The future of the Intelligent Enterprise will depend on high-speed digital connectivity to enable powerful innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and edge services to manage supply chains and deliver new experiences. To meet this demand, 5G (fifth-generation wireless networking technology) is increasingly being deployed to process the vast amounts of data being collected from the connected devices that power the Intelligent Enterprise.

By 2025, 5G will enable 1.8 billion connections and bring a contribution of US$2.2 trillion to the global economy between 2024 and 2034, according to GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the global trade organization for the mobile industry.

Enterprises Unlock the Value of 5G with SAP

Since the launch of SAP’s 5G Innovation Council in 2018, SAP has been leveraging its unique cross-industry expertise, rich partner ecosystem, and global coverage to unlock value from 5G projects for its customers. In collaboration with a network of strategic partners, SAP is engaging customers in innovation sessions to identify and prioritize use cases that tap new revenue models and monetization strategies.

Some of these projects include augmented reality (AR)-enabled immersive consumer experiences, guaranteed payments in a stadium using 5G network slicing, omnichannel retail with frictionless payments, and robotic surgeries in healthcare, as well as autonomous forklifts and robotic service drones for Industry 4.0.

“Where we’ve really seen the power of 5G is around private network deployments for enterprise customers,” says Frank Wilde, vice president, Global Center of Excellence, SAP Labs in Palo Alto, who has been working with SAP customers to integrate 5G technology into their digital strategy. SAP is positioned to work with customers to maximize the potential of their custom use cases or any of the more than 30 industry use cases that SAP has available for retail, healthcare, manufacturing, and oil and gas. The RISE with SAP offering and digital transformation as a service means even greater possibilities for customers to take control of their digital journey when implementing new innovations.

5G Ultra-Wideband Networks Enable the Intelligent Enterprise

The advantages of 5G over the current standard 4G arguably include: greater bandwidth for faster data processing; lower latency for greater responsiveness, which produces even greater benefits when combined with edge computing; and the ability to have more devices connected to the network simultaneously, which has huge implications for IoT-enabled sensors and smart devices. For the enterprise, among the greatest benefits come from 5G’s capacity for network slicing, low latency, and edge computing.

5G technology is a game changer for the Intelligent Enterprise; however, the 5G opportunity can still be something of a black box for decision-makers. Some may question why 4G isn’t good enough. Wilde responds by emphasizing the case for greater automation and simplification that is possible within a 5G network. “When you compare a 5G environment to a 4G environment, it’s like an eight-lane highway to a two-lane highway,” says Wilde. “You have additional bandwidth to work with and software-defined networking capabilities to be able to charge for services and create network slices. It’s a much more tightly coupled network.”

SAP as a Global Partner for 5G Projects

Strategic partnerships are the backbone of SAP’s strategy in the 5G space, allowing it to capitalize on its enterprise business strengths while drawing on the multi-varied strengths of a vast ecosystem of technology partners. As a global company, SAP has built deep partnerships with the telecommunications industry across all regions. That approach brings big benefits for customers in the form of global coverage for their 5G projects using an established reference architecture to globally deploy a 5G edge platform or set of services.

“SAP is uniquely positioned so that we can sit down with each telco globally and deploy a merchant 5G service that a small-to-medium business can leverage anywhere around the world,” says Wilde, who supports the need for partnerships to successfully deploy 5G solutions. “We’re streamlining the value chain around telcos, hardware manufacturers, software providers, and service integrators. We do the heavy lifting for our customers, which is one of the core value-adds that SAP is able to bring. We have both the customer network and the partner network to bring these solutions to life, unlike our competition.”

MWC21: Inspire the Future with 5G

SAP will participate virtually in MWC21, scheduled for June 28-July 1 in Barcelona, Spain. Billed as the world’s biggest technology show, the event typically draws 100,000 attendees from around the world. In 2020, the show was canceled due to the pandemic. The MWC21 agenda will offer a hybrid mix of in-person and virtual content. The theme for the SAP presence at MWC21 is Inspire the Future with 5G. Find out how you can register for SAP’s live webinar series, tour SAP’s virtual showcases, and meet with SAP Telco experts and executives at SAP@MWC.