BERLIN: SAP sees its HANA Cloud Platform as playing a major role in the Internet of Things (IoT), as its cloud and big data capabilities will act as a central platform for internet connected devices and sensors.
A panel of industry experts discussed the current and future state of the IoT during a roundtable discussion at SAP's TechEd event in Berlin.
Representatives from SAP highlighted how HANA can act as a cloud-based platform to facilitate the transfer of data from devices to businesses using new features in the SPS09 update due for release at the end of November.
Nils Herzberg, co-lead for IoT at SAP, told V3 that HANA Cloud Platform has the computational power to handle the vast amounts of data coming from IoT devices.
"Some IoT scenarios require real-time computing power to come up with an answer or an alert in a reasonable time," he said.
"So if you have those kinds of scenario and you have huge computational power [needs] I would argue that HANA is the way to go."
Features such as data streaming will allow massive amounts of data to be pushed through HANA in real time so that analytics can be carried out and the information can deliver useful insight for business users.
Herzberg explained how HANA's features will be open to devices and applications to facilitate the development of connected logistics and manufacturing, augmented reality and predictive maintenance and service.
"We have taken that next step at SAP to prioritise IoT solutions. It's going to be a Switzerland approach: we're going to be open to devices," he said.
Fellow panellist Ifran Kahn, chief technology officer for global customer operations at SAP, explained that the IoT is becoming more important as companies realise connected devices provide valuable information and feed into the idea of big data.
"When we look at the aggregate of these two trends, big data and IoT, I think there is a set of use cases and scenarios that will start having significant value for customers and partners to build around," explained Kahn.
One such company using the meeting point of IoT and big data is Kaeser Kompressoren, a German provider of air compressor systems.
The company uses sensors on the compressors that feed data back to its servers that host SAP HANA, which processes and analyses the information and sends it to the relevant departments.
Using this system Kaeser Kompressoren receives a million daily measurements from its compressors, equating to 100TB of data a year.
One key area that Kaeser Kompressoren is exploring with the IoT data is predictive maintenance, whereby various datasets can be analysed and used to predict when a compressor component is going to fail.
This allows maintenance work to be scheduled before the fault occurs, and prevents any unscheduled disruption or compressor downtime for customers.
Falko Lameter, chief information officer at Kaeser Kompressoren, explained how the company's use of IoT can also aid research and development to improve product reliability.
"Research and development [teams] can dive into this data and make a deeper analysis," he said.
"For instance, they can look at the behaviour of the system before an incident, and the behaviour after, and find some reasons [for the fault]."
The panel said that Kaeser Kompressoren is an example of a company that is "mature" in its use of IoT, and that other companies may not have its capabilities.
Kahn explained how there is no standard starting point for companies looking at using IoT data, and that HANA allows companies at different stages of IoT maturity to slot into the platform.
"It is exactly what the HANA platform has been orchestrated for: to provide a single containment area, a single venue to aggregate all these specific engines so that the customer or client isn't expected to generate all these pieces together," he said.
The IoT is not the only technology trend in which SAP is getting involved. The company also revealed a partnership with Samsung to explore the industrial use of wearable technology.
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