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SAP Executive Summit on the Internet of Things: It’s the People, Not Things

September 14, 2016 by Stephanie Frick 419

At the SAP Executive Summit on the Internet of Things in Munich, customers discussed the latest hot topics and opportunities around IoT.

What will our world look like in 2025? How does the digital transformation influence a company’s business processes and new service offerings? How can SAP solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) support customers on their digital transformation journey?

These are just a few of the questions that arose during the SAP Executive Summit on the Internet of Things that took place at Munich’s BMW World on September 6. With more than 120 external attendees and 180 participants in total, SAP customers took center stage at this exclusive and highly successful event that forms the third out of six events in this global series.

According to Dr. Tanja Rueckert, EVP Digital Assets & IoT and global sponsor of the event series, the key benefit of the Internet of Things is to share data beyond company borders. “We need more data-driven decision making.” Basically, every business will become a software company. In this light, Nils Herzberg, SVP Global Lead IoT Go-to-Market, stresses that data is the fuel of the 21st century and that refinement of the data is essential.

Strategic partnership par excellence was demonstrated when Eugen Schantini, Head of Logistic Projects 2020 at BMW Group, joined Tanja on stage and explained how the SAP IoT Strategy is being realized, using the example of an ongoing project on Connected Supply Chain.

This customer use case received yet more attention in one of the breakout sessions. It spanned everything from New Business Models to IoT in Production, Service and Maintenance, Logistics and Moving Assets, and IoT Platform and Technology. Wouldn’t you like to be able to track your goods on their journey from A to B, be immediately informed in case of theft or damage and know where such an incident occurred? Clearly, the need for a transparent end-to-end solution is there. Based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, this proof of concept scenario shows how IoT is able to dramatically reduce the error ratio by receiving real-time data. Track and trace is also a hot topic at Beiersdorf, where the complete abolition of storage buildings is under discussion and the trend is towards the digitalization of the entire value-added chain.

What lies behind these developments are two sides of the same coin: there is higher demand from a consumer perspective and at the same time you need the right people to drive the transformation. Rainer Glatz, Managing Director, Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), puts it in a nutshell: the Internet of Things doesn’t happen through things; it is created by people.

The Internet of Things doesn’t happen through things; it’s created by people

In order to be a digital leader you need a vision and strategy and the means of executing these. In his keynote Frank Riemensperger, Chairman of the Board of Accenture Germany, Austria and Switzerland, pointed out that it is the experience belonging to a product that accounts for real transformation. His advice, therefore, is to start asking yourself:

“What should the experience look like? Don’t start from a technological angle. Just imagine you are able to foresee a coming stroke by means of connected sensors! It is not the product as such that will save your life but the interconnected experience.”

Tanja strongly recommends to: “Start today, immediately. In doing so, your biggest roadblock is not the technology but working in silos. Think integrated!” To speak with Otto Schell, Member of the Board of Directors, DSAG e.V.: “The real value of the Internet of Things is going beyond borders.”

Upcoming SAP Executive Summit events on the Internet of Things will be held in Tokyo on October 14, Paris on October 20, and New York City on October 27.

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