From Sensor to Business Value: Bringing Intelligence to the Enterprise with SAP Leonardo IoT

At this point, we all know that the Internet of Things (IoT) for the enterprise is based on data generation for the business.

That is, IoT is all about allowing physical objects to sense their environment while interacting with each other and with business systems to improve business outcomes.


  • SAP expands its commitment to IoT

  • With SAP Leonardo IoT, the intelligent technologies portfolio from SAP becomes an even more integral part of the Intelligent Enterprise


In combination with innovative technologies such as machine learning and analytics, IoT has been a driving force of the Intelligent Enterprise. In fact, SAP launched its first IoT offering in 2014 and pioneered SAP’s approach to intelligent technology. Since then, the IoT product portfolio has grown and served more than 600 customers and partners with exceptional business insights, always pursuing the goal of interconnecting people, things, and businesses to drive business outcomes from IoT data.

SAP is on a mission to help the best-run businesses make the world run better, and the Internet of Things continues to be an integral part of that mission. To that end, SAP is doubling down on its commitment to IoT and just announced SAP Leonardo IoT at MWC19, an all-encompassing Industrial IoT solution designed for businesses to accelerate their digital transformation as part of their intelligent enterprise journey.

SAP Leonardo IoT enables customers to embed IoT directly into line-of-business solutions, extend existing business applications with IoT technology, and open up development of new IoT-enabled business models.

Broad Applicability, Specific Visibility

It’s clear that we are now in the era of intelligent technologies, and that truly powerful outcomes arise when these intelligent technologies are brought together with existing business processes already in play. The truth is that the Internet of Things — with the sensing, connecting, and communicating coming from the physical world — is only as useful as the business systems that can interpret all that data, give context relative to existing business processes, and deliver improved business outcomes.

SAP already has both depth and breadth of experience here: more than 425,000 customers, 92 percent of Forbes Global 2000, and 77 percent of the world’s transaction revenue touching an SAP system. Consider taking that level of existing business process expertise already running the world and enriching it directly with IoT data. SAP is in the best position to allow for IoT data to bring additional business context and insight for a best-run business for nearly any given scenario.

Embed, Extend, Innovate

With SAP Leonardo IoT, we are bringing intelligence to the enterprise by offering a comprehensive set of business services and development templates that allow customers and partners to optimize productivity, redefine the customer experience, and reimagine business models and revenue streams. SAP Leonardo IoT has been designed to serve almost any customer through a simplified approach with three ways to get started quickly:

1. Embedded IoT: Embedding IoT data into existing business applications can quickly add intelligence to existing business processes. SAP Leonardo IoT serves as the core IoT foundation to make this happen. Moving forward, SAP plans to embed IoT across its broad portfolio of solutions, from SAP S/4HANA and SAP C/4HANA to SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Ariba.

2. Extend IoT: Customers can also leverage the services and tools available via SAP Leonardo IoT to extend their applications with additional IoT-centric capabilities. This provides the opportunity to consume, design, and scale the intelligence available from the Internet of Things but custom-tailored to their individual needs to drive superior outcomes.

3. Open Innovation: The Internet of Things has the potential to empower customers to define new business models and new ways of improving the experiences of their end consumers. SAP Leonardo IoT gives customers nearly unlimited flexibility to drive open innovation in a manageable and scalable way, enabling new kinds of IoT-oriented business processes while keeping core processes stable.

Interoperability and Choice

In addition to the expanded approach to IoT now available through SAP Leonardo IoT, partnering with the best technology providers in the market is also a high priority for SAP, inclusive of open integration for cloud-to-cloud interoperability. That is why we are excited to announce a partnership with Microsoft. With this new collaboration, SAP customers will have the option to select Microsoft Azure IoT Hub as the connectivity and device management layer for their IoT device data. This telemetry data is seamlessly relayed from Azure IoT Hub to SAP Leonardo IoT, where it is intelligently combined with data from SAP business applications to drive new business models for Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0. This collaboration is just one example of SAP’s commitment to openness on all levels. Further interoperability projects will follow.

Cloud Edge Continuum

To ensure that SAP Leonardo IoT is as flexible as possible for any kind of business, it also provides what we are calling the cloud edge continuum, which allows customers to run their workload wherever it makes the most sense: in the cloud or at the edge. Oftentimes the Internet of Things can lead to so much data creation that the location of the sensors relative to the location of the processing power needed to derive insights from the data generated can be problematic. The “edge” can be any location where the actual sensor-enabled “things” exist and generate data, and it is not necessarily in the same geography as the business systems. Because of latency, connectivity, and the costs associated with processing power, storage, and transmission, optimizing which data is processed where and when is extremely important.

SAP Leonardo IoT Edge delivers consistent execution, business rules, and business context to enable customers to integrate IoT into the cloud, apply the same set of rules to both, and extend business processes to the edge. SAP is at the forefront of this emerging computing paradigm and is constantly optimizing how best-run businesses can take advantage of it. As part of the Microsoft partnership announced previously, SAP Leonardo IoT Edge allows customers another option for extending their business processes by running on Microsoft Azure IoT Edge runtime for reducing dependency on latency, bandwidth, or connectivity.

SAP Leonardo IoTSAP Leonardo IoT for All

With the launch of SAP Leonardo IoT, SAP is solidifying its commitment to the Internet of Things, and in particular Industrial IoT. The combination of IoT and our depth and breadth of high-value industry and application expertise helps customers gain greater business value and a stronger competitive advantage.

The Internet of Things holds a lot of promise, especially for SAP customers. And we are here to help any business adopt SAP Leonardo IoT to drive digital transformation through Industrial IoT to become the Intelligent Enterprise of the future, today.


Elvira Wallis is senior vice president and global head of IoT at SAP.