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University of Guelph and SAP developing the Internet of Things


In the latest news from the “Internet of Things”, SAP AG is partnering with the University of Guelph on a research project designed to show how sensors for data collection can increase the energy efficiency of green roofs and reduce maintenance and costs for building owners.

SAP says it’s committed to making the “Internet of Things” a “real, repeatable and scalable business opportunity for enterprise customers,” and the Guelph project is part of that. According to the vendor, the future competitive advantage will come from deriving intelligence from sensor-generated data and getting that insight, in context, to the right decision makers. It sees “Systems of Things” made up of machine-to-machine connectivity, the cloud, device management, big data, complex event processing, predictive analytics and apps.

“The emerging ubiquity of intelligent devices in both consumer and industrial settings is changing the landscape of what is possible,” said Steve Lucas, president of platform solutions for SAP, in a statement. “Not only does it open up instant visibility to what is happening at the edges of operations, organizations can combine Big Data with predictive analytics to create real-time insight when and where it is needed. Business leaders who can harness the power of the ‘Internet of Things’ to transform organizational operations and create new avenues for growth and profits will lead in the marketplace. SAP is only company that has all the enterprise class building blocks for ‘Systems of Things.’”

SAP will work with researchers at the University of Guelph on the development of a sensor-driven system designed to optimize the performance of green roofs, specifically around maximizing energy efficiency and rainwater management, and reducing the need for maintenance. Data is gathered on things such as moisture content, run-off composition, fire detection, temperature and light levels, so building managers can monitor roof performance in real time without a physical inspection. With remote access through the web or mobile apps, the roof could be monitored and even controlled remotely.

“The Internet of Things is all about data and big data. What you do with it; in real time. It’s about bringing some insight, intelligence with that information. There is so much data and what do you do with the data to make the right business decisions in real time,” said Catherine Perry-Robertson, national vice-president and head of general business sales, channels and ecosystems with SAP Canada. “That’s the whole value proposition of Hana and the way we go to market together with real time access to give customers the ability to access information when they need it.”

— With files from Paolo Del Nibletto