Leonardo – It’s About Doing IoT

Blog /Leonardo Its About Doing IoT

Leonardo da Vinci:

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

At NTT DATA, we’re hearing it from all our customers: what, exactly, is Leonardo? Is it a product? A service?  Marketing hype or something real?

While Leonardo is not a new software offering or even a formalized collection of software and services, it is definitely not marketing hype. In fact, it is the opposite of hype. Leonardo is about doing. It is a toolbox, framework and collection of pre-built accelerators designed to help businesses rapidly execute and innovate with cutting-edge digital technologies.

The first wave of digital transformation hit about a decade ago sparked by advances in cloud, mobile and big-data analytics. Despite the very big and very real advantages these technologies delivered, many companies, too many, got caught up in the evaluation process. Analysis paralysis stifled execution, and many companies paid a steep price for their inaction.

After witnessing firsthand the massive disruption caused by companies who properly harnessed these technologies, the business leaders who survived the now understand that they cannot sit idly by as the technological underpinnings of digital transformation advance and evolve at a blistering pace. I’m talking specifically about advances in IoT, machine learning, AI, and blockchain – or, generally speaking, the second wave of digital transformation.

Given their rapid evolution and ascension, most companies are not sure how to leverage these innovations into practical applications. There is a natural resistance to being "cutting edge" or an "early adopter," but just the same, inaction carries with it considerable risk.

While IoT is relatively new to the business scene, more companies than you might think have been doing some form of IoT for several years, if not longer.

Manufacturing organizations have been driving business improvement through data acquisition around sensors, systems and people for decades – under continuous improvement initiatives such as Lean Six Sigma or Kaizen Events.

The difference now is the available IoT technology stack is more cost effective and collaborative, with enterprise-wide integration capabilities and real-time analytics built in. This is the foundation of SAP Leonardo.

To catch this second wave of innovation, companies must step up their pace of execution, particularly with IoT, or suffer disruption from which they may never recover. 

SAP CEO Bill McDermott said it best during his keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW: “There is no longer a buffer between early adopters and also-rans […] Only early adopters will win.”

The quote above from Leonardo (the person) expresses nicely the overarching purpose of Leonardo (the SAP brand). As we see it, SAP Leonardo is about infusing businesses with an “urgency of doing” by providing the technology components, best practices and project accelerators needed to drive rapid and sustained execution on the digital transformation front.  More than a collection of technologies, SAP Leonardo is a complete platform designed to enable sustained, transformational business change.

A Leonardo flyby

In September of 2016, before the Leonardo brand was publicly revealed, SAP reaffirmed its intention to be a leader in cutting-edge digital transformation technologies by announcing plans to invest more than $2 billion over five years for the expansion of its Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio. In July of this year at SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP officially launched Leonardo. Built on the SAP Cloud Platform and billed as a “system of innovation,” Leonardo is comprised of accelerators and services designed to help customers connect the emerging world of intelligent devices with people and processes to achieve tangible business outcomes. Specifically, Leonardo combines Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML), blockchain and Big Data in a comprehensive digital innovation system designed to enable customers to innovate at scale and redefine their business.

Most recently, at Leonardo Live, SAP’s global summit held July 11–12 in Frankfurt, Germany, SAP announced several new IoT solutions, including:

  • SAP Leonardo IoT Bridge - a configurable role-based digital command center giving operations managers unprecedented visibility and ability to act in real time.
  • SAP Global Track and Trace - a cloud-based offering for unified, end-to-end tracking, monitoring and reporting of objects and business processes across supply chain networks.
  • SAP Edge Services - to bring compute, storage and business semantics via the cloud to where intelligent devices reside outside of the data center, for near real-time and deterministic performance of business processes.
  • SAP Digital Manufacturing Insights - a centralized, cloud-based manufacturing performance management solution that provides comprehensive visibility into manufacturing that enables process optimization.
  • SAP Asset Manager - a cloud-based mobile app for managing asset health, inventory, maintenance and safety.

SAP Leonardo is unique when compared to other IoT platforms. While other platforms provide cloud enablement/collaboration, core business processes and data sources are often left to be integrated by third-party sources, significantly limiting (or delaying) value and leaving existing processes and systems unchanged.

SAP Leonardo provides comprehensive business solutions based on an integrated technology stack, supporting the entire organization across multiple industries. Combined with SAP's rich innovation legacy to drive business value, the SAP Leonardo platform is not a point solution but rather a transformation landscape, empowering people to make better decisions in real time across their organization.

Above and beyond product announcements, what was most impressive about Leonardo Live was the atmosphere of doing created by the many customer IoT use cases on display:

  • Stara, a huge Brazilian manufacturer of agricultural machines, added 20 sensors to each of their machines and uses IoT to optimize myriad, vital farming processes. By integrating sensor data with the ERP systems of large farmers, Stara improves their own business, the businesses of their farmer customers and the business of feeding a growing, global population.
  • Volvo is investing in autonomous cars as well as entering new markets by offering insurance, telecom connectivity and entertainment.
  • MacLaren is an early adopter of IoT, using telemetry back in 1993, and has achieved high rates of IoT maturity and adoption.
  • Jabil is innovating their supply chain and manufacturing using IoT and 3D printing.
  • AEGEA Pro Lagos, a Brazilian water utility, uses IoT to monitor their assets in real time and predictive analysis to forecast water supply and demand.
  • Red Bull has connected sensors to 30k coolers to track their location, temperature, power status and events such as opening and closing to optimize product quality, replenishment and sales.
  • The city of Buenos Aires uses IoT and predictive analysis to protect their citizens from flooding of the nine underwater rivers.
  • Caterpillar explained how their Live Factory, based on Digital Manufacturing Insights, Vehicle Insights and Predictive Maintenance, improves manufacturing, SCM and customer experience.
  • Incor, a heart institute in Sao Paolo, combined IoT, analytics, machine learning and predictive analysis and created a dashboard to help doctors and nurses become more efficient and effective and to improve patient outcomes.

IoT (in all its forms) is all the rage

SAP Leonardo empowers companies to wield the very latest digital technologies in their transformational efforts. While transformation is achieved by applying multiple digital technologies in unison strategically across the enterprise, IoT deployments presently garner the most interest, particularly among manufacturers and/or asset-heavy businesses with complex supply chains. 

While each company will have a unique definition Internet of Things, the IoT category as a whole has big implications for business. Here’s a small roundup of recent, big predictions about the future of IoT by leading research firms:

  • As reported in ZDNet, according to a leading research firm global IoT spending is expected to total nearly $1.4 trillion by 2021. Overall, the research firm expects IoT spending to grow 16.7% year-over-year in 2017, reaching just over $800 billion.
  • As reported in Information Age, another leading research firm forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31% from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. This firm estimates that total spending on endpoints and services will reach almost $2 trillion in 2017, with consumer applications representing 63% of total IoT applications in 2017 and business IoT spending representing 57% of overall IoT spending.
  • According to 451 research, 71% of businesses report that they’re gating data for IoT initiatives today and expect their IoT-related spending to grow by 33% over the next 12 months.
  • According to a survey conducted by Machina Research, 48% of respondents stated that their companies are actively using IoT technologies with an additional 43% looking to deploy IoT solutions in the next 24 months. At this pace, IoT will become a mainstream enterprise element by the beginning of 2019.

Check out this previously published NTT DATA SAP Advisor article for more impressive IoT stats.

Expert guidance needed for IoT success

While a large majority (84%) of companies understand that digital transformation is vital to their survival, only 3% have completed digital transformation projects, according to a recently released Digital Transformation Executive study, conducted by SAP and Oxford Economics. 

Moving forward with IoT brings up some major concerns for businesses, with security, ROI, connectivity challenges and complex backend integrations topping the list.

Another concern is simply "Where to start?" Some look at the latest innovations and reply, "Interesting, but that does not apply to my company/industry?”

Truth be told, given the many constituent parts of an IoT deployment, connecting “systems of innovation” to core “systems of record” in a manner that yields meaningful and sustainable transformation requires expertise that is both broad and deep. Many, if not most, businesses lack the internal resources needed to bring an IoT implementation to fruition.

According to the Machina Research survey, U.S. enterprises overwhelmingly favor solutions partners such as NTT DATA that offer IoT deployment support across the entire service delivery chain. Partners that offer hands-on, comprehensive end-to-end services represent the top echelon of IoT partner choices for 59% of respondents.

With hundreds of IoT deployments under our belt, including some of the world’s most extensive and complex, NTT DATA is proud to be the partner of choice for a growing number of organizations looking to move forward with their IoT strategy.

Drawing on our experience, we help accelerate IoT deployment by evaluating readiness, defining solutions and services, and developing a roadmap, complete with an architectural framework and management plan suited to the connected devices and the data types and volumes they generate.

Most importantly, our deep industry knowledge and business process expertise ensures that our customers understand how both people and processes will be impacted and how business value will be achieved, again and again.

We understand why companies struggle with how to integrate new technology into an existing footprint, which is why we emphasize “co-innovation” when it comes to formulating an IoT strategy.

Successful IoT engagements are not solely defined by technology. People and processes must always guide the vision. Bringing all of these elements together in a comprehensive solution that yields meaningful and measurable value is the guiding principal for IoT success.

Contact NTT DATA today to learn more about how our expertise and hands-on experience can help your business step up the pace of IoT execution. 

Post Date: 8/11/2017

Jay Monahan Jay Monahan

About the author

Jay is a results-driven executive combining more than 25 years of experience in leading consulting lead transformation initiatives across shop floor, ERP and supply chain initiatives. He is passionate about innovative approaches to manufacturing challenges and building new offerings integrated across a spectrum of IT/OT/ET.For more than 20 years, Jay has been focused on designing, delivering and managing software solutions, from the ERP to the Shop Floor. With a passion for the manufacturing process, Jay revels in the opportunity to both help and learn from customers through plant tours and customer strategy sessions.