The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything

Q&A on the Strategic Vision for IoT, Intelligent Devices, and Real-Time Data

April 09, 2015

Cisco on the Internet of EverythingReview our recent online Q&A on the Internet of Things. This panel featured IoT thought leaders Saj Kumar, SAP Vice President – Internet of Things for SAP Asia Pacific and Japan, and Cisco’s Jerry Lucas, Head of IOT Solution Sales, APJ/India Region, together with colleagues from Cisco's SAP GTM team: Judd Sanchez (Regional Director) and Veiter Soo (Principal Solution Architect).

Together they shared their expertise in this one-hour online Q&A, taking readers' questions on current and future opportunities for IoT. Topics covered include special considerations for data management and security, IoT applications in manufacturing and logistics, the public sector and urban development, healthcare, and other areas.

To review all the discussion from this one-hour online chat, view the Q&A replay and edited transcript, below.

Live Blog Q&A on the Internet of Things with Saj Kumar & Jerry Lucas | April 10 11:30amSGT




SAPinsider Moderator:  
Welcome to today’s joint Cisco and SAP Q&A on the Internet of Things!

Taking your questions today are Saj Kumar, SAP Vice President – Internet of Things for SAP Asia Pacific and Japan, and Cisco’s Jerry Lucas, Head of IOT Solution Sales, APJ/India Region. They are joined by Cisco colleagues from the SAP GTM team: Judd Sanchez (Regional Director) and Veiter Soo (Principal Solution Architect).

Welcome to you all, and thank you for joining us here today!


Cisco & SAP IoTJudd Sanchez, Cisco Systems: Good morning! As the Regional Director for the Cisco-SAP Alliance in Asia Pacific & Japan, I want to welcome you all to the SAPinsider IoT Q&A Session. Our expert SAP & Cisco panelists are looking forward to engaging with you today to answer your questions on IoT and Cisco & SAP’s strategic partnership in APJ.

Saj Kumar, SAP: Welcome to the IoT session. I look forward to answering your questions.

Veiter Soo, Cisco Systems: Hello participants, this is Veiter Soo from Cisco. Looking forward to going into this discussion on the technology of IoT.

Jerry Lucas, Cisco Systems: Good day to all. This is Jerry Lucas, Head of IOT Sales covering the APJ region for Cisco. Thank you for your time today!

Moderator: We have quite a few questions from our readers, so we’ll let you get to those now...


Comment From Hugo

Is SAP considering launching new apps to cover IoT data capture and analysis?  

Saj Kumar: Yes, we have launched many apps, including Connected Manufacturing, Connected Logistics, Predictive Maintenance, Augmented Reality Service Technician, and Augmented Reality Warehouse Picker. We are building many more, and our ecosystem is building many applications as well.


Comment From Aashish Dabral

What does SAP have to offer with regards to IoT? What products and what service offerings?

Saj Kumar: Our approach is to work in three areas:

1. Devices/Sensors — SAP's IoT connector and SQL Anywhere embedded database

2. Platform — SAP's IoT platform powered by HANA

3. Applications — IoT applications: Connected Manufacturing, Connected Logistics, Predictive Maintenance, and many others

All of this ties back to SAP ERP to ensure closed-loop IoT "Sense to Action" as opposed to "Sense to Screen."


Comment From Abhi

In your opinion, what's the most convincing use case that could lead to IoT adoption?  

Jerry Lucas: Thanks, Abhi, for the question. From my perspective in the APJ Region, I see Smart Cities as a top use case.

To elaborate, Smart Cities converge Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, and other wireless technology as well as sensors from video surveillance, traffic monitoring, environmental, waste management, and many other sources. Essentially, these use cases tie many different systems to one.

It is with these many disparate systems that the data sets being collected are best suited for SAP's tools to gather effective data for relevant stake holders.

Saj Kumar: Some of the use cases we have seen are around Logistics (Hamburg Port), Predictive Maintenance (Kaeser Compressor), and Manufacturing (Harley Davidson). For more, see the IoT YouTube Channel.


Comment From Hugo

How will IoT impact SAP apps and what are the benefits for business users (e.g., manufacturing companies)?  

Saj Kumar: IoT is already having a major impact on our customers' business. We are driven by our customers' business needs to connect, transform and re-imagine their business. In Manufacturing, we are working with customers and partners to drive IT/OT integration for business benefits, such as predictive maintenance by collecting operational data, maintenance data, and external data (e.g., weather).


Comment From Datta Choudhari

Do we have case studies for IoT being used in SAP ERP implementations?   

Saj Kumar: Typically we see IoT as an extension to ERP implementations. Predictive Maintenance is a direct extension of SAP PM. Please see Predictive Maintenance use cases on our YouTube channel.

Comment From Datta Choudhari

Can we have SAP case studies for IoT implementation so that we can use it?

Saj Kumar: Yes, we have many case studies. Please see our YouTube channel and the SAP page.


Comment From Hugo

What are the challenges for IT areas to manage IoT in such a way that it fulfills business needs? Thanks.  

Jerry Lucas: Hugo, what we at Cisco find are that there are two disparate groups in organizations which seek to deploy IoT solutions: One is the traditional IT teams. The other is where IoT targets the "Operational Technology" (or OT) users.

The OT users have typically remained separated from IT. It is here we are working to educate both parties in order to build a cohesive and converged strategy to address the needs of both groups.

Saj Kumar: The fundamental issue is to handle the devices connecting to the network and managing security. With technology evolving faster than protocols and standards, customers need to be cognizant of this.


Comment From Datta Choudhari

Please explain how IoT will be applicable or be part of supply chain solutions for industry.

Jerry Lucas: Supply Chain is a significant use case for IoT. If you consider the "Just in Time" method of how many manufacturers operate these days, it is a case of working with suppliers.

In the supplier’s case, an SAP solution can track the parts being used on the floor. As parts become low, and automated trigger is sent to the supplier, and the order is filled and delivered as the current stock on hand approaches zero units.

On the manufacturing floor, video monitoring tools are deployed to observe the production line. If production slows in certain areas, management can address slowdowns. Also, monitoring of processes can be observed and corrective action can be provided on-site.

Product can also be tracked and traced as it is delivered to the consumer.

In the case of cars, many vehicles already have systems whereby the vehicle can communicate to the driver, but also to the dealer as well as the manufacturer. This can provide feedback to the driver as to maintenance needs. The dealer can up-sell services and the manufacturer can address recalls or other relevant product related matters.


Comment From Vincent Ng

Will the current SAP RFID solution, SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure, be extended to support new IoT applications or will a completely new solution be provided by SAP?  

Saj Kumar: Yes, our goal is to connect all device/sensor-level connectivity through our IoT platform. Our IoT platform powered by HANA will provide the connectivity to sensors/devices through various protocols.


Comment From Vincent Ng

There are many protocols (like MQTT, XMPP, DDS, AMQP, etc.) on the market. Is SAP supporting all of them? What is the SAP strategy for shielding all these changing and evolving IoT standards from customers?

Saj Kumar: Protocols in IoT are evolving and we will be supporting many of these protocols in the future. Our strategy is to have our IoT platform support these evolving protocols and standards. Our partnership with Jasper is one such approach.


Comment From Vamsi

What SAP and Big Data tools and technologies can we adapt for IoT?  

Saj Kumar: Our IoT platform is a key part of any IoT solution. The platform has HANA as the core and the ability to scale and support Big Data in real time is a critical requirement. The platform can be extended with Hadoop. In IoT we expect to see "Streaming Data" from the millions of sensors. Our Complex Event Processing engine -- SAP Event Stream Processing (ESP) -- is able to handle millions of sensors and data to pre-process before we move this to a database

IDC Infographic - Cisco & SAP HANA Judd Sanchez:
As Saj said, HANA is the core of SAP's IoT platform. The strategic partnership between Cisco & SAP offers an SAP HANA integrated system built on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) along with the associated Cisco networking technologies. This platform takes advantage of Cisco's leadership in Converged Infrastructure (hardware, storage, and networking). Please see the IDC infographic and white paper for reasons why SAP HANA Runs Better on Cisco UCS.

Comment From Guest

Any special data collection/data management challenges we should expect for IoT/sensor-based projects?

Jerry Lucas: This is very broad, but an example I can address would be around video surveillance. In such deployments, you have to consider the type of video stream (how much bandwidth is consumed on the WAN) to the number of cameras in specific regions. This then ties to metrics to determine the proper sizing of storage solutions.

Once these parameters are defined, further intelligence can be applied, such as facial recognition, license plate recognition, pre-event capture, and so on.

Applying partner technologies to capture different events can also be considered.

Saj Kumar: In IoT, device changes can be very frequent in terms of functionality. Firmware updates over the air (FOTA) is a requirement of any IoT platform. Sometimes firmware updates result in a change in functionality. All of this imposes huge challenges in Master Data Management and data modelling.


Comment From Willy Teo

How can companies currently implementing SAP solutions prepare for IoT?

Saj Kumar: There are many areas, but it would be driven first by specific business cases. We will need to understand specific use cases — and then position IoT solutions.


Comment From Justin

How is IoT changing urban planning and design?

Jerry Lucas: Justin, there are many examples of this. One specific example would be traffic control — the ability to put sensors in the street.

Sensors monitor traffic flow and can communicate to a central traffic control facility. From here, traffic management teams can change traffic signal cycles. Alerts can be posted to signboard relevant to traffic congestion issues.

In the future, Car Area Networks will feed these systems in real time and updates will be delivered directly to the driver as to suggested alternate routes of travel.

In medical emergency situations, a first responder has the ability to know where the shortest path to the nearest medical center is located. Along the way, the first responder can change the traffic lights.

Many more cases are easily relevant.


Comment From Guest

What are key considerations to select an IoT platform?

Veiter Soo: IoT is not only the ability to connect, communicate with, and remotely manage many  networked, automated devices via the Internet — you also need to factor in other critical considerations when choosing an IoT platform in areas like end-to-end security mechanisms, flexibility, and data intelligence.


Comment From VIJAY

How does IoT help SAP ECC 6 and BI in the current scenario?

Saj Kumar: There are many instances of extending ECC 6 with IoT: Connected Manufacturing for customers in Discrete or Process Manufacturing; Predictive Maintenance for customers using PM; and Connected Logistics for customers who are in Logistics or shipping.


Comment From Guest

What are the typical challenges when implementing IoT?

Veiter Soo: To capitalize on the wide range of data generated from various devices, organizations must overcome key challenges in integrating data from multiple sources, automating the collection of data, and analyzing data to effectively identify actionable insights to enable real-time decision making.


Comment From JS

Does SAP play in the sensor market? What is SAP's strategy to address sensors and devices on the edge?

Saj Kumar: Our goal is to provide technology on the “IoT edge” — i.e., embed software on sensors. We also partner with Cisco to provide our software on Cisco’s Fog products.

1. IoT connected on sensors to communicate directly with SAP IoT platform
2. SAP SQL Anywhere embedded database on the edge for local storage
3. SAP Mobilink to replicate data back to our database


Comment From Guest

What is your view of the IoT market in Asia? Which sectors have the biggest growth?

Saj Kumar: IoT in Asia is going to overtake the rest of the world. We see huge potential in Japan, China, and India. Many of the companies here are leading the world with innovations. Manufacturing and Logistics are sectors where we see tremendous growth potential.


Comment From Guest
What are SAP & Cisco doing around IoT and what are the target industries for APJ?

Judd Sanchez: Cisco Systems is the "SAP Platform Partner of the Year" in APJ due to our focus on co-innovation for IoT and our joint solution development activities in the SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) at SAP HQ in Singapore and also in Tokyo. We currently have a joint IoT Sports solution demo at the SAP Hyperconnected Industries IoT Showcase in Singapore. We are also in the process of integrating HANA into the Cisco Global Centre of Excellence for IoE in Korea, as well as in the newly developed Cisco Innovation Centers across APJ. On the global stage, SAP & Cisco demoed a joint solution for Predictive Maintenance at the IoT World Forum in Chicago (October 2014).

Cisco & SAP are building joint solutions for IoT/IoE. Although we are seeing opportunity across multiple verticals in APJ, Cisco & SAP will put specific focus in Discrete Manufacturing, Sports & Entertainment, Oil & Gas/Mining, and Smart Cities. Here are some key focus areas for APJ:  

Cisco & SAP Solutions for IoT


Comment From Willy Teo

How does this relate to the Singapore government’s "smart nation" initiative — a term for using IT solutions to share information among users?  Will IoT be able to support this?
Jerry Lucas:
Willy, In the case of the Singapore Smart Nation Project, this is a 100% perfect use case for IoT/IoE.

Back to my initial response about IoT and Smart Cities, we are working with regulators, technology partners, sensor partners, and new RF technologies to address the many types of sensors the Smart Nation Project addresses.

This also deals with hardened systems deployed outdoors, network links, network security, and finally the ability to store and intelligently analyze and make use of the terabytes of data collected.

Again, SAP Analytics would play a significant use in this space as well.

Comment From Guest

What is the joint value proposition for the SAP-Cisco Partnership in IoT?

Judd Sanchez: SAP and Cisco have been Global Technology Partners since 2010. SAP is the market leader in Predictive Analytics driving S4/HANA and HANA Cloud Platform to the market. And, according to leading analysts, Cisco is in the leadership quadrant for IoT, Networking, Converged Infrastructure for Data Center, and Cloud Technology, to name a few.

When you combine SAP powered by Cisco technology, we are able to leverage our strengths and co-innovate to jointly develop solutions for key IoT verticals like Mining, O&G, Retail, Smart Cities, Higher Ed, and Sports & Entertainment.

Given that HANA is such an integral play for SAP in IoT, please reference this IDC Whitepaper  to see why SAP HANA Runs Better on Cisco UCS.


Comment From Morne Smart

The term "Internet of People" has been used. Is this a subset of IoT, synonymous with IoT, or an evolution of the term to address who the technology is really for?

Jerry Lucas: I have not heard this term before, but if I may draw a parallel, Cisco has put a trademark on the term "Internet of Everything." This brings together people, processes, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable.

Wearables, clothes which have sensors built into them, could be an example of Internet of People; however, it is not the person that communicates, but the clothes they wear that send relevant data to a collector.

In the end, I feel the term IOE is more all-inclusive then the Internet of People.


Moderator: That wraps up today's Q&A and I want to thank everyone for joining us today — and for your great questions.

And a big thank you to Saj Kumar, Jerry Lucas, Judd Sanchez, and Veiter Soo for taking time for today’s chat.

Contact UsJudd Sanchez: Please send an email to  to discuss any IoT opportunities. For additional info please reference the Cisco IoE and SAP IoT pages.   

Cisco IoE :


Moderator: Thanks Judd, and to all our panelists — Saj Kumar, Jerry Lucas, and Veiter Soo — for your insights today. The replay of today's Q&A will be available now for reviewing on-demand. You’ll find more from SAP and Cisco on specific use cases and technology here:

For the latest on this partnership, follow Cisco and SAP here: 

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