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“Cities are like human beings,” SAP’s Judith Magyar wrote from Mobile World Congress Wednesday. “Each individual person, or city, is unique and special in its own way.”

A lot goes into making a Best Run City work “five by five.”

So when a city has problems, the solutions provider must find what works for that particular municipality. Just because it worked for a port city in Spain, Magyar stated, doesn't mean it will work for a port city in Germany.

“Our cities are built on systems as complex and manifold as our dreams,” an SAP video serenely said. And that’s a good point. While cities may not places where we inexplicably go to school in our underwear, “they face ever-growing challenges in administration, finance, public safety, infrastructure and supply.”

Boston uses SAP technology to help city workers share data across departments, improve transparency for citizens and show how their government spends tax money. Edmonton uses Big Data solutions to redesign intersections and track the decreasing number of accidents, collisions and fatalities -- and monitor cost savings.

SAP Urban Matters partners with metropolitan governments to deliver better-run cities. The initiative tailors solutions that enable cities to thrive, innovate and transform, all while improving citizens’ lives. Best Run Cities build themselves on five components:

  • Good governance
  • Empowered users
  • Engaged communities
  • Innovative services
  • Urban resilience 

And those five components depend on working within these five high-tech arenas:

  • Cloud
  • Analytics
  • Applications
  • Mobile
  • Database & Technology

Luckily, SAP has mastered all five. Together with the five components on which Best Run Cities build themselves, SAP can help cities run “five by five.”

Cpl. Collette Ferro pilots her dropship “five by five” in Aliens.

“Five by five” was originally two-way radio parlance for signal strength and clarity (i.e., “loud and clear”) -- and later used in the 1986 sci-fi classic Aliens to forecast smooth atmospheric entry from space. Now “five by five” is the mainstay of SAP Urban Matters.

Public sector software is one example of how SAP can help cities improve the performance of their policies, operations and programs. These solutions feature integrated secure information sharing to increase fiscal and operational efficiency, while making it easier for citizens to connect.

The Connected City at Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona showcases SAP Urban Matters’ vision of collaboration, in which houses are smart, transportation is innovative and mobile technology meets the needs of citizens and businesses. But cities won’t get there spontaneously, as SAP’s Magyar noted

“A city can’t be smart,” one conference goer told her. “That’s up to the citizens.”

Related Media:

How to Convert a Small City Atheist” in SAP Business Trends

SAP Urban Matters: Improving the Lives of Citizens through Better Government” on YouTube

Big Data Opens Governments and Fosters Innovation” in SAP Business Trends