AWS and SAP announce IoT interoperability solution

Co-authored by KK Ramamoorthy, Principal Partner Solutions Architect, and Brett Francis, Principal Product Solutions Architect

Today, SAP announced its collaboration with Amazon Web Services IoT and the general availability of interoperability between SAP Leonardo IoT and AWS IoT Core. The new collaboration makes it straightforward and cost-effective for you to deploy IoT solutions using the global scalability of the AWS IoT platform and business processes powered by SAP Leonardo IoT. The collaboration provides two new interoperability options.

The cloud-to-cloud option, which integrates SAP Leonardo IoT with AWS IoT Core, is generally available now. With this option, you can build SAP Leonardo IoT solutions that connect to backend intelligent suite solutions like SAP S/4 HANA and AWS IoT with a click of a button. Deployed device models in SAP Leonardo IoT are synced with the AWS IoT device registry and establish a one-to-one connection with SAP business processes. Without a single line of code written, customer data from IoT sensors is received by the AWS IoT platform, aggregated based on business rules established by the thing model, and posted to SAP Leonardo IoT.

The edge-to-edge option (coming soon) enables SAP business processes to execute locally with AWS IoT Greengrass. Essential business function (EBF) modules based on SAP Leonardo IoT Edge will run within the AWS IoT Greengrass environment, reducing latency while optimizing usage of bandwidth and connectivity. The EBF modules extend Intelligent Enterprise business processes to the edge.

While the cloud-to-cloud interoperability combines the power of both AWS and SAP cloud solutions, customers are also looking at increasingly bringing the power of cloud to the edge. They are looking at measuring, sensing, and acting upon data locally while using the cloud as a control plane for deployments and security. This is especially true for business processes that have poor or no internet connection or for businesses that require split-second local processing like running machine learning inferences. A company can take advantage of AWS IoT Greengrass to ensure local data connections are not lost, and then it can use AWS IoT Core to process and aggregate data from multiple, remote facilities.

With this collaboration, SAP will bring the power of SAP’s EBF modules based on SAP Leonardo IoT Edge to AWS IoT Greengrass. Our joint customers now will be able to use AWS IoT as the control plane to deploy powerful SAP edge solutions. For example, an Oil & Gas company will be able to ingest data from various sensors in their oil rigs using AWS IoT Greengrass and use SAP’s EBF modules to execute business processes locally.

Enterprises are constantly looking at ways to improve process efficiency, reduce cost, meet compliance requirements, and develop newer business models by having access to data in real time. Data generated by IoT sensors can provide valuable insights and help line of business owners make meaningful decisions, faster. Consider Bayer Crop Science, a division of Bayer that reduced the time taken to get seed data to analysts from days to a few minutes using AWS IoT. Many other customers are seeing similar business benefits (see the case studies).

However, collecting raw data from IoT sensors will soon become “noise” if that data does not have business context. This problem grows exponentially as enterprises deploy millions and billions of sensors. Until today, such customers had to build costly, custom solutions to marry the sensor data with business context, and they had to build complex custom integrations between IoT platforms and business solutions to bring sense to the data.

AWS and SAP are now able to help our joint customers deploy IoT solutions at scale without having to worry about complex custom integrations between solutions. For example, using AWS IoT, a manufacturing company can deploy, secure, and manage sensors on machines in their production lines. They can then ingest sensor telemetry data and seamlessly stream it to SAP Leonardo IoT where business rules can be applied to the data to determine asset utilization, analyze preventive maintenance needs, and identify process optimizations.

Below is a high-level architecture of both cloud-to-cloud and edge-to-edge interoperability options.

interoperability options diagram

Cloud-to-Cloud integration

The interoperability between SAP Leonardo IoT and AWS IoT is achieved by using a set of AWS resources that are automatically provisioned by the SAP Leonardo IoT platform with AWS CloudFormation. These resources enable the ingestion of device telemetry data and stream the data to an Amazon Kinesis stream by using AWS IoT Rules Engine rules.

Device data streamed in Amazon Kinesis is then picked up by AWS Lambda functions and sent to a customer-specific SAP Leonardo IoT endpoint where further business rules and application integrations are implemented. Processing and error logs are written to Amazon CloudWatch.

The interoperability automatically sets up cross-account authentication using secure stores in the AWS Cloud and SAP Leonardo IoT. After the initial setup is complete, you can use the Thing Modeler in SAP Leonardo IoT to create a thing model and sync it to AWS IoT to create matching AWS IoT things.

Customers can use AWS IoT Device Management functionality to onboard, monitor, track, and manage the physical devices. As the devices start sending telemetry information to AWS IoT Core, the telemetry information is seamlessly integrated with SAP Leonardo IoT using the resources created during initial setup.

Edge-to-Edge integration (coming soon)

AWS IoT Greengrass extends AWS to edge devices so that the devices can act locally on the data they generate, while still leveraging the cloud for management and durable storage. With the edge-to-edge option, you can also extend support for your business processes powered by SAP, by running EBF modules based on SAP Leonardo IoT Edge within AWS IoT Greengrass.

You can deploy EBF modules within AWS IoT Greengrass by using AWS IoT Core as the control plane for deployment and security. Once deployed, device telemetry data can be streamed directly from AWS IoT Greengrass to local EBF module endpoints. EBF modules can then invoke local business rules or call an SAP Leonardo IoT cloud endpoint for further processing.

See for yourself at SAPPHIRE NOW 2019

Want to learn more about this integrated IoT solution? Visit the AWS booth (No. 2000) at SAPPHIRE NOW. You will experience feature-rich demos, and you can leverage 1:1 time with an SAP on AWS expert to innovate for your own solution. For more information on where to find us, see the Amazon Web Services at SAPPHIRE NOW website.

Not attending SAPPHIRE NOW? Feel free to contact us directly for more information. Hope to see you soon and Build On!