Today, when you buy a pair of jeans, bite into a bar of chocolate, or drink a glass of beer, the chances are that they’ve all been manufactured and supplied with the help of SAP software. Until now, SAP software usually ran in the background and was only familiar to insiders.
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, SAP is stepping out of the shadows with a range of consumer apps that are featured at various demo stations around the SAP stand. (Follow SAP’s involvement at MWC here on sap.com, or for additional information about SAP mobile solutions, watch the videos available on the SAP Mobile Channel).
In the future, if you go to a vending machine to buy a drink and you have the corresponding app on your smartphone, you’ll be able to receive personalized offerings via NFC (Near Field Communication). For example, there might be an offer for 20% off a soda, or you might receive a free bottle of water if you buy both a sandwich and a soda. Naturally, you can pay for your purchases on your cell phone and save yourself the hassle of searching for the right change.
What’s more, the manufacturer has a better chance of getting perishable products to consumers before they pass their sell-by date. But the intelligent vending machine can do a whole lot more: including sounding an alarm if the temperature rises and the products are no longer refrigerated, calling a service technician, and giving an early warning when the machine needs restocking. At the same time, the SAP HANA database provides the manufacturer with vital additional insight relating to the vending machine, such as the choice of location. While it’s fairly obvious that sugary, high-calorie sodas will not sell well at a gym, SAP HANA can provide insight into much more complex patterns.
SAP also offers an iPhone app for fashion fans. “MyRunway” lets you select your favorite labels and get all the latest information on hot trends from the social community: How much are the new Ferragamo shoes? Where can I buy them and in which size? Just like on Pinterest, the fashion conscious can use the app to share their own style and provide inspiration for other users.
“The MyRunway app bridges the “shopping gap” for consumers,” explains Elena Hartlieb from AppHaus in Los Altos. Although most people browse the Internet and social networks for the latest must-have items, they still want to visit a store to touch the products and try them on. This is no problem if they take their wish-list to the store with them.
However, if – understandably – you’re itching to grab your smart phone and download MyRunway, you’ll have to be patient for a little longer. It was launched initially in the strategic Chinese market in 2012 with more than 70.000 users and will be released in other markets soon.