SAP Launches Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

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The international enterprise software developer, SAP has launched a cloud-based, Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform. This announcement comes just three weeks after Amazon and ConsenSys announced an enterprise blockchain solution.

SAP SE (Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing) is a multinational software corporation, based in Germany. The company has over 335,000 customers in 80 countries, and focuses on enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. This new cloud-based solution will add a framework for blockchain systems development to their suite of enterprise products. It is also compatible with Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain platform that SAP contributed to, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation, in partnership with IBM and other companies that specialize in finance, banking, IoT, supply chains, manufacturing and other technology.

SAP stated that it will formally roll out the platform after it has run trials on various blockchain applications across various industries including supply chain, manufacturing, transportation, food and pharmaceuticals. Altogether, 65 companies are presently involved in the SAP Blockchain Co-Innovation Initiative.

Prior to this announcement, SAP worked with the US sausage maker, Johnsonville, along with Naturipe Farms and Maple Leaf. In this engagement, they piloted a supply chain application that tracked the origin of food products, as part of the Farm to Consumer initiative. Torsten Zube, SAP’s blockchain lead stated, “The Farm to Consumer project perfectly showcases a common pattern we see in many of our blockchain projects.”

SAP will integrate blockchain technology into its Global Track and Trace technology. This will allow companies not only to trace the origins of foods, but also to submit requests and product offerings, and to authenticate and execute transactions. Another participant in this project is, a Swiss supply chain startup.

SAP will also form a blockchain consortium, where members may share technology with other participants. Founding members include HP Enterprise, Intel, UPS, Airbus, Amkor Technology, and Flex. Together, they are collaborating on technology, and the development of requirement definitions for blockchain solutions to business challenges. Specifically, the consortium includes discussions about industry ecosystem challenges, developing new standards for the business value chain, multi-lateral agreements between all members, and ownership of output. It’s guided by industry experts and is offered at no cost. The SAP Co-Innovation Program is also led by industry experts at no cost, and gives members hands-on experience with SAP software, a co-innovation pilot with SAP and other participants, bilateral agreements with SAP and community discussions with the group, SAP experts and guest speakers.

With this move, SAP joins other tech giants that are developing blockchain applications, including Microsoft, IBM, Baidu and Tencent. Companies are finding use-cases for blockchain technology every day. On May 25, Insurwave began offering maritime insurance to Maersk Container Shipping Company. With this move, the insurer has established a partnership with a publicly traded logistics company that manages numerous brands. They will insure 1,000 vessels, with a volume of 500,000 transactions recorded on the blockchain. VeChain is working on a similar project. The company will focus their blockchain solution on industries like liquor, agriculture and luxury goods. Precedent has already been established, and it’s now up to SAP and other companies to grab their share.

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