The Stack Archive

SAP set to steal the march in IoT with Plat.One acquisition

Thu 29 Sep 2016

John-BatesJohn Bates, CEO at IoT application platform Plat.One and chairman of Smart IoT London, discusses his company’s takeover by SAP and how the move fits in with a wider IoT vision…

SAP has a unique opportunity in IoT and Plat.One is very excited to be part of its mission. The company’s vision is to integrate IoT into enterprise software, creating a true IoT marketplace and making it easier for businesses to build and market IoT apps and solutions.

With the Plat.One acquisition, SAP is planning to integrate our technology into the Hana Cloud Platform (HCP), allowing businesses to build, market and deploy new IoT-enabled solutions, while also allowing existing apps built on HCP to connect to IoT assets. IoT data will now be fed natively into services such as the Hana database, streaming analytics and predictive analytics tools.

As the IoT increasingly converges with big data analytics, it is crucial that the two work seamlessly together. Through the acquisition, we will seek to develop streaming analytics capabilities to respond effectively to real-time data.

We will also work to build predictive analytics to better learn behaviors and spot faults, and visual analytics to help visualize data patterns. SAP is a leader in all of these areas – and part of its plan is to integrate the Plat.One IoT services with these analytical capabilities.

Existing SAP applications already in the market, including Enterprise Management, Financial Management, and Supply Chain Management, will now link directly to real world assets. For example, if you are modeling depreciation in a financial model, you can now understand and value assets based on how they are used in real life – rather than basing conclusions on theory alone.

This capability saves money, reduces risk and increases accuracy in business management. For SAP, this is a revolutionary new approach that can be applied to over 320,000 application customers.

SAP is also looking to develop its Hana App Center Marketplace which hosts IoT apps, built by SAP itself and thousands of its partners, and makes them available for instant purchase and use. These apps can also be extended and customized using the Hana Cloud Platform.

Plat.One architecture

As part of SAP’s effort to leapfrog the competition and accelerate its IoT roadmap, it conducted a comprehensive analysis of the market to find a platform that could make its plans a reality. After looking at dozens of companies, SAP selected Plat.One, identifying key capabilities in our technology which would support the acceleration of its IoT mission.

These features included a strong IoT machine interoperability, with support for over 40 machine protocols and the ability to learn new ones rapidly. SAP also recognized the Plat.One ability to deliver powerful capabilities at both the Edge and in the Cloud.

Implementing a micro-services-based container architecture allows for the intelligent placement of solutions at the Edge and/or in the Cloud depending on application requirements. This adaptive nature means that systems can intelligently adjust or raise alarms when conditions in an application change.

Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 10.05.44Plat.One further offers a rich semantic data model that virtualizes devices, or ‘things’ such as such as buses, waste bins or bus stops, into ‘business objects’. The model is built with an integrated and customizable role-based security model, specific to a particular application, service or user. This enables apps to be ‘future-proofed’ because they are not hard-wired to specific protocols and device details.

This flexible, end-to-end IoT security architecture is enforced by certificates and encryption, from the hardware devices through to the end applications. SAP takes security very seriously and the company will continue to enhance the Plat.One approach in this area.

SAP was also interested in the Plat.One graphical plug-and-play development environment for IoT apps – which simplifies the process of building apps. There is a huge push towards graphical IoT authoring, and plugging together applications for rapid prototyping will be the way forward. Plat.One IoT modeling tools will become a part of SAP’s development environment and we hope to have a leadership position in this area too.

A further reason why we’re excited to be part of SAP is the prospect of joining a firm which we believe can serve as a leader in IoT in terms of supporting its partners and customers to innovate. Many organizations are afraid to get going in IoT because they don’t understand the economics, or ‘thinganomics’ – the economic justification for an IoT app.

Companies must make sure there is a clear business model – it might be selling the product ‘as-a-Service’, or having an Uber-like ‘surge pricing’ model, or perhaps saving $X million by spotting waste or errors in real-time. Alongside a strong technology partner, like SAP, which is continually pushing for innovation in the area of IoT, enterprises will be able to dedicate more time and resources on their actual business.

Integrating Plat.One with SAP’s expertise and capabilities across the SAP Hana Cloud Platform will deliver our vision to a truly global audience. All of Plat.One’s IoT technology experts and thought leaders will be joining the new venture, and are thrilled to be part of executing this exciting new mission.

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acquisition feature IoT
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