SAP & Google: mapping the "where" of information

SAP has collaborated with Google to help customers manage large data volumes. The concept uses visual displays to “leverage” (ouch!) SAP business analytics software with location-based data capabilities, thus allowing users to interact with real-time information via Google Maps.

So this is basically: enterprise applications meets Google Maps and Google Earth.

Using location-based intelligence capabilities, SAP envisions “bringing corporate information to life” via Google’s interactive maps, satellite images and even street-level views.

“Customers can analyse their businesses in a geospatial context,” says SAP.

Confused by that statement? I’m not surprised, so what does it mean?

SAP says wants businesses to understand the “where” of their information, as well as global, regional and local trends and see how all these elements are impacted by different scenarios.

What the company is basically saying is that corporate data is increasingly meta tagged with geospatial information. So the best way of looking at that data to get the “where” element is via a map — and it might as well be a nice digital (let’s not forget intuitive) Google Map.

As developers and DataBase Administrators (DBAs) face new challenges with managing so-called “big data” volumes, this could prove to be a helpful tool in terms of data management.

SAP provides the following example scenarios for how this product could work:

● A telecom operator could use Google Earth and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software to perform dropped-call analysis and pinpoint the geo-coordinates of faulty towers.

● A mortgage bank could perform risk assessment of its mortgage portfolio by overlaying foreclosure and default data with the location of loans on Google Maps.

“Today, more and more information is being geo-tagged, and it is unlocking an entirely new dimension for enterprise data,” said Sanjay Poonen, president, global solutions, SAP AG. “We aim to provide our customers the opportunity to tap into the power of business analytics combined with location intelligence through a geographic view and use rich, interactive analytics to respond to events as they unfold in real time.”

The below video explains this technology nicely — it’s a two minute view.