Franck Cohen, President for EMEA at SAP spoke with CBR about the company’s vision for the future and benefitting from IoT efficiency.
CBR recently met with President of EMEA at SAP, Franck Cohen where the topic of conversation focused on SAP’s vision for the networked economy and creating value in the Internet of Things.
Standardisation is key
SAP has been joining in partnership with a number of big name tech companies and the strategy is an important one for Cohen.
"It is very important because standardisation means simplicity for many people and for the end users and consumers."
"We are looking at vending machines and payment systems and we have the fact that Samsung and Apple have different payment systems – it is not easy."
"Because when we develop systems like that (vending machine) we have to have multiple payment systems implemented into our software."
"So of course everyone will benefit from having one payment system and then everyone can switch from Samsung to Apple and still use one single account – one single setup."
However, Cohen admits that life would be made easier for SAP if one system wins over the other, but what is really important for the company is standardisation.
"What works is when multiple industries come together and define one standard. Like Bluetooth."
"This is what at the end of the day is what all consumers want – simplicity. The same platform for my devices, same payment systems, the same way to communicate. This is why in the end this will happen."
Cohen also believes that a standardisation with the development of IoT devices is likely to happen. "I think this will be standardised and become a reality very soon, proliferation of the devices will force the companies to adopt one single standard to communicate."
"Otherwise it will not be possible for any company and start-up to develop any applications."
SAP’s vision going forward
At Mobile World Congress, SAP were keen to stress the company’s vision for a networked economy such as the Barcelona for You Network which the company showcased.
"The networked economy is the most important thing. The IoT and the possibility to have 30-50 billion devices connected makes no sense if you don’t connect the business between them to really create some value."
What SAP wants to promote is the real value of IoT and it sees this as being achieved through the networked economy where devices and business are connected.
"What we try to promote is the idea that it is good to have multiple devices being connected, but what is even better is to have business being connected so that they can seamlessly do business with each other."
"Transact more easily, reduce the cost of transacting with each other."
"I think this is the future. Why are people using this network? Because it’s easier, it’s simpler for them to use this network to transact and we offer these facilities for them to have access to multiple supplies, to automate the processes so that they can reduce their costs in the end."
"I believe IoT combined with business networks is going to have a great future."
Realising the value of efficiency
For Cohen, the consumer has to benefit from IoT devices but also the entire chain that are running the supply chain and companies have realised that they have a lot to gain.
"They realised that they have a lot of efficiency gains to get out of those IoT (devices). There is no reason to do that unless you create value for the consumer, by having a fun experience, having a seamless experience, but also for business to take advantage of this digital information that it can be used in their systems in their processes automatically to provide some value."
Cohen has seen that growth in connected devices and the networked economy is not limited to one sector, but instead is spread widely.
"Definitely looking at retailers and how they use smart vending machines to have a more sexy experience for users when they come to the store to use their loyalty points, or get some gifts and things like that."
"That is the case in every industry. You will find ways to personalise the approach to know more about the customers, and to give them a better experience interacting with a company."
"No one wants to repeat their account names and details every time you call a call centre, no one wants to do that anymore."
"You want to be recognised, to get someone that immediately knows about you, who knows about your billing, what you bought last time. That is the expectation today."
"If they don’t match this expectation then it is already boring."
Finally, Cohen commented on the oceans worth of data that is going to be collected from all these upcoming connected devices.
"The reality is not what is going to be connected, but what are we going to do with all this data."
"Not only to know more and predict what you are going to do, which is an intrusion into your private life. But also to make your life easier- that’s the challenge for me."