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SAP has opened the doors of its first Leonardo Centre in India, underscoring the growing importance of India and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to its customer engagement and product development efforts.
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Housed within the SAP Labs facility in Bangalore, the SAP Leonardo Centre – the largest of its kind outside Germany – will give businesses in India and across the region access to SAP’s industry knowledge and technology capabilities across 25 industries, applied in a live technology lab environment.
It will also facilitate customised visits, design-thinking and co-innovation workshops and sessions for organisations. Other SAP Leonardo Centre locations include New York, Paris and São Leopoldo, Brazil.
Unveiled in May 2017, SAP Leonardo is a collection of software and services that offer machine learning, big data analytics and blockchain capabilities, underpinned by SAP’s microservices-enabled cloud platform for enterprises to build customised extensions for SAP business applications.
Dilipkumar Khandelwal, president of SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud and managing director of SAP Labs India, said Bangalore is a natural choice for an SAP Leonardo Centre, adding that SAP Labs India, which has a high concentration of customers and partners, is already making significant contributions to SAP’s flagship products, such as the Hana in-memory database and S/4 Hana suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications.
SAP Labs India, which has a workforce of 7,500, also developed the SAP Business Objects mobile app and a fashion management application targeted at manufacturing, retail and wholesale businesses in the fashion industry, according to Khandelwal.
During the SAP Sapphire 2017 conference in Orlando in May, CEO Bill McDermott said Leonardo would strengthen the company’s position in the market beyond its stronghold in supplying core ERP systems. Over time, he said, Leonardo would also unfold into a roadmap to meet the needs of various industries.
“You are already seeing Leonardo breakthroughs embedded in SAP solutions from S/4 Hana to SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Hybris,” said McDermott during SAP’s third-quarter 2017 earnings call this month. As an example, he pointed out that the internet of things (IoT), in tandem with digital supply chain, was a standout during the third quarter, growing SAP’s new cloud bookings in the high triple-digit range.
Read more about SAP in APAC
- While SAP now counts companies such as China’s Ameco Beijing as clients, it is also going all out to address hitches that stand in the way of wider adoption of its S/4 Hana software.
- The SAP Cloud Platform is being used by a bus company in Japan to power IoT applications that have been developed to improve worker safety and reduce bus accidents.
- SAP expects its cloud portfolio to contribute at least a third of its revenues in the APAC region that includes key markets such as Australia, Japan and Southeast Asia.
“The combination of SAP solutions will connect firms to manufacturing sites and optimise transportation logistics worldwide,” he said, adding that others, such as Citco Technology Management in the US, have also adopted SAP Leonardo because they want to become intelligent enterprises.
However, the APAC region is still new to SAP Leonardo as a catalyst for innovation, said Chwee Kan Chua, IDC’s global research director for big data and analytics, and cognitive and artificial intelligence in APAC.
“As such, the centre will help to inform and enable SAP’s customers and partner ecosystem on its capabilities,” he said. “For example, SAP’s machine learning, predictive analytics and in-memory technology have already enabled Indian solution partners to deliver real-time innovations in the oil and energy sector.
“By being closer to SAP’s partners, and with India’s developer community, SAP is looking to empower them with Leonardo’s capabilities to solve complex business problems. Leonardo is pretty much positioned as a one-stop shop to help organisations regardless of size to start on the digital transformation journey.”