Using earth observation data for disaster protection, developing a digital twin to produce sneakers, and securing data via Blockchain: SAP unveils its innovation offerings, and shares its vision of the future.

Those who want to ride with the tide of Big Data only need try on a pair of virtual reality glasses which map the infinite mass of untapped data. Nothing but data, here, there and everywhere. The starting point of this journey into the data galaxy begins at the SAP stand where sneakers are being printed in 3D in only fifteen minutes.

But before this can happen, Big Data needs to become valuable Smart Data. Driving this forward is the SAP S/4HANA digital core, in which masses of data are concentrated and provided according to individual requirements — such as for online shops or digital twins. Only this way are companies able to meet customers’ individual expectations in their search to find sneakers that match their particular load profile, training schedule, and aesthetic preferences.


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Foot Scan, 3D Printing, Digital Twin: Connecting SAP Innovations

After being inspired by sporting goods manufacturer, Adidas, SAP presented the following vision at the “Discover the Power of Live Business” showcase: A foot scan that can record the customer’s characteristics. The data is entered in the individual digital twin of the tangible product to be made, before the sneaker is printed in 3D faster than ever before.

With help from SAP Clea, the SAP portfolio for machine learning technology, software applications, and all affiliated services, the system is in the position to train itself to analyze over time and with increased precision how often the Adidas logo appears in videos and media. With help from blockchain technology, users can determine not only who is entitled to access the customer’s personal data, but precisely who is using it, which means increased trust for the consumer.

“Digitalization Belongs in the Company Strategy”

Production, logistics, customer management, and finance: All four key CeBIT subject areas for SAP are covered in this case, which also offers illustrative examples for CIOs who are looking to implement a digital agenda in their company.

According to Anja Schneider, head of Strategy and Customer Innovation at SAP, it is necessary to identify concepts and solutions that intelligently connect people, things, and businesses. Approaches for collaboration, mobile technologies and modern user experience should assist the individual, and simplify their everyday (working) life. The first person to develop such a strategy will be able to cover this spectrum of possibilities.

“A digitalization strategy on its own will not suffice,” explains Schneider. “It needs to come from a company strategy which includes digitalization as a core aspect.” Without backing from top management, Schneider claims, digitalization will lack the necessary thrust.

Using Data to Assess the Risk of Natural Disaster

Whilst it is necessary to have a bird’s-eye view on digitalization, it is often individual practical projects which convince business leaders to implement an overall strategy. One such project was presented by SAP Executive Board member Bernd Leukert to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

SAP is working together with the European Space Agency (ESA) to research natural disasters. Leukert stated the aim of the mission as follows: “It’s about taking predictive and preventative measures to identify dangers.” He also explained their aim to process ESA Sentinel satellite data to provide information about future disasters, such as landslides and floods.

Leukert explained that in Japan, catastrophes like this are common occurrences. But what do you do when it’s already too late? Leukert zoomed in on a location where dark colors indicate signs of flooding, and was thereby able to quickly identify a high-risk area. Following a tropical storm last year, experts used space data to trace areas covered by 300 liters of water per square meter. By comparing the days before and after the disaster, it is possible to see where the affected areas are. Advantages for authorities and aid organizations: They are quickly informed about the scale of the disaster, and are then in a position to set up relief camps at the affected locations.

Watch this video to discover how Munich Re and ESA satellite data is being used for risk assessment:


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Pre-Built Services: What Platforms Have to Do Today

SAP Cloud Platform is used to integrate geo-information, and can help integrate individual services — a key component of the SAP portfolio. “An application suite which is easily accessible and enables personal interaction.” These are the qualities of a modern IT platform, Schneider affirms, with one special feature, which applies for SAP applications. Services for machine learning and IoT have been “pre-built” – just like the geo-location functionality.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe was so impressed by the solution that he asked whilst on stage if he could already get hold of the software. A good sign – particularly in times in which economic cooperation is gaining momentum thanks to the planned Japanese-European trade agreement.