This week sees SAP running its Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, a business technology summit where IT professionals can get a glimpse of what's happening in enterprise software over the next year. Like many conferences of its type much of it is merely vendors hawking their goods, but there have been a few interesting announcements. Here's a roundup of what we know so far.
Many companies are waking up to the possibility of their software being on every domestic appliance in existence, often attempting to put their own cringe-inducing marketing spin on it. SAP expects that by 2020 there will 50 billion things creating 50 trillion gigabytes of data, with apps being the driving force behind this.
"This is not just about getting data from disparate items, this is about going from edge to end," said Steve Lucas, president of Platform solutions at SAP. "This is about taking data from IoT and making it actionable into business apps. We have the products to make this happen edge to end."
Of late SAP has been pushing its products more firmly into the mobile and cloud markets, announcing that it would bring its analytics packages to the Microsoft Azure platform only last month. It has also bought the Boston startup SeeWhy in what many have interpreted as an attempt to compete with Salesforce's marketing cloud.
Now SAP has created the Industry Cloud organisation, to be led by Simon Paris, with the intention of spreading HANA, the firm's analytics software, across the cloud to businesses. "Working in industries with highly specialized challenges, we will focus on our customers' most relevant business problems and then work creatively and collaboratively to develop industry cloud solutions," Paris said.
Now that the initial hype around cloud is levelling out, there is increasing demand among businesses for tools tailored to their specific industries. At a recent Salesforce conference Richard Britton, chief executive of CloudSense, told CBR his firm's success was due to working with communications, media and telecoms specialists to give them what they needed.
In that same vein SAP has announced that it will be developing particular software for industries as diverse as chemical, finance, healthcare, education, manufacturing, professional services, public services, retail, sports and travels, in a move likely to be followed by its competitors. The company has partnered with Huawei, among others, to help it achieve this.