Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

SAP and Deutsche Telekom demo logistics package at Hannover Messe

Steve Rogerson
May 1, 2018

At last week’s Hannover Messe, Deutsche Telekom and SAP showed an IoT logistics system that enables the monitoring of not only the positions of vehicle and trailer fleets worldwide, but also the movements and transport conditions of individual containers and packages of goods.
This means that users not only have access to information about the location and condition of their vehicles and goods, they can also integrate this information directly into SAP applications as well as into other SAP systems. As a result, supply chains and value creation networks can also be mapped across companies.
SAP, Deutsche Telekom and T-Systems have combined hardware, connectivity, security, monitoring and operational services into one package. As the data custodian, Deutsche Telekom collects the IoT data and integrates it securely into SAP applications such as SAP Vehicle Insights, Global Track & Trace or Connected Goods packages.
The end-to-end transparency enables SAP users to coordinate fleet and freight movements, document the condition of goods, and use live data to optimise the supply chain with partners. All this is possible thanks to the compact IoT devices from Deutsche Telekom's partner Roambee.
These devices determine their location via GPS, measure temperature and humidity, and even register and report vibrations. The BeeFleets can be operated directly in vehicles as a tracker using the OBD II diagnostics interface. In this way, it is possible to identify vehicle locations, improve routes and optimise the fuel consumption of vehicle fleets.
The Bees from Roambee are suitable for tracking and monitoring trailers and containers. These devices can be attached magnetically or included with deliveries. The Bee also acts as a gateway when used with BeeBeacons. These are small and compact, and can therefore easily be attached to individual items such as barrels, packages or pallets. The small IoT devices send their data to the Bee via Bluetooth Low Energy, enabling automatic creation of transport lists, documentation of loading and unloading procedures, and optimisation of internal storage.
Car manufacturers, production operations, warehouses and suppliers can use the IoT system to map their logistics chains end to end and connect processes with the SAP system. Depending on the number of devices, users can hire the entire service for set monthly prices. For example, 500 BeeFleets cost €19.75 each. The same number of Bees will cost from €21.22 each, while customers can get BeeBeacons for €1.76 each when bought in volumes of 5000 or more. The price for the BeeBeacons varies depending on the application, as they are fitted with sensors for either light or humidity and temperature.
SAP and Deutsche Telekom announced their IoT cooperation at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. The products they have now created using Roambee devices are the first fruits of this collaboration.