Service Management – The Internet of Things

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At SAPPHIRE, I learned about a whole new concept called the Internet of things.  While, I’m sure to those of you better than I am at keeping up with the latest and greatest technology advances this is old news.  But to me, this was brand new and quite interesting.  Now like so many new concepts, I’m sure it is still evolving, and I may not quite have the full picture, but here’s what I see.  The concept with the Internet of Things is the idea of constant monitoring data collection for your or your customer’s equipment.  Let me explain this a little better with an example that fits in my world 🙂

You sell a product that is under warranty.  Let’s just say that your warranty is for 10,000 hours of use.  It could even be more complex, like every 2,000 hours, you send a technician to perform routine maintenance.  All of this can be difficult to track unless you have technicians consistently on-site to monitor the amount time the machine has been running or trust your customer to send consistent updates on the usage.  Well, in comes the internet of things concept.  You input a simple little device that is connected to the internet so it can send data back real time, and actually contains it’s own mini db to hold all the data if you’re not connected.  I’m not gonna lie, this is really cool to me.

In comes SAP HANA.  The idea is that you can be doing real time monitoring of everything in your customer’s fleet.  if anything exceeds the norm or has issues, you can instantly use SAP to create an incident and have a technician dispatched.  Very slick.  According to everything I saw, there is ever predictive analysis tools that can take educated guesses on the next failure, so you can have a tech dispatched in advance to help prevent downtime.  It’s all very cool, very high tech, and very slick.

Now, of course, there is a catch.  What are you going to do with all of this data?  How much of this data do you really need to be real time?  and how much technology needs to be in place for the Internet of Things to work.  Well, I’m still bit fuzzy on this myself, but over the coming weeks, I’m going to start digging into it.  I want to find out how I can make it work for ECC customers that don’t have HANA.  I’m sure this will limit the functionality, but I want to find out if there are things that can be done with this cool new concept without costly upgrades or new servers…  if any of you have good information you can point me to, please let me know.

Thanks for reading,

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

One thought on “Service Management – The Internet of Things

  1. You may have heard it referred to as B2E (Business to Equipment) or B2M (Business to Machine) as well. Agreed, it is an interesting concept.

    The problem is that even with that strategy it’s not 100% deployable….ever. While 100% of the population has phone service and nearly 100% of businesses have internet….a huge % of those businesses control web traffic. Government, private security, medical devices, and most large corporations won’t just let you open a port 80 or 21 connection to computers in their network to transfer “data”. Sure there’s secure protocol – but nobody wants to deal with it. It can only be an additional channel for service messaging on top of the phone, e-mail, and e-service pathways.

    The other aspect is data security – great your equipment called home for service…but what data did you send? IP Addresses, equipment statuses, log files, my customer data? Oh wait – your in the EU – you can’t do that now can you? We’ve been having this debate for the past 3 years – mostly about data…..and it’s held up most integration efforts to solving the B2E problem.

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