UPDATED 00:01 EDT / SEPTEMBER 28 2017

EMERGING TECH

SAP wants to build a blockchain-based ecosystem for the internet of things

Enterprise software giant SAP SE became the latest company to jump on the blockchain bandwagon Wednesday, this time focusing on bringing the technology to the “internet of things.”

The company outlined its new blockchain initiative, saying it will partner with a number of information technology firms and consultancies, including NetApp Inc., Cap Gemini S.A., HCL Technologies Ltd. and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., to develop new systems.

Blockchain refers to the financial ledger technology that underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It’s essentially an incorruptible digital ledger for economic transactions, but its use cases stretch beyond finance to keeping a record of almost anything, be it pork supply chains in China or plastic waste on a global scale.

SAP said it ultimately wants to integrate its blockchain as a service platform with numerous internet of things, manufacturing and digital supply chain products. The company said it believes the best way to do this is to work with “co-innovation partners” to create new use cases and business models for the technology.

SAP’s blockchain is a part of its Leonardo digital innovation suite, which combines different software capabilities from machine learning, big data, internet of things, analytics and blockchain on the SAP Cloud Platform.

Together with the launch of its co-innovation program, SAP also announced its Leonardo Blockchain Early Access program, through which companies can try out revamped SAP products that come with integrated blockchain functionality.

“Blockchain is a transformative technology that can simplify multiparty transactions and open new possibilities for digital innovation in many industries,” said Tanja Rueckert, president of IoT and Digital Supply Chain at SAP. “Our early access customers and partners can join SAP to get a first-mover advantage innovating and scaling blockchain as a core part of their Internet of Things strategies.”

The blockchain announcements, made at SAP’s TechEd event in Las Vegas this week, came as the company unveiled a major update to the SAP Cloud Platform. The new release features a host of new business and digital services experiences, along with the launch of a new software development kit for the S/4HANA Cloud, which is supposed to make it easier to build applications running on SAP’s cloud platform.

Image: SAP

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