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Get Your Head in The Cloud: Monitoring Natural Disasters and Chronic Diseases
Written by Rolf Schumann, General Manager Platform & Innovation at SAP 

The Cloud has by now proved that it is more than just a trend, a skipping stone to the digital transformation or a way to make more money. It is also a tool to make the world a better place. Learn how these companies are leveraging the Cloud's other capabilities to create an earthquake monitoring system, converting an iPhone into a personal seismometer.

Gartner has predicted that, in 2019, more than 30% of all new software investments made by the top 100 suppliers will be developed based on strategies that prioritize the cloud.
IDC has indicated that, in 2018, 51% of technology investment made by European companies will be focused on the cloud. These figures reflect the reality of the market, an evolution into a model of technology consumption that no one can deny in face of the market's current behavior; however, these are "heartless" figures.

Underneath all these percentages, speeches and the trends mentioned by many experts, the truth is that there are a few successful cases that show the viability and the advantages of cloud computing in the business environment. Unlike what we might think, not only small and medium businesses are adopting this kind of services. Big multinational enterprises are also an example of how the cloud thrives in the complex CIT environment.

Bosch, Cepsa, Danone, Roche, Shell or Volkswagen, for instance, have given wings to innovation based on a cloud platform.

Danone, one of the world leaders in the food industry, has implemented SAP Cloud Platform to support and integrate different technologies and be able to scalably create web and mobile apps that easily and seamlessly interconnect their consumers and the company's systems.

The multinational's goal was to "initiate a customized two-way communication and then capture all interaction data into back-end systems", says a Danone spokesperson. However, since the company couldn't afford the on-demand development of this kind of service, it moved to the cloud and thus won the challenge in an economically sustainable way.

With a fee-for-service model, Danone started implementing this strategy in South Africa (using a call center and a web-based application from which the whole order cycle could be managed) and in an online store in Germany. These platforms were then expanded to other countries, and the combination of this data with those that the company captures through Facebook or Twitter to analyze and find new markets and opportunities, has proven to be a successful strategy. A wealth of Big Data, analytics and scalable development without spending too much on programming is possible when a company's IT converges into a next-generation cloud platform.

This scenario is repeated in other industries, such as Cepsa, a Spanish oil company, a true icon in the energy sector. This company had already achieved a high level of technology architecture integration, but it still needed to reinvent and streamline processes, something that it accomplished by using mobile apps in SAP Cloud Platform for iOS. These apps allow service station workers to anticipate their own needs and place new supply orders with a single click. Moreover, direct sales representatives also benefit because they can manage every customer interaction on their smartphones, speeding up order processing, approval and fulfilment. This is one big step forward on this path but not the last one, since Cepsa's next challenge consists of applying analytics to customer behavior, in order to better understand their reactions when they use the company's service stations, as well as to offer them optimized and more customized services.

Along the same lines, we find Shell and Volkswagen, which are using SAP's Cloud platform to standardize their back-end systems and allow greater connectivity between vehicles and service stations, in order to dramatically reduce the time it takes to fuel a car and pay for that fuel.

And if utility cars remain small, there are also success stories of cloud projects applied to huge trucks. Bosch, for one, has created an app that allows better control of professional drivers' rest times, by monitoring the worker and the cargo in real time, thus ensuring the safety of both. This is possible due to the ability to connect the Internet of Things to SAP's Cloud platform and enabling it with advanced intelligence analytics.

But people need more than just money, just as Cloud platforms serve more than this purpose. Other entities, such as Hakusan, are leveraging the capabilities of SAP Leonardo and SAP Cloud Platform in order to create an earthquake monitoring system, by converting common people's iPhones into their personal seismometers. By sharing consolidated data with the authorities, it is possible to quickly assess the level of destruction and deploy first responders where they are most needed.

We usually associate the leap to the cloud with smaller companies that don't operate in critical industries. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most sensitive sectors, due to the information it works with and the products it researches and manufactures; information security and privacy is paramount. Yet, there are a few cases of cloud platform migration. Merck, one of the major names in this industry, is a multinational company that adopted a philosophy according to which cloud solutions are a priority in comparison with other delivery models. This allows us to understand why projects such as the one being implemented with SAP, are designed to create custom solutions that not only streamline and expand the existing business processes, but also facilitate innovation closely related to the pharmaceutical activity.

Another titan of this industry, Roche, has opted for a more social use of SAP Cloud Platform. They have developed a mobile app that allows doctors to monitor the evolution of their diabetes patients through a dashboard that shows real-time information. An interesting project aimed at improving the quality of life of those afflicted with this chronic disease whose numbers sadly increase every day. It's not for nothing that approximately 347 million people all over the world suffer from diabetes and that the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts the total diabetes death toll will increase 50% over the next 10 years.

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About the Author

 

As General Manager Platform and Innovation at SAP, Rolf Schumann runs all go-to-market activities for the Business Unit SAP Cloud Platform globally. He works closely with SAP customers to understand their business needs and requirements to align this input with SAP’s technology and overall strategy. He councils business executives and IT managers on innovation, latest SAP developments and related concepts to master their digital transformation journey. In his role, he represents the customer and market perspective in SAP’s Global Leadership Team.
 
Rolf is known as a leading Technology and Innovation Entrepreneur who brings more than twenty-five years of experience in strategic planning of IT landscapes, SAP-integration, technology architecture projects, business development, sales, business model innovation and digital transformation to his current role at SAP, driving all technology and innovation related topics. Previously, Rolf headed the platform and innovation business in EMEA as Chief Technology Officer at SAP.
 
Rolf received a degree in “Wirtschaftsinformatik” (Master of Science Business Administration and Computer Science) from the Universität Mannheim, a Master of IT Management from ZfU International Business School in Switzerland and possesses multiple IT certifications. Rolf published the books “Simplify your IT” and “Update – why the data revolution affects all of us”, which was honored with the GetAbstract International Book Award as the best business book in 2015.

Published Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:36 AM by David Marshall
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