Having daily access to clean, fresh water may seem as easy as turning on a tap, and it might be to some. But 40% of the world’s population does not have adequate access to the life-sustaining substance – with devastating consequences. More than 80% of health issues worldwide can be directly traced to inadequate water supplies and the poor sanitation that follows.
The truth is that clean water doesn’t just magically appear. Rather, it is an incredibly complex system of pipes, storage and purification processes, and organizations that sit almost completely out of sight and mind. For most people, data isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when turning on the tap. However, ensuring global water supply and accessibility is increasingly relying on the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, cloud-based data solutions, and blockchain technologies.
SAP partner and global tech company HCLTech is tackling the problem of water scarcity by introducing HCLTech AquaSphere. With real-time tracking and analysis, AquaSphere enables sustainability managers to implement water conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting and to identify clean water wastage, ensuring cost-effective and environmentally responsible water practices.
“With AquaSphere, we want to empower organizations to reach their water sustainability goals,” says Ajay Pasuvula, vice president and head of SAP Ecosystem at HCLTech. “Sustainability officers benefit from a comprehensive view of water-related data and insights that can accelerate decision-making and optimize the water value chain.”
Trust and Transparency Through Smart Contracts
The technical foundation of HCLTech AquaSphere consists of SAP Datasphere for harmonized access to mission-critical business and sensor data along with SAP Blockchain Business Connector that helps to connect organizations in a secure and compliant network. We can imagine SAP Blockchain Business Connector like a complex system of pipes that can transform business flows by facilitating transparent, compliant, and verifiable collaborations between companies, institutions, and individuals in decentralized ecosystems. Built on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), SAP Blockchain Business Connector can provide an event-driven approach for integrating business applications with smart contracts, which are jointly agreed-upon cross-company business rules and transactions that are securely registered in the blockchain network.
For AquaSphere, using smart contracts has increased the efficiency of verifying information in cross-enterprise scenarios, allowing its users to anticipate and adapt to changes faster than ever before. For example, it has enabled safety tests to be recorded as tamper-proof, verifiable data that can be shared between cities, states, federal governments, consumers, and private companies with a few clicks and fully compliant with local legislation.
AquaSphere also offers innovative mechanisms for organizations to compensate for their water consumption, by investing in local water conversation projects initiated by governments, utilities, or NGOs for example. Leveraging a blockchain-based certification system, AquaSphere provides verifiable proof of these offsetting efforts, empowering organizations to become water-positive. This approach increases the resilience of water systems to the adverse effects of climate change.
The decentralized, modular components of SAP Blockchain Business Connector help give SAP partners such as HCLTech the flexibility to realize blockchain-enabled features without having to understand what’s underneath. This means little blockchain knowledge is necessary to leverage public blockchain networks and smart contracts with a user-friendly experience for application developers. At the same time, it enables users to create actionable insights based on blockchain data through dashboards in SAP Analytics Cloud.
Collaboration Across Companies with Blockchain
“Blockchain is critical to share trusted information across the ecosystem. This is a prerequisite to manage the water value chains, where typically multiple parties are involved,” says Pasuvula. “SAP Blockchain Business Connector enables the collaboration between these parties by providing transparent, compliant, automated, and verifiable transactions according to defined business rules. The integration with SAP BTP makes it easier for our customers to access this exciting innovation and further evolve the solution in the long run.”
Decentralized technologies such as SAP Blockchain Business Connector have enormous potential to help improve cross-company collaboration in heterogeneous networks. They are particularly beneficial in areas such as supply chain management and life sciences, where verifiable and transparent data along complex value chains is increasingly important for risk management, compliance, or legal requirements.
To find out more about SAP Blockchain Business Connector, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benjamin Stoeckhert is a senior business development manager at SAP.