SAP Launches Innovation Services for Leonardo

SAP today announced Innovation Services, a set of services designed to allow businesses to experiment with, and implement, solutions for the SAP Leonardo platform, which ties together in one cloud-based system technologies related to the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, Big Data, data intelligence, block chain, and analytics, among others. According to Meinolf Kaimann, vice president and global head of AGS product management at SAP, the goal of these services—available in three editions—is to reduce the time it typically takes companies to get up and running with digital transformations.

The Innovation Services enable companies to explore tools and technologies available from SAP and its partners while leveraging the expertise of SAP’s business and IT professionals, to begin innovating in a way that aligns with their requirements. These businesses will gain access to designers, business transformation specialists, industry experts, and technology consultants, in addition to innovation coaches who will serve as a guide and resource.

The three service editions, Kaimann explains, are "pre-bundled and predefined, to make it much easier and faster for companies to benefit from" new technologies. These services are offered in "express," "open innovation," and "enterprise" editions.

The express edition enables companies to implement predefined business industry and line-of-business IoT accelerators, including live asset tracking for consumer products or on-demand 3-D spare part printing for manufacturing purposes. The implementation of this solution can be done and customized to a businesses needs within eight weeks, Kaimann says.

With the open innovation edition, customers can create new solutions to solve their unique business challenges, and advance from a concept to a clickable individual prototype within nine weeks. Companies on this plan gain access to the SAP Cloud Platform for innovation. In the Digital Design Zone, they can collaborate with expert guides to develop an agile, customer-centric design process at any point in their innovation cycles.

The enterprise edition, available to premium SAP customers, expands on the innovation edition to allow customers to simultaneously create several solutions tailored specifically for their business needs. In addition to the SAP Cloud Platform and Digital Design Zone, enterprise edition users gain access to "empowerment sessions"—training sessions designed to help companies become more agile and self-sufficient—as well as to the SAP Leonardo Innovation Services showroom—a virtual space where companies can explore various use cases, technology modules, and integrated business scenarios.

"The showroom provides fruitful ideas," Kaimann says, and inspires businesses to identify opportunities for improvement. In the showroom, for instance, they can "find ideas on how to connect devices, how to use blockchain, what can be done with machine learning, and how to benefit customers." 

According to Kaimann, without such acceleration services, effective systems of innovation can take a year and a half to implement, as businesses typically struggle to get started on their own. "We're talking about reduced innovation life cycles, from 18 months to three months," Kaimann says.

Kaimann points out that all SAP customers will have access to "Explore" and "Build" options before deciding whether to sign up for one of the Innovation Services. The Explore option is a one-day workshop where customers can evaluate the benefits of innovations and determine what they should prioritize and where they should focus their attention. The Build tool allows customers to convert processes they produce on a chart and make a prototype with clickable objects.

Each of SAP's Leonardo Innovation Services runs on SAP's Cloud Platform, the enterprise platform-as-a-service offering which includes application development services and features.

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