The basis of innovation for current and future developments in the context of digitalisation is the SAP Cloud Platform – a strategically indispensable technology for the intelligent company of tomorrow. Stéphane Borg of SAP described its characteristics. The cloud platform allows real-time response, he explained, and holds services at the ready which are vital to central functionalities of modern applications, such as mobility or monitoring.
Key functions and features of Datatrain’s cockpits wouldn’t have been possible without the SAP Cloud Platform. Jörn Beckmann of Datatrain named some examples: the platform’s two-factor authentication ensures the highest security; partner applications – e.g. the chatbots from AT Estate, Pixometer for meter readings or KIWI for keyless building access – are integrated via cloud services; and future functionalities such as speech recognition, invoicing service, big-data analysis and schedule coordination are also only conceivable on a cloud basis.
At the centre of it all lies Datatrain’s API Hub – a multidirectional ‘interface hub’ on the SAP Cloud Platform which creates the various required connections between SAP on-premise systems and/or customer or partner extensions and/or third-party applications. The API Hub has now been put into operation by Berlin’s municipal housing companies for the first time, where it brings together the respective companies’ ERP systems with the new flat-exchange portal of the Berlin Senate Administration. It likewise enables existing applications from service providers, estate agents, insurance companies, etc., to be connected with ERP systems.
Mark Finley of Datatrain announced that the firm is embracing the logical consequence of these developments and in the future, accordingly, will offer its cockpits only in the cloud-based version – while providing uncomplicated, low-cost solutions for migrating existing middleware systems.
Christian Gebhardt of the GdW, Germany’s federal association of housing and real estate companies, illuminated general trends, with reference to a study just published by the GdW which foresees continued increasing demand for affordable housing. Tenants of tomorrow, however, will be more willing to compromise on the size or location of their apartment than on its equipment and furnishings. Possible future business models include service and micro-apartments and the temporary leasing of furniture. Digital technology will, in any case, be considered absolutely standard. The main hurdle to digitalisation, according to Gebhardt, is the lack of a strategy. The GdW therefore recommends to its members practicable process steps, including best-practice examples, and views the involvement of company employees as imperative.