What is SAP Leonardo, is it the New Center of SAP?

SAP briefly announced Leonardo last year as it's IoT's brand, but there was not much attention given to it. This year, Leonardo is at the center of SAP's annual Sapphire conference, and took the main stages of SAP product introduction.

What exactly is SAP Leonardo?

After attending a few sessions about Leonardo and talking to several SAP folks at different parts of the conference, it is clear to me that SAP Leonardo is the new umbrella brand for SAP innovations, focusing on digital business transformation and building "self-driving business". SAP calls it the "Digital Innovation System".

The vision of Leonardo is to help run business live; connecting every part of your business: people, products, assets, customers, vendors... to create intelligent enterprise. This can be done by integrating AI, Machine Learning, Big Data, Analytics, IoT, Blockchain and Design Thinking into business processes. 

To enable these capabilities SAP is making some internal changes to their organization. I met Data Scientists and Analytics professionals working in a relatively newly formed organization within SAP.

I remember when SAP first announced HANA, and it was quite elusive what it was and was not. I'm sure Leonardo will go through similar journey in the next few years.


So how does it work now?

In SAP's experience, many customers do not know how to get started in the digital journey. To help customers get started, SAP offers an 8 weeks Design Thinking fixed-price package that will take you through:

I did ask around about the "fixed-price" package, but was not able to get more information. SAP already has 4 Leonardo's innovation centers in Paris, New York, Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, and Bangalore, India with more opening up soon.

SAP aggregates the similar needs or problems of a set of customers, and tailors use cases, solutions for specific environments for the customers. The blueprint will help customers create intelligent enterprise by building a system of intelligence connected to a system of records, to enable connectivity and intelligence. This enables customers to innovate without the need to heavily upfront investment in technologies, infrastructure, or an in house army of data scientists and technologists, and focus more on business innovation.

Here's an example how it was done at TRENITALIA:

Digital Transformation requires a lot of technologies, and SAP has put together an offer to cover most of the key areas:

SAP understands that the best solutions could include more than just SAP technologies, hence the recent activities:

  • Investments (Cloud focus, planned $2.2Bn in IoT by 2020)
  • Acquisitions (Hybris, Fieldglass, PlatONE, AttiScale,...)
  • Partnerships (i.e. Apple, Google, Siemens, Bosch, ...)
  • and the opening up of their products to work with Open Sources and other technologies

SAP is also infusing Leonardo to make their own applications intelligent:

Is this vapor-ware or something real?

Here are a few examples and explanation:

  • SAP has helped TRENITALIA (Italian transportation company) reduce maintenance cost by 8-10%
  • Bayer improved employee productivity by implementing a front-end chatbot for procurement application
  • Bosch optimized maintenance 3-5% increase equipment and production efficiency
  • City of Buenos Aires achieved 100% flood reduction
  • Harley Davidson increased operation performance (~7% cost, +19% net margin, +25% dividends)
  • Under Amour: visibility to customer's fitness footprint workout habits using IoT, enable better customer engagement and revenue growth
  • and more...

SAP is putting together industry accelerator packages for:

In conclusion

We are at the convergence of new exciting technologies such as Cloud, Big Data, Blockchain, and IoT. There are products and services available now that were not available just a few years ago. Businesses must think about how new technologies can help to create new products, services, re-design current processes, optimize assets and investments and re-think customer, partners, and employee engagements.

However, the journey should be business innovation focused, not technology focused. SAP has put together an interesting innovation package to help customers transform to digital, intelligent business. Leonardo will give SAP opportunities to get businesses to talk about their problems and plans so that SAP can improve their software.

SAP is not the only one driving the innovation wave, but it is good to have a clearer view to their strategy. I am looking forward to seeing how SAP's plans unfold in the next few years.