partner Illumiti and the firm Vandrico who has built a platform called Canary to take advantage of providing two way communications featuring wearables in which to forge with SAP and Illumiti a Predictive Safety Solution for the mining industry. This one is all about how the Internet of Things can improve situational awareness for mining and to help people inside a mine to identify and respond appropriately to dangerous situations.

Safety Alerts, Incident Reporting, Safety Checklists and Safety Monitoring all made possible through real time context.  Vandrico has been focused on studying the UX, use cases, and further developing the user interface. Its integration work with Illumiti and the work pertaining to the business logic side within HANA.  Vandrico is also working on a fairly major update that will allow for future updates to the watches to be done remotely.  COIL is working with Silicon Valley Marketing to publish a 2nd SCN  article where we look to share more details about this very cool project which already triggering interest among other partners and teams exploring the use of wearables to exploit IoT sensor data for a variety of industries like construction, airline transportation maintenance and repair, retail, chemicals and utilities.

Always Evolving-

Checking the COIL blog history book you will find we last spoke of a 3rd Kickstarter IoT project exploring possible use cases related to Used-based Insurance.  While this is still an active topic in terms of IoT project development, another IoT project surged ahead a few weeks ago to now represent our 3rd very active IoT project.  Readers may be familiar with this partner from announcements made earlier this month but for those who aren’t, Always Evolving was originally formed up by the late film actor Paul Walker with two other partners.

The company today has a very compelling IoT-capable Relay XD camera designed to stream video fused with metadata surrounding the camera and its location by using a SQL Anywhere dB on the camera. This project warrants its own blog post in the next couple of weeks but we are happy to report that the project is well under way today and several work streams across the team are in motion where the team hopes to have a complete solution ready for an event scheduled at the end of October this year.

This project has so many fascinating dimensions, AE and HCP cloud-based elements, streaming data, analytics, and mobility all geared toward creating a more complete user experience that also further envelops and integrates sponsored brands associated with various sports and entertainment events. This is another one to keep an eye on over time as we already have other partners and SAP teams taking a close look at the capabilities of this unique Camera and the capabilities of its surrounding software services.

Beyond Kickstarter:

We have many more projects (even some more involved IoT project work), being pursued beyond that happening as a part of  Kickstarter where the focus is to produce go to market project results within a 90 day window. The full project portfolio covers cloud, mobility, security, artificial intelligence and analytics.


I’ve not provided much of an update on what our friends at SAP NS2 are up to with COIL but I can assure you they remain among the most active of all our project teams. This crew continues to develop cutting edge solutions in the areas of cyber domain surveillance, geospatial situational awareness and visualization, capability to perform open source intelligence data fusion and semantic analysis across multiple data types and sources and the ability to create our Multi-Intelligence Platform based on HANA and the integrated orchestration of all of the HANA processing engines (geospatial, text analysis, PAL, ESP, XS and Property graph). They now have two must read COIL whitepapers:

Immersive Analysis and Visualization powered by SAP HANA

An Innovative Approach for Local Curation of Multi-INT Products

We recently spent some time connecting with colleagues and partners at the recent Hadoop Summit in San Jose so a lot of future planning to possibly work with Hortonworks and maybe other firms like Databricks and Pentaho. We are also figuring out the best way to deliver a workshop for partners at TechEd. Last year we had roughly 30 partners attend a session on how SAP NS2 was taking advantage of Hana geospatial and to discover how these capabilities could be used for more problem solving in the private sector. 

This time the emphasis would be to share more insights into the integrated orchestration of all of the Hana processing engines. I will be looking at some follow up blog posts to touch on a few specific areas of the SAP NS2 project work; especially for the cyber security work but two ways you can find out more is to watch for COIL to soon publish two Multi-Intelligence Whitepapers and coming up Sept 2nd, we will bring SAP NS2 and SGI together for another SAP COIL Co-Innovation in Action Series to show off some cool demos and to hear more about the ongoing co-innovation project work.

Element Five-

I’m going to lengthen this post a bit more to share some insights into some COIL project work being done with SAP Partner Element Five directed at use cases validated by the SAP Construction IBU leads. To best summarize the project, EC&O and other resource intensive companies are currently facing challenges to make informed decisions mandating the use of big data such as geospatial and IoT data (Equipment sensor data for Telematics).

Tracking and monitoring utilization of resources – People and Equipment, at a project task level is crucial for delivering project. The solution captures – total time, people cost, equipment cost, project progress and customer billing for the milestone achieved. The project will correlate real time weather data with the project tasks to help better-forecast crew and equipment and plan activities accordingly. The solution will provide a complete geo-spatial view with insight into project execution. This has been an exciting project for a variety of reasons and is actually the first project to also work directly against an HCP provided factory instance to support the project work who’s outcome is meant to one day be fully delivered via SAP HCP.

Events and other News:

I’ve already pointed you the recent SCN article featuring our IoT project for O&G and about the upcoming event on Sept 2 with SGI and SAP NS2. There will definitely be more blog posts to come. Other things in motion:

  1. October 3-6, Denver Co., Strategic Management Society Conference, Strategy Expanding, Making Sense of Shifting Field and Firm Boundaries.  A presentation of a co-innovation study authored by me and Dr.Tammy Madsen from SCU describing how co-innovation as a platform contributes to Ecosystem Dynamic Capabilities. There were over 1100 submissions to the call for proposals and super excited to be selected. This is a follow on and similar presentation we made at 1st Annual Worldwide Open Innovation conference last Dec.

  2. Sept. 3rd What Co-Innovation Can Mean for Business Transformation, Sharing and Managing Risk to Achieve IT Business Innovation. This is an upcoming article to be published in the 360 Business Transformation Journal published by SAP and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Northwestern Switzerland. I’m thrilled to co-author this work with my good friend and esteemed COIL colleague Pascal Hagedorn who oversees COIL in Switzerland. It’s a great opportunity for us to also spearhead some ongoing COIL publication efforts across all of our locations globally to further share insight into the value of SAP Co-Innovation.

  3. VDI and Co-Innovation- be sure to check out this month’s Windows IT Pro article where  COIL had an opportunity to comment on an important topic where we’ve been doing some  ongoing project work and where there continues to be avid interest to expand this topic and project work across multiple industries.  You have to again love all of the intersects among cloud, mobility, analytics, IoT and augmented reality. Very fertile ground for co-innovation to be sure.

  4. COIL Webinar, Friday, July 24, at 10:00 a.m. ET to learn more about how SAP and OSIsoft are helping customers utilize a data-driven approach to improve business models,support business transformation, and thrive in a competitive environment.

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