By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide.
The Internet of Things, or this network of physical objects (excluding PCs, tablets, smartphones) that contain embedded technology to communicate and interact with internal and/or external environments, is growing rapidly.
By 2020 nearly 26 billion devices will be connected via the IoT, and every industry wants a piece of this virtual pie. Insurance is using the IoT to improve safety, security, and loss prevention. Finance is innovating around mobile and micropayment technology using point-of-sale terminals and improved security systems. The health and fitness industry is investing heavily in the IoT by combining medical advances and wearable technologies. Utilities, transportation, and agriculture are growing as well.
This gigantic shift toward hyper-connectivity is triggered by a need to simplify business. The customer of today has different expectations than the customer of yesterday, and the businesses that keep up are the ones that will survive.
Today’s customer demands flexibility, simplicity, choice, convenience, and value. The automotive industry is already innovating to satisfy consumers. Shell Global and Volkswagen AG in co-innovation with SAP, recently announced their pilot foundation of a range of connected services including an integrated system for connected fueling.
When I read the announcement from SAP TechEd && d-code 2014 Berlin, I immediately thought of my sister, Melissa. She is a mother of five, ages ranging from one to 15 years. Between running errands, food shopping, endless sports practices, and doctors’ appointments, she is constantly on the move. She’s an awesome mom, yet as you can imagine, with five kids, she’s always late, and she can be quite forgetful…especially when it comes to her wallet. However now, with the joint innovation created by the harmonious collaboration between Shell, Volkswagen AG, and SAP, Melissa will save time and money, making her everyday tasks simpler and easier.
The new connectivity between Volkswagen vehicles and Shell service stations, running on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, will direct Melissa to the closest parking spot when she’s running errands; she’ll save wasted time spent driving endlessly searching for a space with kids in the car. Melissa can even pay for the parking spot from the convenience of her mobile device, without having to leave her children unattended in the car while she searches for a payment kiosk.
Most significantly, when the vehicle runs low on gas, the system will notify Melissa and navigate her to the nearest Shell Service Station. Next, and most importantly, the vehicle will actually sync with the corresponding pump number and my sister can, again, pay directly from her mobile device. Forgetting her wallet will no longer be a valid excuse for asking to borrow money from her little sister.
Rene Honig, vice president, Strategy, Portfolio and Innovation at Shell’s Technical and Competitive IT division put it best, “We consider the connected car important in the development of our customers’ experience at Shell retail stations and will help us continue to provide outstanding customer service.”
Co-Innovation at Its Finest
For over 100 years, Shell has strove to improve the customer experience. The company runs over 40,000 retail stations and fuels 12 million customers each day. However, today, what was once an idea has become reality. Representing the first time SAP, Shell, and Volkswagen are piloting an end-to-end, scalable solution, this innovation is connecting technology and humanity.
The goal is to deliver drivers a hosted cloud-based solution that saves time and can deliver new, exciting customer offers through connected vehicles that could not be delivered by the three companies individually. The convenience associated with a gasoline pump that identifies your vehicle and allows you to pay right from your mobile device is uncanny.
“We believe the combination of simplicity, functionality and innovation is needed to create a seamless consumer experience. No company alone can deliver such an end-to-end experience,” said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Products & Innovation. “Our collaboration with Volkswagen and Shell is a great showcase for the power of collaboration and innovation within a networked economy, with SAP HANA Cloud Platform, to simplify daily complexity.”
With the new advancement of technology between driver, vehicle, mobile device, and service provider, the customer is granted a seamless experience, customized to what he or she wants and needs. By choosing SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP can offer services that are new and exciting and easy to implement into Shell systems. Now the customer has more incentive to fuel at a Shell station as opposed to a competitor because it’s more comfortable, more intelligent, and more connected.