2 minute read
EPI-USE Labs recently attended the International SAP Conference for Utilities in Lisbon. We have a mature solution to copy SAP IS-U (Industry Solution for Utilities) test data as part our Data Sync Manager (DSM) suite, and as quite a few customers are using this solution, we wanted to share this further.
As one of the functional developers for the IS-U solution, I attended to learn more about the latest developments in this space. Here are the two main ideas that stood out for me:
1. Big data and IA, how trendy is that!
As these are the hot topics in IT at the moment (as a friend says, if you want to be sure to raise funds for your startup, best is probably to develop an IA using Big Data analysis and store results in Block Chains), they were obviously big at this event as well. Will they truly benefit the Utilities sector specifically? Why not?
The truth is that among our SAP customers, and we have customers from a large variety of industry sectors, the IS-U ones are certainly among the biggest in terms of data size. That means that this is already an industry generating huge amount of data, and the installation of smart readers/meters can only increase this size. What would be the purpose of getting such a huge amount of data if it couldn’t benefit the customers? There is big discussion at the moment in France, where I live, about the benefits of Enedis installing the Linky smart readers. The only way to provide such benefit is to use big data analysis to dig into all those meter readers and help customers in managing their consumption. Obviously, this might help in managing the grid and the production as well, by better understanding of what causes the changes in consumption.
I was impressed about the number of workshops around those topics. This is also driven/pushed by SAP HANA which is providing many functionalities around both big data and predictive analysis.
2. Does anybody understand SAP's roadmap for IS-U?
I was also surprised to see how complex the plans were which SAP had for the IS-U solution. There are so many solutions provided at the moment. My point of view is that something should be done to make things easier.
One simple example; SAP will provide an enhanced CRM experience in S/4 HANA, which means no additional box will be required. That sounds really fantastic to me, as personally I believe it is a shame to maintain two systems when only one can do the work. At same time, SAP is clearly pushing for people to migrate to the cloud platform where all functionalities will be split in a crazy number of different type of cloud systems (SAP Hybris, SAP S/4H Cloud, SAP Cloud for Energy, etc).
I also heard one of the speakers saying something like: “despite rumours we are still developing the IS-U solutions and not only focusing on the cloud solution”. Looking at what SAP’s proposal is regarding the S/4 Utilities solution, I can understand such rumours as it seems very similar to the ECC6 solution.
Still for us this, is very good, as our data copy tool is tailored to the specific data model IS-Utilities use. This means that in the future, supporting S/4 Utilities with DSM will not be a problem.