SAP Launches Leonardo IoT To Meld Physical Data With Business Apps


SAP said it's doubling down on its commitment to the Internet of Things with the launch of Leonardo IoT, a new platform that aims to help enterprises grow revenue, increase productivity and improve customer experience by bringing physical data into the fold.

Announced on Monday at Mobile World Congress, Leonardo IoT is designed to help enterprises across a broad range of verticals capture data from a variety of IoT sources, analyze it in conjunction with SAP applications and create new business models.

"[Leonardo IoT] is an all-encompassing platform for IoT, a platform-as-a-service solution, with the goal to support the business transformation of our customers," Elvira Wallis, SAP Leonardo IoT senior vice president, told CRN in an interview.

Wallis said Leonardo IoT will help customers with business transformation in three main ways: combining IoT data with business process data from SAP applications, such as SuccessFactors and Hana, to improve existing practices; extending the capabilities of existing SAP IoT applications; and creating new intelligent IoT applications.

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For example, Wallis said, Swiss security company Dormakaba has been using Leonardo IoT for a physical access control application that orchestrates data from employee badges swiped in front of doors with SAP's SuccessFactors human resources management software to manage room and building access for different levels of employees. She said companies are also using Leonardo IoT to improve field service management and industrial battery monitoring.

Wallis said one of Leonardo IoT's strengths is that it has broad applicability to a wide range of industries, supporting multiple use cases, in contrast to niche IoT platforms that only support a handful of use cases for specific verticals.

Starting out, the company is partnering with Microsoft to let Leonardo IoT customers use Azure IoT Hub for connectivity and device management, two features that Leonardo IoT supports. SAP is also releasing a version of Leonardo IoT for edge devices that runs on Microsoft's Azure IoT Edge runtime. Leonardo IoT currently does not support integration with IoT cloud platforms from Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud, Wallis said, though that could eventually change.

"We want to be open minded and of course our partnership with Microsoft is vendor-agnostic. It's not exclusive, we're considering other interoperability scenarios in the future," she said.

To get channel partners on board, Wallis said SAP is "doubling down on partner enablement," adding that opportunities range from the implementation stage to strategic advising. She said it will soon become imperative for partners to have IoT knowledge.

"With the world [becoming] so connected, with the number of devices increasing, the devices becoming ever more intelligent and absorbing so much data, they need to become a part of the value chain," Wallis said.