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SAP announced Leonardo at SAPPHIRE NOW this year and organized a 2-day event dedicated to SAP Leonardo in Frankfurt.



This event, the large number of customers and success stories, the investment SAP has committed to this area are all impressive. Before I give my recap of the event, let me start with a basic question, which I think is still worth to be asked.




SAP calls Leonardo a “digital innovation system”. It’s not a new piece of software and not even a collection of software or services. It’s more. It consists of the following components:

  • Technology services such as Machine Learning, IoT, Analytics, Blockchain, Big Data, Data Intelligence, etc. running on SAP Cloud Platform (We heard that CoPilot will be added to this mix later.)

  • Design Thinking for finding the right problem to solve on one hand, and for creative problem solving on the other hand. Basically, it means to find the right use cases and define the solution directions.

  • Industry and process knowledge packaged into reusable practices, accelerators and products. There is Leonardo for Chemicals, Utilities, Retail, Travel & Transportation, Consumer Products, Manufacturing, Sports & Entertainment, but SAP has an open innovation approach for any other areas.

  • Last, but not least, it's the innovation brand of SAP.





There were quite some new announcement during these 2 days:


SAP Leonardo Innovation Services

It’s a consulting service from SAP, where they guide customers to discuss digital transformation and identify use cases for SAP Leonardo. The service can include, beyond the whole design thinking, the building of a POC on SAP Cloud Platform as well. This service comes in 3 editions. Read the details here:


SAP Leonardo IoT Bridge

It’s a configurable cockpit to connect the various aspects of IoT from various IoT products, e.g. combine SAP Connected Goods with SAP Vehicle Insight, even including connectivity to back-end systems, for operations managers to make decisions based on triggers, events, business rules, etc. I personally really liked the Fiori Overview Page based UX. More details are here:


SAP Global Track and Trace

The idea of this product is to track physical objects and share this data across the supply chain network, i.e. among the partners. It builds on top of the existing on prem SCM solutions of SAP covering the end-to-end process: setup of partners and monitor events, notify about deviations, trigger business adjustments, analyze and improve. Read on:


SAP Leonardo IoT Edge and Edge Services

The expectation is that 45% of data will be processed and analyzed at the edge, because it would not make sense to send all to a central IoT platform. Edge processing addresses the technical rationality, but it helps to meet local requirements for data ownership, geographic regulations, and privacy. More info can be found here:


SAP Digital Manufacturing Insights

This SAP Leonardo based offering builds on top of SAP’s existing solutions for manufacturing. It allows customers to use industry standard KPIs and define their own and improve processes via getting more insight, do root cause analysis of defects, recognize patterns and use predictive analysis to prevent issues. The full announcement:


SAP Asset Manager

It’s a mobile app built based on the new SAP Fiori for iOS design guidelines. It’s only for iOS, but availability for Android and Windows has been promised too. It integrates with S/4HANA and it’s planned to connect it to SAP Asset Intelligence Network and the SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service – so we can expect a lot more in the future.


SAP IoT Application Enablement, express edition

This new express edition is similar to the standard edition, but it has a lower and simplified pricing and it’s available via the SAP Store. It comes in 2 flavors:

  • If customers can commit to a minimum volume of 400 million data streams per month, it costs 5 euros per 1 million data streams. (Contract duration starts at 3 months.)

  • Above that SAP provides the “Pay-as-you-go” approach: 7 euros per 1 million data streams.


SAP Leonardo services for partners with a Build engagement model in SAP PartnerEdge program

SAP announced the availability of this new innovation pack in the SAP PartnerEdge program.  Important to note that these services already run on the Cloud Foundry stack of SAP Cloud Platform.





Many customer implementations were presented, let me list some:

  • Stara, a huge Brazilian manufacturer of agricultural machines, added 20 sensors to each of their machines and uses IoT to optimize processes such as the amount of fertilizers applied. They integrate the data with the ERP system of the large farmers, this way improving their own business (20+% extra turnover), the business of the farmers and even help to feed the growing global population.

  • Volvo is heavily investing in autonomous cars and looking at driving the digital shift, crossing industry lines by offering insurance, telecom connectivity and entertainment.

  • MacLaren was early in the game of IoT, they started to use telemetry back in 1993, but now they reached a very high maturity of IoT adoption.

  • Jabil showed how they are innovating their supply chain and manufacturing using IoT and 3D printing.

  • AEGEA Pro Lagos, a Brazilian water utility uses IoT to monitor their assets in real time and predictive analysis to forecast water supply and demand.

  • Red Bull has connected 30k coolers to optimize utilization of the coolers. They can track their location, temperature, power status and even the events of opening and closing the door of the coolers. This enables them to react very fast instead of weeks.

  • The city of Buenos Aires uses IoT and predictive analysis to protect their citizens from flooding of the 9 underwater rivers which used to put the city at constant risk.

  • Caterpillar explained their Live Factory based on Digital Manufacturing Insights, Vehicle Insights, Predictive Maintenance to improve manufacturing, SCM and customer experience.

  • Incor, a heart institute in Sao Paolo, created a dashboard which helps doctors and nurses to become more efficient and spend more time with the patients. They combine the speed of HANA, IoT, analytics, machine learning and predictive anaysis to provide amazing improvements in the way they work by presenting all relevant data in a dashboard to support better decision making.





SAP Center for Business Insight with support from Oxford Economics has just released a research study called “4 Ways Leaders Set Themselves Apart” which explains the status of Digital Transformation.



The study shows that only 3% are leaders, but the leaders see huge benefits such as increased market share, higher revenue growth and improved profitability.




In my point of view, SAP already has many pieces of the puzzle. There are already quite some success stories as mentioned above, but most of them are about IoT and Analytics, much less about Machine Learning and Big Data and I think the Blockchain cases are mostly yet to come. On the other hand, SAP has built quite some capacity and experience with Design Thinking, they extended SAP Build for Leonardo and they have Apphauses and Leonardo Centers to engage with their customers in a new way. They have established strong partnerships on the hardware side (IoT needs things) with the major players, they use open-source solutions if they fit, e.g. TensorFlow (developed by Google) for machine learning to accelerate Go To Market, they have cloud-to-cloud integration with Bosch IoT Cloud, and they have announced a new partnership with Centrica to deliver energy insight based on IoT. These are signs of growing maturity in my eyes. Other aspects still need some elaboration such as building the global sales force, partner enablement, etc. I am very curious to see how SAP Leonardo in combination with the system of records (S/4HANA, SuccessFactors, Hybris, etc.) will power Digital Transformation at SAP customers. SAP Leonardo Live gave me the impression that SAP has already invested a lot into this, but we are just at the very beginning. When the discussion came to the social and moral aspects, there was an atmosphere of optimism, which I share, but to be honest I feel there is a lot of uncertainty here yet.



Disclosure: SAP made my participation possible at Leonardo Live via the SAP Mentor, Blogger/Influencer programs.
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