SAP Leonardo adoption progressing despite user group apathy, says UK head

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Eighteen months on from its big relaunch, SAP Leonardo is still finding its feet as part of the German mega vendor's portfolio. At UKISUG Connect 2018, ComputerWorldUK sat down with the UK head of Leonardo to talk about its progress and also spoke to User Group chairman, Paul Cooper. Read the full article, on their site.

In June 2017 SAP relaunched a nascent product named after Leonardo Da Vinci to reflect its changing position from an IoT platform to a "digital innovation system" which encompasses machine learning, blockchain, big data and IoT technologies.

Now, as research from the UK and Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG) shows, of the 345 members surveyed, just six percent plan on using Leonardo to support their IoT or machine learning projects, which admittedly is up from just two percent last year.

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A statistic that might most worry Stephen Jamieson, head of SAP Leonardo for the UK and Ireland, however, is this: 25 percent of users responded with a resounding 'no' when asked if they would use Leonardo to support these efforts, which is trending in the wrong direction as compared to 18 percent last year.

Speaking to Computerworld UK during the UKISUG conference in Birmingham this week, Jamieson seems unfazed. He said: "When I look at the interactions that I am having and we are having as a team with our customer base and I see a very strong, positive trend towards understanding, exploring, questioning the capabilities of machine learning in the context of business processes, looking at the opportunities IoT might bring to extend a business process.

"Over the past 10 months that kind of conversation has gone from being fairly nascent to something that is very core to every engagement that we have, so I see a strong positive trend."

He also said that the Leonardo innovation lab in Feltham has had "high footfall of customers coming through to explore different technologies and applications and different ways of doing things".

He added that a "very solid and healthy proportion of the open innovation work that happens in our customer base is generally partner led" through the Partner Medallion Initiative launched at the Sapphire conference earlier this year.

Paul Cooper, the UKISUG chairman, who helped run an SAP IoT Symposium in Dublin earlier this year, told Computerworld UK that he was "surprised that [figure] was as low as it was".

He admitted that there could be some remaining confusion in the market regarding the unwieldy beast that is Leonardo, but that also "there's some really good use cases out there and partners, particularly Bluefin, have got some good stories to tell".

"You can see that the using population isn't as far advanced as the selling population would like them to be," he added. "For some organisations it will be appropriate to do stuff straight away, and for others they will need to get their head around it."

Responding to this, Jamieson agreed that potential Leonardo customers can be split into two distinct sets.

"You are either going through a process of having bought some technology or capabilities and you are in the process of getting those delivered and into your organisation," Jamieson said. "Or you are in a slightly more inquisitive mode and looking at new opportunities and ways of doing things. Where Leonardo really strikes a chord is those people on an inquisitive track."

Head over to ComputerWorldUK to read the full article.

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