MWC14: How Cisco & SAP Are Making IoT Real Today
Two more days to go… all the meetings, preparation, planning, and a tiny bit of stress is done and now for the big event itself – Mobile World Congress 2014. It’s going to be a massive show for SAP and I’m very much looking forward to interacting with customers, partners, influencers and thought leaders as I help them understand SAP’s strategy and plans for Internet of Things. One thing particularly has me very excited; we will be collaborating with Cisco to show how both companies are delivering IoT solutions today. There’s no doubt that IoT is the embodiment of this year’s theme at MWC – Creating what’s next. So in that spirit, let me highlight a few of the showcases featuring Cisco and SAP technologies for IoT at the event.
To start with, who doesn’t get thirsty walking around a massive exhibit hall? If that’s you then please stop by the SAP booth (6A30) and enjoy a beverage dispensed by the vending machine of the future. Featuring a massive touch screen to interact with you on a personalized basis, this system gets its smarts from a combination of Cisco networking coupled with SAP software.
Traditional vending machines have never been able to track what has been sold, what a customer prefers or if it is broken, so vending machine operators typically replenish and service machines on a set schedule. Not only does this disappoint customers when their favorite brands are out or if a machine is not working, but it also results in costly operational waste and ineffective inventory management. How do we do fix this? Why a smart vending machine, of course!
A smart machine collects a tremendous amount of data — such as customer purchases, inventory levels, machine temperatures and operating functions — that operators can use for real time decision making. Delivering this information to SAP enterprise software securely is critical, but what happens when there are tens of thousands of these machines – that’s where the industrial strength, capacity and capability of Cisco comes to the fore. What do we do with all that data? It gives us visibility across the entire network and at each individual machine, inventories are automatically tracked and operators know when machines need to be replenished so restocking visits are based on real time product demand. On an unexpectedly hot day, a machine can be restocked with cold drinks based on current demand rather than on a stocking plan that was developed months ago. And when inventories are low, a smart machine can send an automated signal to a truck driver carrying the needed products and ask for replenishment. By using IoT technology like this, retailers can avoid out of stock occurrences and increase customer satisfaction. Come taste the future.
Have you ever marveled at the size and scale of construction cranes? Dubai is “home” to approximately 25% of the worlds crane population – that’s nearly 30,000 cranes! With that number of cranes operating 24 x 7, often in close proximity, safety is paramount and one of the dangers of operating cranes is collisions with other cranes, buildings and just about anything else at a busy construction site.
At the SAP booth you will be able interact with a 1:50 scale model (because getting two actual cranes onto the show floor would have added a whole lot more stress to my life!) of a novel anti-collision system for cranes developed by SK Solutions – an SAP and Cisco customer.
The cranes themselves are equipped with sensors to pull data such as 3-D motion control via inertial motion unit, location via GPS and load weight, equipment usage and wind speed and direction. This data is loaded first into the Navigator real-time operating system and its on-board set of applications, including collision avoidance. The data is synchronized to the SK Data Center using a network of Cisco wireless mesh access points and the SK Navigator Anywhere Agent, which uses SAP technology. Cisco also provides Unified Communication solutions enabling all personnel on the job site to communicate reliably regardless of cellular connectivity. Once in the SK Data Center, the data is monitored via a dashboard built with SK Asteroid, which uses the SAP HANA platform, SAP® 3-D Visual Enterprise applications and SAP Lumira™ software. This then feeds into SK Asteroid 360 Middleware which provides connectivity to SAP® Business Suite software.
Come by booth 6A30 to see how Cisco and SAP are making the skies above Dubai safer with IoT solutions today. Oh! And don’t forget your drink.