In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, SAP Senior Vice President and Global Head of Internet of Things, Elvira Wallis, joins us to talk about the power of IoT to bring real-world data into industrial processes. We cover some of the most important considerations for companies looking to prove out new business models or improve existing processes using IoT, including the early planning process and ensuring that ROI is achieved in the proof of concept.
As SVP and Global Head of IoT at SAP, Elvira leads IoT investment at SAP, managing the entire lifecycle of new IoT business solutions as they are brought to market.
To kick off the episode, Elvira gave a bit of background about SAP. Though known for its leadership in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software space, SAP has evolved to support customers in building solutions to leverage real-world data and improve process efficiency through connected technology. Elvira said that customers come in at all stages of ideation, from those that have a process they know they could be doing better to companies looking to prove out the value of IoT.
As an IoT company, “people don’t come to you and say, ‘I want to buy a slice of IoT,’ like a cheesecake,” Elvira said, “most people come to you because they want an improved process or business model and IoT is a means to an end.”
And while SAP can do a lot, Elvira was clear that they don’t do it all. “IoT and IIoT,” she said, “are very clearly an ecosystem endeavor.” Many IoT applications require highly specialized sensors and compatible hardware and those needs are best fulfilled by the experts.
Elvira also spoke to some of the pros and cons of operating on the edge versus in the cloud. With her experience leading SAP’s Edge Services and Leonardo IoT products, Elvira said that she’s seen rising interest in bringing business processes to the source of the data. Where latency and intermittent connectivity are concerns, edge processing is really the way to go. And while cloud computing can raise the cost of an IoT solution, it provides a lot of flexibility to customize and add parts to existing infrastructure.
Whether a company is in the beginning stages of exploring what IoT can do for them, or looking to prove out a specific model or solution, Elvira said two particular challenges tend to crop up across the board. At the beginning stages of developing an IoT solution, Elvira said it’s critical to develop clear KPIs and give all of the key stakeholders ownership over the success of the project. “Success breeds success,” Elvira said, and that early planning is vital to the success of any development.
To close out the conversation, we asked Elvira to share her thoughts on the long-term effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the IoT industry on the whole. Elvira said that, with companies now looking at their own ability to adapt and remotely manage their assets, she expected a surge in IoT investment and intelligent products. At the top of most companies’ agendas, Elvira said, will be the supply chain as companies work to ensure they won’t get blindsided by similar challenges in the future.
Interested in connecting with Elvira? Reach out to her on Linkedin!
About SAP: Originally known for leadership in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, SAP has evolved to become a market leader in end-to-end enterprise application software, database, analytics, intelligent technologies, and experience management. A top cloud company with 200 million users worldwide, SAP helps businesses of all sizes and in all industries to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and achieve their purpose.
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Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:
(01:47) Introduction to Elvira Wallis.
(03:47) What does SAP do and what’s your role in IoT?
(06:33) What does a typical customer engagement look like?
(08:50) Do you work with outside organizations as partners in these engagements, or are you handling most of the development internally?
(11:19) What is SAP Leonardo?
(15:54) What are some of the major use cases SAP is involved in?
(24:08) Have you seen IoT help develop new business models for businesses? What have those been?
(25:55) What have been the biggest challenges to an IoT journey or deployment?
(28:24) For companies starting an IoT deployment, where do you suggest they spend most of their time?
(30:15) How are you seeing COVID-19 impact the IoT market specifically?