Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SAP Enterprise Mobility and the Gathering M2M Storm

As regular readers of this blog already know, I have been championing the convergence of enterprise mobility and M2M (machine to machine) for several years now.  Why?  M2M is mostly data collected in the field and wirelessly sent and integrated with back-end systems and ERPs.  That kind of sounds like enterprise mobility, right?

As a manager, data collected from the field has value.  It can impact scheduling, resource allocation, planning, work dispatch and much more.  In today's world of M2M or "The Internet of Things" equipment, products and other assets can have embedded wireless chips connected to sensors reporting their status from just about anywhere. When machines report their own status, or measurements without humans in the loop, there are big savings. 

Today I read about Axeda and Globalsoft working together to integrate M2M solutions with SAP.  Very interesting!  Here is an excerpt, "Axeda Corporation and GlobalSoft Solutions are enabling SAP users to get more value from their CRM solution by integrating connected product data with customers’ core business systems and workflows."

Instead of waiting for a piece of high value equipment to break, the equipment can automatically send a wireless message to an enterprise asset management system notifying it that repairs or maintenance is required.  If you can maintain and support equipment before it breaks down, you can avoid unscheduled work stoppage and high repair costs.  If equipment can be remotely reporting its status, then there doesn't have to always be a person driving around inspecting it. 

Last year I heard for the first time, Jim Snabe, Co-CEO of SAP referring to M2M and remote sensors.  I also heard that M2M was a big subject at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year.  M2M is a subject that companies with remote plants, job sites, assets and equipment should be researching and learning.

Here is more about M2M and SAP from the article, "By connecting real-time product data from the Axeda Platform to SAP, information such as asset owner, location, product configuration, health status, usage, inventory levels and alerts automatically populates in the SAP CRM Contact Center. This data can automatically trigger business process workflows such as automated service ticket/case creation, pay-per-use billing, warranty management, replenishment of consumables, compliance management, product recalls, planned maintenance and more."

I have heard people at both SAP and Sybase talk about remote sensors and M2M, but I still don't know if there is any technology in the SAP/Sybase solution stack that helps manage wireless sensors, or the data that comes in from them. 

Please let us know if you have any information about SAP and M2M!


Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile Industry Analyst, Consultant and SAP Mentor Alumnus
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.