SAP for Aerospace and Defense Blogs
Discover practical tips and expert analysis tailored for maximizing SAP solutions in the aerospace and defense industry. Contribute your own blog post today.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
You walk through the corridor of a state-of-the-art facility. You swipe your access badge in front of a card reader beside a door and enter a large, futuristic space agency mission control center.

A dozen or so of your peers sit and stare at a group of monitors high above them, intently studying how a $200 million satellite is operating and making the appropriate adjustments to its trajectory.

You join in. This, after all, is your job. You’re an aerospace engineer. A knowledge worker.

You and your colleagues are tasked with ensuring these artificial objects remain in orbit, on the right path, and capable of receiving messages in space and transmitting signals back down to Earth.

In the event of a crisis – a malfunctioning satellite or an undefined stress signal, for instance – you gather with your peers, binders full of data sheets underneath your arms, and set out to collectively resolve the situation.

In the past, this approach was sufficient. You and your colleagues would huddle around a whiteboard, scribble down notes, and try to come to a consensus on the best way to address the matter at hand. Once you settled on a solution, you and your coworkers would jointly sign off on it. After all, 10 or 20 years of work could hinge on your judgment. Accountability is crucial.

In today’s digital economy, where data exists in multiple backend systems and experts are dispersed around the globe, your aerospace and defense (A&D) operation needs a more effective, virtual solution that can help your engineers evaluate data, collaborate, and solve your greatest challenges in real time.


The Knowledge Workspace is an application out of the SAP Innovation Center Network currently in development. SAP customers are invited to join in on the co-innovation of this exciting tool


3 ways the Knowledge Workspace increases enterprise efficiency

Employees, particularly knowledge workers, are increasingly devoting their time to dealing with complex, unforeseen problems and crises. More often than not, these issues require a human touch – creativity, expertise, intuition – that cannot be automated.

The Knowledge Workspace is an application that enables enterprises to increase the efficiency in how they problem-solve. You can achieve this in three primary ways:

1. Bring together experts, data, tools, and context to facilitate collaborative decision making

The Knowledge Workspace is all about making connections. It connects knowledge workers with one another, and it connects those same experts to the data, tools, and context they need to address complicated business scenarios.

Your organization might begin with a digital boardroom, where C-level executives can gain deep insight into enterprise-wide operations, identifying problems before they turn into crises. The Knowledge Workspace takes over from there. Guided by a knowledge worker with end-to-end responsibility, the tool allows experts to contribute their insights and perspectives to follow through and avert crises.

A key component of success for any A&D organization is its ability to spur product innovation while adhering to strict budgetary constraints. The Knowledge Workspace would enable experts throughout the enterprise to come together, analyze data, assess their needs, and determine which technologies are most worth pursuing in the future.

2. Eliminate the “e-mail-plus-attachment hell” that users experience now

Some people refer to this as “hell.” Others call it a “nightmare.” Either way, reducing the amount of time employees spend updating spreadsheets and presentations, talking over the phone, or attaching data sheets in e-mails is yet another way the Knowledge Workspace increases resolution speed and accuracy.

In addition to saving employees time, so they can dedicate their energies to actually addressing the issues at hand, the Knowledge Workspace ensures that all interested parties can access – and work with – all the real-time data they need in one place. In other words, there’s no key information hidden in someone’s inbox. Everyone is constantly on the same page.

If your A&D organization needs to repair an aircraft, it can use the Knowledge Workspace to contact maintenance staff and interact with them about the problem areas. You wouldn’t have to call them or e-mail them a detailed report of your findings. You could interact with them directly, and they could retrieve all the information they need, within the system.

3. Integrate the entire workflow, from crisis to resolution, into one central location

There are two worlds within the enterprise: the one where you access system information and update systems of record and the one where you collaborate and make decisions. Up to now, the two worlds were completely disconnected.

With the Knowledge Workspace, you can integrate these two worlds, ensuring your knowledge workers, who have end-to-end responsibility over projects, can tackle high-stakes situations from the time they first arise to when they’re ultimately resolved.

If there’s a breach in security at your A&D organization, you could discover the threat, diagnose the matter, and take the proper steps to protect your enterprise now and in the future, all without leaving the Knowledge Workspace.

Machine learning: The next phase in knowledge work

A human element remains crucial in solving today’s most pressing A&D challenges. In the future, however, machine learning will be able to support this task, eventually taking over all the routine and repetitive work.

Machine learning enables computers to learn from data without being explicitly programmed to do so. These computers can perform a wide range of tasks, from interpreting written and spoken words to finding meaning in images and videos. Based on this analysis, they can draw conclusions and provide recommendations on how to resolve the issue.

Of course, machine learning begins with human learning, and the Knowledge Workspace empowers machines to benefit from human experience and expertise. By integrating machine learning into the Knowledge Workspace, you can help your expert employees focus on their most vexing problems.

But pump the brakes; we’re not quite there yet.

Eliminate cumbersome, embrace ease

Knowledge workers currently depend on data stored in complex enterprise landscapes to address their greatest challenges. With the Knowledge Workspace, they can use a single integrated productivity tool to collectively assess the situation, evaluate the options, agree on the best solution, and implement it instead of relying on a sequence of disparate applications for each task.

Explore how your organization can empower its employees, linking experts and delivering the key information they need precisely when they need it. Register now to attend SAP A&D Innovation Days in San Diego, California, on March 7-8, 2017 and learn more about the Knowledge Workspace and the other cutting-edge solutions revolutionizing the increasingly challenging A&D industry.

This blog was published the first time here