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A blog showcasing how IoT can improve your Sap Business ByDesign Solution


1.    Introduction

Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as:

“A network in which everyday objects are connected to the internet and can exchange information”

Each business has their own objects that can provide meaningful information to their everyday operations. Which object(s) you connect to the internet and use to exchange information does not matter for the solution presented in this blog, the possibilities are seemingly endless. For the purpose of showcasing the solution, the focus will be on a Housing Corporation which has installed several sensory devices in their facilities to track, for example, the temperature in a room and to detect when smoke is building up.

Having this information in their SAP Business ByDesign system allows them to:

  1. Create Service Requests and handle issue whenever measure exceed certain a threshold

  2. Monitor KPIs and create in-detail reports of the reported measurements

Illustration of the benefits of the solution


2.    The flow of information from Sensor to Business ByDesign

The flow of information is drawn schematically in the illustration below:

Illustration of the flow of information; SCP: SAP Cloud Platform; ByD: SAP Business ByDesign

2.1  SAP Cloud Platform – Internet of Things Service Cockpit

The Cockpit is used to streamline the flow of information, the sensors can continuously send data to the cockpit with their own unique "Sensor ID" which is easily generated. The cockpit allows the users to rapidly scale their solution as similar Sensors can use the same set of "Measures". Think of these measures as the configuration of the data types. For example, a measure is setup to measure the heat within a building is named "Temperature" and is setup to be measured in centigrade.

After the data is send by the sensors to the cockpit, the data can be accessed by anyone with the right authorization.

2.2  SAP Cloud Platform – Applications

As the data is now available in the IoT Service Cockpit, the data can be accessed and consequently interpreted, analyzed and transformed. SAP Clould Platform allows you to build your own application to handle the data as you wish to handle it. In this showcase two applications are used, one HTML-application to be able to show the data on a HTML Website (shown in below picture) and one JAVA-Application which interprets the data and sends it SAP Business ByDesign when required.

Picture of a building model with sensors and the HTML website in the background

2.3  SAP Cloud Platform – Java Application

The JAVA application pulls the data that is stored in the IoT Cockpit every five seconds and sends the measurements for "Temperature", "Smoke" and "Distance" directly into a custom-made table in SAP Business ByDesign by use of the default webservices provided. Whenever the value for smoke is positive (does not equal 0), another webservice is utilized to create a service request directly in SAP Business ByDesign.

3.    The flow of information after reaching SAP Business ByDesign

After the service request has been created by the webservice, the subsequent flow takes place:

Illustration of the flow of information after the data reaches SAP Business ByDesign


After the service request is creation, action is required by the users of the system, to speed up this process an e-mail is immediately dispatched by the system to the relevant user. The nature of the smoke detection by the sensor can be investigated to see whether further action is required. Below is a picture of the service request in SAP Business ByDesign indicating what was measured, at what moment, at which location:

Picture of the generated service request in SAP Business ByDesign


3.1  Further handling of the Service Request

All the details of handling the service request are stored and visible in SAP Business ByDesign. In the below example the contact moment with the customer resulted in a Service Order to solve the issue. After the Order was completed the Service Confirmation was created and an email was sent out to all involved parties.

Picture of the document flow in SAP Business ByDesign


4.    Conclusion

In this blog it was showcased how an Internet of Things solution can be beneficial to a business to both track and monitor data of their everyday objects as well as triggering immediate action when this is required. The solution can be used very well in combination with a SAP Business ByDesign system and can be easily scaled up to include a multitude of sensors and to process large amounts of data. The solution will allow you to create detailed reports and analyze your operations with every sensory data imaginable. It can also allow you to spot anomalies in your operations even before they have happened and handle them pro-actively. The possibilities are endless.
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