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Confusion is the word that best describes SAP's unveiling of Leonardo in 2016, and it was largely dubbed a branding move. Since then, some companies have shown its potential value.
What is SAP Leonardo?
Before covering some potential SAP Leonardo use cases, it's important to get some background on the product.
Leonardo is the umbrella brand for SAP's digital transformation services, such as blockchain, IoT, analytics and AI. Leonardo is built on the SAP Cloud Platform PaaS infrastructure. SAP bills Leonardo as an integrated system of software and services and includes all of SAP's next-generation technology.
SAP has aggressively marketed Leonardo's IoT capabilities. These include using IoT to augment and extend business application capabilities, to develop new business models and as a facilitator for other next-generation technologies, such as machine learning.
Leonardo also features the Leonardo Blockchain Co-Innovation program, which enables SAP customers to develop blockchain applications.
In 2017, SAP introduced four new "industry accelerators" -- two for chemicals, one for travel and transportation, and one for utilities. Industry accelerators are industry-specific bundled software and services intended to help customers quickly design and deploy applications and processes.
Because Leonardo encompasses so many technologies, looking to real-life implementations is important for better understanding.
Here are four implementations that illustrate its SAP Leonardo use cases.
Pregis adds around-the-clock machine monitoring
Pregis, a packaging manufacturer in Deerfield, Ill., needed a way to keep its machines running 24/7 at customer sites. The company looked to SAP Leonardo's IoT technology for machine monitoring, but implementing the next-generation tool required the IT team address multiple challenges. Pregis leaders also wanted to avoid machine downtime.
To achieve these goals and make better business decisions, the Pregis technology team needed to ensure that they were collecting the correct data in a timely manner. The team implemented SAP Connected Goods and both SAP Leonardo IoT Edge and SAP Leonardo Edge Services. While implementing SAP Leonardo Edge, the team encountered some problems -- namely, selecting the correct hardware and connecting it with the hardware for SAP Leonardo Edge Services. Integrating the new technology with Pregis' legacy system was particularly challenging because the legacy machines had older tablets and hardware that the team needed to upgrade before SAP Leonardo IoT Edge and SAP Leonardo Edge Services could work properly.
After the hardware was updated with modern tablets and special sensors, the machinery could collect and transmit data, automate field service and ensure that the company's inventory was replenished when necessary, as well as collect and transmit data that the Pregis team can use to keep the tools running 24/7.
Thanks to these technologies, customers have more timely access to raw materials and technicians can address mechanical issues before they become problematic.
Proximus tracks their equipment
The Proximus Group, an international telecommunications company based in Brussels, needed a better way to track the copper and fiber reels it used to modernize its network infrastructure. Prior to implementing SAP Leonardo IoT technology, the company's logistics department often didn't have accurate information about where the reels had been shipped or how much cable was being used on projects. There were additional problems too, such as higher inventory costs, late fines and project delays, which occurred when contractors returned reels late.
With the aid of SAP and implementation partner, Ordina, Proximus developed a sensor-based application. The application tracks the cable reels from the warehouse to the installation sites.
SAP Leonardo IoT was crucial to developing this application. Proximus integrated SAP Leonardo IoT with its back-end systems, which allowed the company to keep track of its decentralized stock. The project went live in 2018 -- less than a year after it was completed.
Despite the application's speedy development, there were a few challenges to its implementation, mostly related to the array of choices and figuring out which would work best for Proximus. In addition, SAP's product development team needed to tweak and fine-tune some of the plugins so they would function.
Moog, Inc. records their manufacturing process
Moog Inc., a global manufacturer of aircraft systems and missile components based in East Aurora, N.Y., needed a digital process control system. The company had begun a project to use additive manufacturing to produce parts and needed a record of their manufacturing process. The technology team turned to SAP Leonardo Blockchain Co-Innovation program.
Moog was already able to log everything in its SAP ERP system, but blockchain provides a better record of its manufacturing process, which includes how many people designed a part, results of quality tests and how many tests were performed before a part is released.
Bumble Bee Seafoods, LLC. traces its product
Based in San Diego, Bumble Bee Seafoods, LLC., wanted a way to trace the journey of from the Indonesian village where the fish are originally caught, to a port city production plant, and then to grocery stores across the United States. Traceability is especially important to food manufacturers because their products are subject to recalls at any time. The idea behind blockchain-based traceability is that consumers, companies and regulators can use the technology to respond to food recalls much more quickly.
Creating food supply chain track and trace is difficult and complex because a physical product's precise origin and information must be combined with data about the end-to-end operating environment and moved into a digitally secure data stream that qualified users can access.
Bumble Bee worked with SAP's Digital Business Services team to build its blockchain implementation on the SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain. To trace the Anova yellowfin tuna products, Bumble Bee gave its fishermen bar code tags, which they affixed to each caught fish and then scanned. Various workers scan the tags at each stop as the fish moves from one stage of the process to the next and on to its final destination.