As part of a larger commitment to building applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), SAP announced today at the SAP TechEd and d-code conference that it has formed an alliance with Volkswagen and Shell to create a connected car initiative that includes an integrated system for connected fueling of Volkswagen vehicles.
Making use of the APIs that SAP is exposing to provide access to a range of back-end services in the cloud that are being developed with Shell and Volkswagen, the ultimate goal is to make Shell the preferred fueling station for owners of Volkswagen vehicles, says Nils Herzberg, SAP's senior vice president for industry solutions. As part of that effort, the three companies plan to co-develop everything from customer loyalty to monitoring applications that track the performance of Volkswagen vehicles between stops for fuel.
Initially being piloted in Hannover, Germany, these applications are part of a major IoT foray that SAP is making via the cloud. Today the company also announced it has developed SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service through which it will collect a variety of sensor data that is exposed via open APIs. SAP is also using the analytics derived from that data to drive an SAP AR Service Technician mobile application that enables field technicians to complete work orders automatically generated by SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service in a hands-free environment that uses smart glasses.
In addition, SAP has created SAP Connected Logistics, a hub in the cloud that allows operators and others to monitor traffic and facilitate communication. SAP plans to integrate that software with a variety of back-end transportation management systems and an AR warehouse picker mobile application the company has already developed.
Finally, SAP is releasing SAP Manufacturing Execution version 15.0, which now runs on the SAP in-memory computing platform.
Connected car applications are one of the primary areas in which IoT applications are initially going to be commercially deployed. But SAP also sees a need for a broad range of IoT applications that will invoke the SAP HANA platform running primarily in data centers managed by IBM. To that end, SAP also announced today that it is dedicating an additional 500 developers to building IoT applications.
But as Herzberg notes, none of those applications is likely to be built until all that IoT data finds some central repository in the cloud that makes all that information available to developers in a format they can actually consume.