The extended support of SAP for Industry 4.0 is highlighted by its latest partnership with Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation.
Working with a number of partners to extend its commitment to accelerating Industry 4.0. commitment, the company has signed agreements with other tech giants to collaborate on solutions that will help organizations take advantage of the benefits of Industry 4.0. Furthermore, SAP is also investing in its own research and development, working on data-driven innovations that will help companies expedite digital transformation.
In 2020, SAP and Microsoft deepened their partnership to help their joint customers use SAP’s cloud-based Digital Supply Chain and manufacturing solutions to improve their business insights and speed up their time-to-value of application deployments around the globe. With Azure Stack Edge, businesses were supported in managing SAP solutions locally across their warehouses and factories to enhance decision-making and boost core functions where they are needed. This is made possible by the integration of SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions and Microsoft Azure’s cloud capabilities, as well as the Azure Stack Edge.
Last year, Siemens and SAP also released new software solutions for unified and optimized service and asset lifecycle management. By working together, manufacturers of industrial equipment have been given access to innovative cloud-based solutions that aim to shorten the duration of design cycles for asset engineering projects, reduce the frequency of unscheduled maintenance, and boost the effectiveness with which critical assets are managed.
Recently signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together on IT/OT integration applications, the cooperation between SAP and Schneider Electric will allow their mutual clients to take advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), by providing them with solutions that seamlessly integrate their IT and OT systems. Moreover, the German tech giant’s partnership with the French multinational company is also expected to enable customers in optimizing their operations, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs.
Commenting on the announcement, Peter Maier, President of Industries and Customer Advisory at SAP, shared:
“Our collaboration with Schneider Electric demonstrates SAP’s wider support for the Industry 4.0 ecosystem. Our companies align on the importance of collaboration, innovation, and open standards, making integrated information and operational technology solutions easy to consume for our joint customers.”
Also expressing his thoughts on the partnership, Bruno Zerbib, Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Platform and Technology Officer at Schneider Electric, said in a statement:
“With SAP, we’re committed to addressing market challenges with innovative digital solutions to help these customers leverage the benefits of Industry 4.0. For example, ensuring end-to-end OT/IT connectivity enables data-driven decision making and improved performance strategies.”
Developing Technologies for Industry 4.0 with SAP and Schneider Electric
Industry 4.0’s goal is to create long-term societal and economic value through the application of intelligent technologies. Technology is only one part of what Industry 4.0 represents as it also details a novel approach to manage the product’s value stream across its entire life cycle. Today’s consumers have increasingly complex needs and diverse objectives, from individualized services to environmentally friendly and ethical industry practices.
SAP and Schneider Electric are planning to explore opportunities to enhance industry innovation and digital transformation, drive open standards, and foster close integration of IT and OT technology to benefit industrial customers. This exploration will allow the companies to take advantage of each other’s strengths in order to provide a more holistic solution for customers. In doing so, they hope to create a better customer experience by making it easier for customers to adopt new technologies.
Peter Weckesser, Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Digital Officer at Schneider Electric, understands that the worlds of IT and OT are converging quickly, driven by the need for greater visibility, efficiency, and sustainability across businesses. In a video shared by the company on LinkedIn, Weckesser said that many industrial customers are asking for simplified ways to integrate information and operational technologies to benefit from Industry 4.0.
“We see many customers using complementary Schneider and SAP solutions, and we are working together with SAP to make it easier for those customers to manage industrial assets throughout their lifecycle. We are working together on two very promising scenarios with much more to come even in the future.”
The two firms want to look at ways to provide value to clients by offering turnkey solutions that have already been setup and tested, therefore reducing the time and money needed to get crucial business processes up and running. The initial cases are:
- Simplifying shop floor IT/OT integration based on open standards and exchanging information between Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure solution and the SAP solutions. This will help customers to easily integrate and manage industrial assets as digital twins.
- Focusing on intelligent asset and field service management by leveraging augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, such as Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Augmented Operated Advisor.
“I am very enthusiastic about this collaboration with SAP because it’s enhancing innovation and empowering customers to achieve ambitious digital transformation outcomes,” Weckesser remarked.