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SAP AG and the Internet of Things

Sanjay Poonen, President of SAP AG, the world’s largest business software firm by revenue and a global top-100 company, explained that big data and analytics will be the “oil” that drives the information economy in the years to come.

Speaking to Simon Montlake of Forbes at the 2013 GMIC Beijing, Poonen described a world where nearly every aspect of our life, and every item we use, is connected to a single network.  He sees a world where doctors carry mobile devices instead of illegible prescription pads, and where IKEA instruction manuals are digitized into intuitive mobile apps.

“(It’s) Not a Back to the Future, or science fiction, but is happening as we speak.” Poonen said. “Anybody in the automotive industry, or health care knows it’s happening as we speak.”

When considering big data and the information age, Poonen said “three v’s” are crucial:

The volume of data, the velocity of data, and the variety of data.

When everything from our refrigerator and alarm clocks to showers and automobiles are connected to a single network, the sheer amount of data will be flabbergasting, Poonen said.  Databases with enough storage capacity and the analytical engines to tear through billions of bits of data will become essential.

SAP AG has positioned itself as a world leader in cloud-based computing services, data analytics, and information networking solutions.  Poonen said 60 percent of the world’s GDP indirectly runs through their software, and its heavy investments in understanding the big data problem will reap tremendous benefits as the world dives deeper into the information age.

Poonen said the future of the information age relies on the efficiency of cloud computing, an infrastructure that must be compatible with mobile, have the capacity for huge amounts of data, and be a secure ecosystem.

In the near future, Poonen thinks there will be an “explosion” of business apps that help tally expense accounts, schedule days off, and network with colleagues.  Retailers will use these same apps to connect at a deeper level with consumers and offer them value add-ons, like IKEA’s digitized instruction manual.

China, as the world’s second largest economy, will continue to play a “huge” role in SAP AG’s future, Poonen said, elaborating that of all countries in the world, China is perhaps the best ready for the world of machine-to-machine connectedness.

“The growth curve is huge here. We’ve been doing well as a company because it can now drive the big data economy. Much of that is happening here in China.

We’re excited about making China a big part of SAP’s future.”

Missing out on attending GMIC Beijing? Register now a Free Expo Pass for GMIC SV (full price: $100). Moscone Center, San Francisco. October 21-23, 2013.


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