Yesterday at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas, the company unveiled announcements about their blockchain activities and survey results. The main news was greater integration, support for JP Morgan’s Quorum, and new industry consortia.
When SAP launched its Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offering, it supported Hyperledger Fabric and MultiChain. It now additionally supports the Quorum Enterprise Ethereum solution developed by JP Morgan.
The ERP company also announced ‘network extensibility’ where blockchain functionality will work outside of SAP’s blockchain cloud. So it now supports the interplay between SAP-provisioned blockchain nodes and those on-premise or in a different cloud. Additionally, blockchain-enabled SAP applications can now function with nodes that are not SAP-provisioned.
At the event, the company unveiled two new industry consortia. One for pharmaceuticals and life sciences, and another for agribusiness, consumer products, and retail. These are in addition to their high tech industry consortium. The 35 participants across the three groups include AmerisourceBergen, Arvato, CONA – Coke One North America, GlaxoSmithKline plc and Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
However, SAP’s blockchain activities in pharma and agribusiness are not news. It’s the formation of a consortium that is. For some time SAP has been actively working on a solution to verify pharmaceutical returns. But to date, the involvement has been with clients rather than a consortium. They’re also working on a project for food provenance.
The results of their survey were very optimistic with 99.5% of respondents viewing blockchain as an opportunity. That’s up from 92% earlier this year. 84% are engaged in blockchain-related activities, which is high compared to many other surveys.
In addition to much-touted supply chain opportunities, survey respondents ranked streamlined financial transactions such as audit, tax and regulatory transparency as their most important SAP blockchain use case. This is perhaps unsurprising given SAP’s user base.
One of the strongest indicators of maturation was that the most common stakeholders were individual line-of-business executives. Whereas the CIO/IT department now comes in second.
93% of respondents see middlemen or intermediary services becoming redundant in the next 5-10 years.