Companies that leverage their data best will win the future — we've all heard this. 

But the underlying technologies that help businesses achieve this goal have expanded beyond big data and analytics. New capabilities — to capture information from the Internet of Things (IoT), learn from data via machine learning (ML) and enable the exchange of cryptocurrencies — are pushing companies to raise their data plays. But it doesn't stop there: the insights gained must inform business processes and decisions in real time or they are useless.

Today SAP expanded SAP Leonardo, its IoT data solution, to include IoT, ML and blockchain innovations that “help customers make everything digital, programmable and smarter,” Mike Flannagan SAP vice president, analytics told CMSWire.

SAP Leonardo will be a key component of SAP's Digital Innovation System, which SAP CEO Bill McDermott introduced from the keynote stage today at SAP SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG (America's SAP Users’ Group) Annual Conference, taking place May 15 through May 19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

SAP Leonardo Expands

Walldorf, Germany-based SAP will deliver its Digital Innovation System on the SAP Cloud Platform. The system will include insights from SAP Leonardo, integrations with new and existing applications, and offer services for developers and partners to build custom applications supported by a network of SAP Leonardo Centers with initial locations in New York City, Paris, Sao Paolo and Bangalore, India.

Flannagan called this approach imperative, describing digital disruption as the biggest opportunity (or threat) that companies have seen in the last 50 to 100 years. He asserted SAP was unique in its ability to transform businesses, given its 350,000 customers and that its software plays some role in more than 75 percent of business transactions worldwide.

Learning Opportunities

A Wide Reach

While it would be easy to dismiss Flannagan's comment as boasting, the reality is that as the world's largest ERP vendor, SAP is in a prime position to understand how businesses run, what kind of data is available and how insights from that data can inform business processes.

That being the case, SAP is building packaged capabilities for vertical markets — called Industry Innovation Accelerators, and is also offering services aligned to specific use cases that, with SAP's help, can then be "laser focused" with fixed prices and timelines. 

The advantage? Digital transformation can happen faster for more companies because they won’t be starting from zero.

All Geared Up

For companies who want to innovate from scratch, SAP offers a flexible approach that allows them to build what they need for their industry or business needs. Whether starting from scratch or using an Industry Innovation Accelerator, customers will be able to leverage Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation and a set of new machine learning-enabled applications for everything from invoicing to customer service and retention as well as an SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service for building application extensions.