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SAP and ESA on Big Data from Space

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SAP recently “docked up” with the European Space Agency (ESA) at the inaugural SAP Digital Leaders’ Summit and took their budding strategic partnership toward a new frontier.

This month, more than 40 executives from established companies and startups attended the SAP Digital Leaders’ Summit at ESA’s European Space Operations Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. They heard about how the increasing significance of digital platforms for applications of all kinds. Coupled with ballooning volumes of data being generated by ESA satellites, it is the basis for a compelling constellation in which ESA delivers Big Data for SAP HANA to turn into “smart data” – providing actionable insight for specific decision-making situations.

By way of example, SAP demonstrated how SAP could feed SAP HANA Cloud Platform with real-time ESA Earth observation data. Insurance companies can use this data to foresee and control the impact of potential storm damage claims on their profits. Thus, if weather forecasters predict a hurricane on the east coast of the U.S., insurance companies would use the Climate Earth Dashboard – based on SAP Digital Boardroom – to run various scenarios and assess the scale of the possible financial risks involved.

Recalling the name of the German government’s high-tech strategy project Industrie 4.0, ESOC manager Juan Miró referred in his keynote to the commercialization of his industry sector as “Space 4.0.” Though as a publicly funded space agency, he said, ESA is not looking to make a quick buck but to tap into the synergies that cooperations offer.

Population growth and climate change are making heavy demands on our planet, explained Miró. If humankind wants any chance of mitigating the dire threats it faces, it needs innovations – which in turn require forward-thinking technologies. In this light, and bearing in mind that ESA is obliged to work chiefly with European partners, collaboration with SAP is a logical step.

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