Multinational software company SAP announced recently that it was making the SAP Leonardo Blockchain service generally available. The latter is a cloud service to help companies build applications based on digital ledger-style technology. Gil Perez, senior vice president for product and innovation and head of digital customer initiatives at SAP, says most of the customers he talks to are still very early in the proof of concept stage, but not so early that SAP doesn’t want to provide a service to help move them along the maturity curve.
They join other enterprise companies like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon who have previously released blockchains services for their customers. For SAP, which many companies use for the back-office management of everything from finance to logistics, the blockchain could present some interesting use cases for its customers such as supply chain management. In this case, the blockchain could help reduce paperwork, bring products to market more quickly and provide an easy audit trail. Instead of requesting a scanned copy of a signed document, you could simply click on a node on the blockchain and see the approval (or denial) and follow the products through the shipping process to the marketplace.
Last fall, SAP accepted 27 new members from industries including retail, pharmaceuticals, logistics, public services and telecommunication to its blockchain program with the aim to integrate the technology into the Internet of Things, manufacturing, and supply chain solutions. It was also stated that, SAP will not commit to any one underlying distributed ledger technology in order to be more flexible as the blockchain market changes and grows.