Google is Trying To Bring ERP Consumers To Big Spatial Data Sets

SAP is going deeper with its Google collaboration to help customers manage large data volumes. The companies are working to make big data more intuitive, with visual displays to help decision-makers act more quickly.
Specifically, SAP plans to enhance its business -analytics software with location-based data capabilities that let people interact with real-time information. The companies want to pair enterprise apps with consumer tools like Google Maps and Google Earth.

“The trend toward ‘big data’ is accelerating the need for geospatial visualization of data. An increasing amount of data is being tagged with location information,” said Jonathan Becher, executive vice president of marketing at SAP. “For many applications, humans can see information relationships and data trends more easily when they are shown with maps and other spatial visualizations than they can using rows and columns of numbers. This allows non-expert users to make more accurate decisions on data, unlocking business intelligence for a wider audience.”

SAP-Google in Action

The SAP-Google partnership aims to help bring corporate information to life with location-based intelligence, including Google’s interactive map, satellite and even street-level views. Practically speaking, this allows SAP customers to analyze their businesses in a geospatial context to understand the “where” of their information.

Bringing mapping and other real-time technologies to the big-data front also lets decision-makers identify global, regional and local trends and how different scenarios impact them. The intended result includes increasing efficiency and profitability. SAP offers several examples of how organizations running SAP solutions with Google Maps API Premier could benefit from overlaying enterprise information onto intuitive mapping tools.

For instance, a telecom operator could use Google Earth and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software to perform dropped-call analysis and pinpoint the coordinates of faulty towers. A state revenue department could overlay household tax information on a map and group it at the county level to track the highest and lowest tax bases. Or a mortgage bank could perform risk assessment of its mortgage portfolio by overlaying foreclosure and default data with the location of loans on Google Maps.

“SAP is using a private API from Google that is not currently available to any other enterprise-software vendor. This private API provides additional functionality that, for example, allows the end user to upload their own geospatial information, including maps,” Becher said. “This opens up new use cases. A department store can use Google Street View to add an interactive virtual layout of their store with directions to each department. This street-view information can be combined with on-shelf availability and pricing information to allow customers to actually see the store and buy product from their mobile device.”
SAP is working to drive a convergence of enterprise and consumer software, giving an increasing number of people the ability to make important business decisions through the lens of mobile and social technologies while navigating the complexity of big data, or the growing volume, variety and increased velocity of information.

But do enterprises yet truly understand the value of this blend of enterprise with consumer technologies? “We are early on in the trends of marrying geospatial visualization tools with enterprise information, but it is rapidly accelerating,” Becher said. “We’ve seen dozens of use cases across all 24 SAP industries. Virtually every customer we’ve shared the vision with has been excited about using it to improve decision-making and operations in their business.”

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