In the digital economy, connections are everywhere. Internal communication among the workforce and external communication with partners, customers, and potential customers must be effective and efficient for companies to meet customer needs and rise above their competition.
Of course, companies have been focusing on communicating with customers for years, but what has changed with the digital economy is the introduction of “things” into the mix. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, an increasing number of machines enters the picture. Not just performing actions, these assets now produce and contain valuable data to communicate to the business: current status, the health of various parts, schedules of different processes or actions, and other crucial information. Effective enterprise interconnectivity cannot stop at the workforce.
In addition to the variety of players, there are also many communication methods that companies must now consider, such as short message service (SMS), trusted multifactor authentication, email, and chatbots. To succeed in the current business climate, businesses must be able to foster intelligent interconnectivity — an efficient, secure, and effective connection among people and things that transfers data around the organization optimally. To help businesses achieve this goal, the SAP Digital Interconnect team, an integrated business unit within SAP Digital Business Services, provides interconnectivity capabilities to customers around the world.
Intelligent Interconnectivity with SAP Digital Interconnect
Formerly known as SAP Mobile Services, SAP Digital Interconnect provides programmable digital interfaces to enable enterprises to connect the “last mile” with their customers, as well as simplify and optimize connectivity (see Figure 1).
SAP Digital Interconnect offers use cases that solve a variety of enterprise connectivity challenges. From simple, one-way notifications and marketing campaign execution, to enabling two-factor authentication in business and banking transactions or providing more efficient, effective customer service, companies need to connect in a variety of ways. They also need to be flexible; the programmable services offered by SAP Digital Interconnect are being extensively used by key social networks, ecommerce and payment gateways, retail banks, and several customers of SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud and SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting. These capabilities — also featured in the SAP Model Company service and on SAP Cloud Platform — provide intelligent, multichannel engagement with customers to drive better click-through rates. SMS notifications can help reduce the volume at call centers and improve productivity, ultimately leading to greater customer satisfaction. And, with better services and fewer missed deliveries, organizations can cut down on support expenses. Secure and smart messaging also enables traceable workflows that protect customer information.
Connecting with the “Things” in IoT
As the digital economy continues to extend and include “things,” businesses need to connect everything in their supply chain for better machine-to-machine communication. Leading this effort is SAP IoT Connect 365, a new offering from SAP Digital Interconnect that makes connecting things in the IoT world frictionless and scalable.
Available standalone or as part of SAP Leonardo services, SAP IoT Connect 365 allows businesses to monitor and control IoT object connectivity and data usage globally, from one user interface (UI) and application programming interface (API). In the world of IoT, businesses may have devices that are spread across different regions, countries, or continents, and each device or family of devices needs a data connectivity plan. Prior to SAP IoT Connect 365, the business would have to go to each of these regions and negotiate contracts with the individual data providers in that area. The business would then have to manage these multiple contracts with multiple pricing structures across multiple geographies, which was no easy feat. This is no longer an issue: with SAP IoT Connect 365, companies can connect once for global access, avoiding integration lock-in to one operator’s coverage and tariffs with just one contract and one connection for all devices.
Several companies that are testing the service provide interesting proof-of-concept projects. For example, a North American-based vehicle manufacturer is using SAP IoT Connect 365 to maintain vehicle connectivity and use its rich, API-based integration with back-end analytics for predictive maintenance. A multinational construction, mining, and maintenance products manufacturer is using the offering for location services to help manage inventory and real-time cost control for mobile data charges for connected devices. The possibilities are endless.
In the digital economy, communication is everything — whether that’s people to people, people to machine, or machine to machine. This interconnectivity among all people and things across the organization can drive better efficiencies and deeper insights for smarter business. Services from SAP Digital Interconnect and the new SAP IoT Connect 365 can provide SAP customers with the means to gain an edge over competitors, no matter the industry, and thrive in the digital world.
To better understand SAP’s vision for connecting everyone, everything, everywhere, read the white paper “Intelligent Interconnection and Engagement in the Digital Economy.”