CeBIT 2009: Hollywood and the SoKNOS Chancellor Demo

Feature Article | March 23, 2009 by Tobias Essig, SAP Research

CeBIT Highlights 2009 Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and the governor of California were impressed by the innovative power of SAP.

The SoKNOS (Service-Oriented Architectures Supporting Networks of Public Security) research project is a joint collaboration between public authorities, private enterprises, and universities. It is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and led by SAP.

The project’s purpose is to develop and evaluate concepts that provide effective support for public agencies, companies, and other organizations in the public security sector, both in their day-to-day work and during crisis situations.

By means of modern IT, SoKNOS aims to shorten the period of chaos that occurs immediately after a catastrophe. Experience shows that this phase determines the duration and effectiveness of the subsequent phases, such as coordinated damage reduction and clean up efforts.

The goal is to base decisions on reliable, secure information, to shorten response times, and thus, to increase the security and success of the actions taken. Furthermore SoKNOS intends to optimize cross-organizational collaboration in real-time and on all levels between local, regional, national, and international public security organizations.

Against this background, SAP co-CEOs Henning Kagermann and Léo Apotheker demonstrated at this year’s CeBIT Chancellor Demo how a big city could properly manage a flood disaster in the future. Thanks to SoKNOS, the crisis team could call up digital maps, water levels, and other information on their computer screens and generate forecasts and possible responses through the integration of real-time sensor information and webcams, databases, and business intelligence.

The technical trigger for innovation of this scenario is an service-oriented architecture (SOA). The goal here is to build up a new, innovative Web-based system that allows for the coordination and management of medical emergencies and tasks of the crisis team. Service-oriented architectures raise IT architectures to higher levels of adaptability, and, therefore, move projects like SoKNOS closer to the vision of real-time scenarios by elevating Web services to an enterprise level.

Mobil with SERVICES to go!

Léo Apotheker, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Angela Merkel and Henning Kagermann at this year’s CeBIT Chancellor Demo (from left to right, Photo: SAP AG)

Léo Apotheker, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Angela Merkel and Henning Kagermann at this year’s CeBIT Chancellor Demo (from left to right, Photo: SAP AG)

Apotheker continued with the demo by showing how on-site personnel could, with SERVICES to go!, access this same information on a mobile device, enabling them to interact quickly and effectively with the disaster management headquarters. The SERVICES to go! mobile application is a result of THESEUS, a lighthouse research program initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology (BMWi).

The goal of THESEUS is to develop a new Internet-based infrastructure to better utilize the knowledge available on the Internet. Consortium members from industry fields will be developing prototypes of the new technologies and testing them in six application scenarios.

Members of the SoKNOS project

SAP
B2M Software
Berliner Feuerwehr
Berufsfeuerwehr Köln
DFKI
DHPol (Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei)
ESRI Geoinformatik
Fraunhofer IESE
Fraunhofer IGD
itelligence
Rutgers University
TU Darmstadt
TU Dresden
WWU Muenster

Within the THESEUS program, the SAP-led TEXO project is aiming to provide a platform that enables services to be both traded on the Internet and composed into value-added services. This will allow the integration of customized services into the service consumer environment.

Both Chancellor Merkel and Governor Schwarzenegger were very impressed with the innovative technologies that SoKNOS can provide to the public security sector, and the Chancellor found the joint development project with SERVICES to go! to be a particularly good idea. As a result of its activities, SAP Research also received a great deal of positive feedback from various other visitors at their booth, including Guenther Oettinger, Minister President of the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, as well as delegations from India and Australia.

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