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SAP announced its new SAP Leonardo platform at the SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 as a digital innovation system that enables customers to rapidly scale innovations to redefine their business for the digital world. SAP Leonardo enables customers to start their digital transformation and create new business models using embedded artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, IoT, Big Data, and block chain technology as an enabler.


This sound nice but why should you step into this platform if you already invest in S/4HANA, Business Suite and other System of Records products like Ariba, Success Factors and Hybris from SAP. What will be the added value?

To understand the answer we have first have to understand what’s happening now. The last 15 years we saw a lot of disruptive business in all kind of sectors. New mostly IT driven companies compete against the establishment. Record Stores, Video Stores, Record players, Walkman, Discman, MP3 players are all disappeared but also shopping malls, taxi drivers, hotels, newspapers, broadcasters, post office, telecom needs to reinvent their business models because of the entry of new competitors.

As a successor of the Industrial Revolution, the Digital Revolution, that started 60 years ago with the transistor computer, is the driver for new Business Models. In the Industrial Revolution we innovate from hand production methods to machines, but in the Digital Revolution, we will also translate our thinking capabilities into Dashboards and Automated Decision Making. And will even combine Machines and Automated Decision Making into Robotics, like self-driving cars.

This sounds easy but just like humans this is not the case. Before we can walk we have to crawl. We use our human sensors to try-out, learn, fail and share our progress. We use experiences from others to look how they are doing it and try to recognise patterns and copy their movements. This all cost time and energy, but brings us at the end a lot of value. When we can standup and walk, we are able to move faster, reach higher and improve our other capabilities.

We can learn a lot from these human behaviors. If we look at a self-driving car of Google Waymo , we see the same approach. Waymo puts a lot of sensors in the car to measure the behaviour of the car and its environment. First they learn from the experience of a driver who drives the car. Then they let the car drive itself in a controlled environment to learn more and use all this data to improve the machine learning algorithms and at this moment they extend the learning experience by driving the self-driving cars on public roads. In a couple of years from now, this cars are ready to become public available and than will disrupt a lot of current business models in the transporting business, including the ownership of cars.

A self-driving car has limited sensors, if you compare this with IoT. The market researchers expected between 20 and 100 billion sensors connected to the Internet in 2020. The will not be all public, but even within your company you will be able to use more IoT sensors or related data from sensors than you will find in the self driving car and this area for SAP Leonardo. Leonardo will provide a platform to connect, to learn and provide experience to bring it into a Business Context just like humans do which their sensors and brains. It will use the cloud to easy connect IoT sensor and other data source like System of Records, third party API data and social media to the platform. It will use the block chain to create trusted chains of data records, which can be shared easily and trusted between business partners. The machine learning and analytic capabilities of the platform will help you to bring the raw data into a Business Context. This smart data can be easily shared with your Business Partners and others systems and easily presented into dashboards for users. On top of this SAP Leonardo Platform, SAP will provides Solution Specific Business Content, including Machine Learning logarithms and connectivity to ERP systems.

SAP Leonardo is not a replacement of you System of Records, but a must have innovation platform for the Digital Revolution. Your added value will be the capability of bringing raw data into a business context as a driver for new business models. Just like humans, the value will there, after you try-out, learn, fail, share and experience the possibilities of SAP Leonardo
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