This week, 5G is the focus topic at MWC19, the world’s leading digital innovation event for the mobile industry. What’s new this year is that the discussion has moved past talk of standards and capabilities onto the big question of how to monetize the huge investment required to deploy the promising new technology.

Unrivaled in business process and data analytics capabilities, SAP shows how to unlock the Intelligent Enterprise to deliver business outcomes that generate revenue and increase profitability.

MWC19 opened yesterday in Barcelona, Spain. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event at the Fira Gran Via conference venue. Hosted by the GSMA, the global organization that represents the interests of the mobile community, the annual event attracts a wide array of technology professionals, including mobile device makers, software companies, and equipment providers.

Themed Intelligent Connectivity, MWC19 is dominated by news about 5G, the breakthrough technology that promises faster mobile phone speeds as well as greater data capabilities to meet the demands of emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI).

By the end of 2019, there will be an estimated 10 million 5G connections in 21 markets worldwide, predominantly in Asia Pacific and North America, according to GSMA Intelligence. By 2025, that number will reach 1.4 billion worldwide. The technology is anticipated to generate $2.2 trillion for the global economy in the next 15 years.

“The arrival of 5G forms a major part of the world’s move toward an era of Intelligent Connectivity, which, alongside developments in the IoT, Big Data, and artificial intelligence, is poised to be a key driver of economic growth over the coming years,” said Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, quoted in Mobile World Live.

SAP Highlights and News

The broader conference theme of Intelligent Connectivity and the new developments in 5G technology provided a backdrop for SAP to engage with customers and partners to show how to unlock the Intelligent Enterprise – SAP’s theme for the event.

As mobile industry players search for new business models that can generate revenue and increase profitability, SAP is uniquely positioned to enable customers to drive business outcomes and achieve their vision for the Intelligent Enterprise through the combined power of the digital platform, the intelligent suite of applications, and intelligent technologies like IoT, machine learning, and AI.

Activity was brisk at the SAP stand on opening day of the conference, as customers explored interactive showcases, including the Rinspeed Snap concept car, a revolutionary intelligent mobility ecosystem powered by SAP Leonardo in collaboration with Rinspeed AG, and SAP Digital Boardroom powered by SAP Analytics. A sports and fitness showcase powered by SAP C/4HANA highlighted the importance of customer experience in the Intelligent Enterprise, while the showcase Digital Supply Chain with iOS underscored the power of the Apple and SAP partnership to provide an optimized user experience in an end-to-end scenario for the Intelligent Enterprise.

Partners Accelerate Innovation on SAP Cloud Platform

SAP supplied a continuous program of engaging and informative theater sessions centered on the Intelligent Enterprise. The SAP stand theater program opened with a panel discussion of SAP partners, who shared their experiences working with SAP Cloud Platform and supporting customers with cloud-based applications.

Daniel Kollnig, software development lead at Comm-Unity, Austrian eGovernment experts, recalled the ease of enablement in the cloud after switching from an on-premise version of SAP Fiori. “You could already see our data, which was stored in our data center, in SAP Fiori in the cloud. This was amazing enablement within 14 days to be able to work with the cloud,” said Kollnig, who cited the additional advantages of new services and updates being delivered from the cloud. “It was a big point for us why we decided to stay in the cloud, because it is up and running. It’s secure. It’s running 24/7.”

The panel offered suggestions for anyone interested migrating to SAP Cloud Platform: Try the SAP Cloud Platform free trial, use the latest version because the developers are sure to like it, and start with easy use cases and work up to more complex challenges.

SAP Unveils SAP Leonardo IoT

SAP announced the launch of SAP Leonardo IoT, aimed to embed IoT data in line-of-business solutions to drive digital transformation for Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0. The new insights from IoT intelligence will enable customers to optimize productivity, redefine the customer experience, and reimagine business models and revenue streams.

“SAP delivers valuable insight and drives business results by embedding IoT data into business processes,” said Elvira Wallis, senior vice president and global head of IoT at SAP. “With the launch of SAP Leonardo IoT, SAP solidifies its commitment to the IoT, 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.”

SAP also announced cloud-to-cloud interoperability of SAP Leonardo and Microsoft Azure IoT Hub as a connectivity and device management layer for IoT telemetry data, which is seamlessly relayed to SAP Leonardo IoT.

SAP Next-Gen: Code with Purpose Hackathon Winners

The SAP Next-Gen program presented the winning student teams of the SAP Customer Experience hackathon. A Code with Purpose event held in October, the hackathon challenged the local university students to find solutions to problems in their environments that embodied the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While developing their apps, the students used offerings from the SAP Customer Experience portfolio, including SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, the SAP Customer Data Cloud portfolio, and the SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Service Cloud solutions.

Heightened Focus on Customer Experience

Challenges of revenue growth and profitability in the telecommunications industry are leading to new interest in customer experience (CX) as a differentiator in the marketplace. Catriona Sheil, senior experience management consultant at Qualtrics, presented an engaging session on how to structure a CX program to deliver business impact, and in the process become a carrier of choice, increase loyalty, reduce cost to sell and serve, and provide an omni-channel experience.

With previous experience in the telco industry, Sheil focused on the expectations and practices that underpin a CX program, providing an industry example from Qualtrics customer Telus, a Canadian telco that moved into a leading market position after implementing a CX program focused on its customer community and employees. Sheil noted the importance of putting people at the heart of a CX program: “Experience is delivered by people to people.”