SAP announces €2bn IoT investment

Posted on 28 Sep 2016 by Jonny Williamson

Multinational enterprise software company, SAP has unveiled a €2bn investment plan to help businesses and government entities benefit from the surge of sensors, smart devices and big data that is transforming business with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Over the coming five years, SAP aims to accelerate innovation in its IoT solution portfolio, increase sales and marketing, scale service, support and co-innovation, and grow its ecosystem of partners and start-ups in the IoT market – estimated to reach €250bn by 2020.

From two-way radios to smartphones, laptops to landlines, tablets to rugged handhelds no one is beyond reach in today's smart factory - image courtesy of DFC.
According to the CEO of SAP, Bill McDermott; “With billions of connected devices, we now have the potential to reshape society, the economy and the environment.” – image courtesy of DFC.


While business and public sector entities have unprecedented access to more information and real-time feeds, they still report difficulties in tying it all together across operating locations, business units and functional teams.

SAP plans to make sense of big data through IoT solutions that apply machine learning and integrate with the core business applications of SAP S/4HANA.

By connecting people, partners, things and the physical environment, SAP hopes to enable organisations to extend and enrich business processes with real-time, live intelligence; making opportunities clearer, operations more efficient, and customer value more immediate.

SAP IoT seeks to enable connected business and connected society, addressing urban and rural areas and spanning agribusiness; infrastructure and energy; health; defence; manufacturing; consumer, and transportation industries.

Industry 4.0 Solution Packages

SAP also announced two Industry 4.0 packages that feature IoT solutions to drive customers’ digital business strategies. Both of which are available immediately.

TM Smart Factory Expo

Nov 2-3, The NEC (Birmingham)

Siemens is exhibiting at The Manufacturer Smart Factory Expo, the UK’s only dedicated exhibition in response to Industry 4.0.

Showcasing the best solution providers and technology offerings, this unique FREE event is for manufacturing business leaders keen to adopt the relevant tools and knowledge to drive business growth.

  • Learn about how Industry 4.0 can improve your business
  • Discover new, more cost-effective solutions to existing processes
  • Hear how other manufacturers are dealing with the fourth industrial revolution
  • Network with new suppliers, customers and business partners
  • Compare solutions across every product sector
  • Watch live demonstrations of the latest products & how they integrate with each other
  • Arrange face-to-face appointments with key suppliers
  • Uncover new ideas and insights to grow your business

The ‘jump-start’ package is designed to initiate operational and business system connectivity as a foundation to monitor equipment effectiveness and provide insight into shop floor operations.

The ‘accelerator’ package also has this functionality, and adds an automated, paperless, manufacturing execution and control environment by supporting manufacturing planning and execution, performance analytics and advanced plant maintenance.

A third ‘advanced’ Industry 4.0 solution package is expected to be announced sometime in the future, providing advanced manufacturing insight and controls, machine learning functionality and predictive analysis for quality and maintenance operations.

Innovation in the IoT

SA has recently acquired the Italian-founded PLAT.ONE, an enterprise-grade IoT provider that simplifies the process of creating, deploying and managing complex solutions, and the Norwegian Fedem Technology, specialising in advanced engineering analysis and building software.

Through PLAT.ONE, SAP intends to accelerate the availability of key IoT capabilities in its SAP HANA Cloud Platform, such as advanced lifecycle management for devices, broad device connectivity, strong edge capabilities, end-to-end role-based security, and rapid development tools for applications.

With its acquisition of Fedem Technology, SAP plans to build an end-to-end IoT solution in which a digital avatar continuously represents the state of operating assets through feeds from sensors, replacing the need for physical inspection with a ‘digital inspection’.

SAP IoT Labs

SAP plans to establish locations around the world to collaborate on Industry 4.0 and IoT with customers, partners and start-ups.

Intended as ‘lighthouse’ locations, the sites would also be primary access points for IoT R&D, proof-of-concept modeling and incubation, with IoT showcases, thought leadership, expertise and infrastructure for strategy and product co-innovation.

Suggested locations include Berlin; Johannesburg; Munich; Palo Alto; São Leopoldo. and Shanghai.

The labs are intended to provide access to co-innovation resources, including design thinking experts and workshops, and interactive demos of IoT-related technology including autonomous systems (such as drones and robotics), security, machine learning, and 3D printing.