Innovation is in our nature. On the road to digital transformation, SAP has already positioned SAP HANA and SAP Vora to enable companies to grow their business through mastering big data.
Our transition toward a cloud-centric environment has brought new technologies to customers at a much faster pace. Add to this our vision of the intelligent enterprise with out-of-the-box machine learning services and applications.
With SAP Leonardo, SAP is now announcing a digital innovation system that meaningfully integrates next-generation technologies to help our customers redefine their business – including ready-to-use blockchain technology and our SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service.
Allowing for Trust and Efficiency in a Network-Driven World
Blockchain is a completely novel architecture for business, with the potential for building a new generation of applications that establish trust and transparency while simultaneously facilitating the validation and execution of transactions in multi-party processes and business networks. At SAP, we see a future in which customers will benefit from our strength in optimizing business processes, not only in a single-company setting but also in a decentralized and network-driven world.
How Blockchain Benefits Network Business: Supply Chain Use Case
Soon, any Internet of Things (IoT) device can register an event that automatically triggers a business process, for example ordering new inventory to keep a production line running. Here the blockchain, as a trusted distributed ledger, can help ensure validation of the order through a digital signature and facilitate the order getting through to the company’s network of suppliers. In a more complex digital supply chain scenario, different suppliers might be able to submit their offers directly to blockchain, and the actual order is anchored in the distributed ledger as well. New suppliers only need to be onboarded onto the blockchain network once, and can then subsequently benefit from the built-in trust when interacting with other participants.
Launching SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain Service
Beyond popular use cases in financial services and supply chain (see above), SAP envisions blockchain to enhance various scenarios across all industries and lines of business. As part of our endeavors, we are a founding member of the Blockchain Research Institute and premier member in the Hyperledger project to ensure that collaborative blockchain efforts will meet our customers’ blockchain-related requirements. Following this approach, we are now enabling our customers to simplify and optimize complex multi-party processes by offering blockchain service embedded in our SAP Cloud Platform.
With the launch of SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service, we enable three major functionalities:
- Customers and developers can start to build blockchain extensions for existing applications across industries and lines of business
- SAP solutions including distributed ledger features will be integrated in the blockchain ecosystem to create synergies, especially in multi-party processes
- We embed blockchain technology into SAP Leonardo offerings to allow for combination with other next-generation technologies, such as our Internet of Things capabilities
Empowering Customers, Enhancing Service Offerings
SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service allows for an easy setup and management of blockchain nodes. This will help customers get started with an example application to examine the potential of blockchain technology. Interested companies can begin by registering for our co-innovation program to collaborate with us and build first solutions together. Our ambition is twofold: we want to benefit our customers with trustful and efficient operations, while at the same time transferring knowledge and turning valuable scenario insights into actions. Our goal: to advance blockchain technology and tailor value-added blockchain services to our customer’s specific needs.
The integration of additional powerful technologies within SAP Leonardo complements the opportunities of blockchain. Together, these technologies will help our customers to drive innovation at scale. By co-innovating with our customers, we strive to deliver tangible business value using distributed ledger technologies, ultimately unveiling the potential of blockchain in the enterprise sector.
Raimund Gross is blockchain innovation manager at SAP.