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SAP Leonardo, SAP’s IoT Platform Now Has a Name: Interview with SAP’s Rakesh Gandhi

As the “Internet of Things (IoT)” market becomes less hype and more reality, German software powerhouse SAP is aiming to move fast with important economical and research investments, aiming to become a leader in the IoT field.

One key move is the recent announcement of SAP’s Leonardo Innovation Portfolio, a comprehensive solution offering to enable organizations plan, design and deploy IoT solutions.

Of course, with these announcements we felt compelled to reach out to SAP and know from their own words, about the details of this SAP’s new IoT portfolio.

As a result we had the opportunity to speak with Rakesh Gandhi, Vice President for IOT GTM & Solutions at SAP America.

Rakesh is an innovation Enthusiast and IOT evangelist, he is currently responsible for SAP Leonardo portfolio for IoT innovation’ GTM and Solutions Management. A 12 year veteran at SAP, Rakesh has been involved in incubating new innovations of Mobile, Cloud for Customer, CEC and now IoT.

Thank you Mr. Gandhi:

Last year SAP announced an ambitious €2 Billion investment plan to help companies and government agencies to develop their IoT and Big Data initiatives. Could share with us some details about this program and what this involves in a general sense?

IoT is one of the key pillar of SAP’s strategy to enable customer’ digital transformation journey. Over past several years SAP is developing IoT portfolio working closely with our customers. Recent announcement for SAP Leonardo brand is a continuation of SAP commitment and plans in following key areas

  • Accelerate innovation of IoT solution portfolio both organic and inorganic with acquisitions. 
  • Create awareness of SAP’s IoT innovations that empowers customers to run live business with smart processes across all line of business and re-invent business model  
  • Drive customer adoption, scale service, support and co-innovation, and 
  • Most importantly grow its ecosystem of partners and startups in the IoT market

To date, summary of key announcement includes:

Key acquisitions such as:

  • Fedem: With this acquisition SAP can now build an end-to-end IoT solution in which a digital avatar continuously represents the state of operating assets through feeds from sensors, replacing the need for physical inspection with a “digital inspection.” Additionally, the solution is intended to consider complex forces in play and detect both instantaneous consequences of one-off events and long-term health effects of cyclic loads, making possible accurate monitoring of maintenance requirements and remaining-life prediction for assets.
  • This acquisition helped provide expertise and technology to accelerate the availability of key IoT capabilities in SAP HANA Cloud Platform, such as advanced lifecycle management for IoT devices, broad device connectivity, strong IoT edge capabilities that work seamlessly with a cloud back end, end-to-end role-based security and rapid development tools for IoT applications.
  • Altiscale: This acquisition is helping our customers create business value by harnessing the power of BIG DATA generated by the connected world.
The Launch of SAP Leonardo Brand for IoT Innovation portfolio: This was a major step in announcing our brand for IoT driven innovation

SAP Leonardo jumpstart program: This is a major step in our commitment to help our customers drive adoption and rapidly deployment core IoT applications in a short time frame of 3months duration with fixed scope and price.

Partners Ecosystem are critical to our success; we are working closely with partners to create an ecosystem that our customers can leverage to further simplify their deployment projects.

Additionally, SAP is on track in opening up IoT labs to collaborate on Industry 4.0 and IoT innovations with our customers, partners and startups.

Can you share with us some of the details of the new enablement program as well as the general features of the Leonardo IoT Portfolio?

What are observing in the market place is that many organizations are starting with small experimental IoT projects or may have started to collect & store sensor data with some visualization capabilities.

However, it is still generally believed that IoT as a topic is very low on maturity curve. SAP now have a very robust portfolio which has been co-innovated with our early adopter customers and proven to deliver business value.

The second challenge and general perception with customers is that of IoT is still in hype phase and difficult to deploy, we decided it is very important for SAP to support our customer’ adoption and showcase that they can go productive live in a short time frame for first pilot.

This jumpstart program supports three scenarios as three distinct separate packages viz:

  • Vehicle Insights for fleet telematics,
  • Predictive Maintenance & Service with Asset Intelligence Network for connected assets
  • Connected Goods for scenarios connected coolers, connected vending machines and such mass marketing things.
Customers can now deploy one of this scenarios in 3 months timeframe. It is a very structured 3 steps process where-in first SAP teams works with customer leveraging ½ day design thinking workshop to get an agreement on pilot deployment scope, step 2 deliver a rapid prototype to demonstrate vision to get customer buy in.

In the final step, towards the end of 3 months engagement deliver a pilot productive system.

Lastly, SAP will continue to engage with customers to help with their IoT roadmap for next processes and business case.

It seems natural to assume SAP has already started working to support IoT projects in key industries and/or lines of business, could talk about some of these industry/LoB efforts?

SAP Leonardo IoT innovation portfolio powers digital processes across line of businesses and Industry.

As an example we have released new value map [here] of supply chain processes, now referred to as digital supply chain and this is powered by SAP Leonardo IoT innovation portfolio.

The same is applicable for other LoBs e.g. customer service processes to enable predictive & proactive maintenance process and also industry specific e2e solutions powered by SAP Leonardo e.g. with SAP Connected Goods for CPG & Retail industry.

Is this program designed mostly for SAP’s existing partners and customers? How non SAP customers could take advantage of it?

Jump start program is designed to support all our customer, both existing and net new prospect customers as well.

This mirrors how SAP Leonardo portfolio of IoT solutions is designed to work with SAP or Non-SAP backend and agnostic in that regard.

Finally, what are the technical and/or business requirements for applicants of this program?

As mentioned above, initially SAP Leonardo jump start program is offered for three packages, viz: SAP Vehicles Insights, SAP Connected Goods and SAP Predictive Maintenance &service + Asset intelligence networks.

These are cloud solutions and use cases covered by each of these packages are applicable across multiple industry.

Thank you again Mr. Gandhi!

You can learn more about SAP Leonardo by reaching its web site and/or reading this post by Hans Thalbauer.
In the meantime, you can take a look at the video introduction produced by SAP.


  1. This is very informative guest post for me i really appriciate your work this is the first time i read other person guest post otherwise i always prefer to read ArticleTalks guest posts.


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