Q&A with Tom Raftery, Global VP at SAP

Q&A with Tom Raftery, Global VP at SAP
Tom Raftery, Global VP at SAP is an Innovation Evangelist, Futurist, and international Keynote speaker. Prior to joining SAP, Tom worked for a number of companies at Group IT Manager/CTO level, and as an Industry Analyst. Tom is a global thought leader and ranks among the top 10 Internet of Things influencers in the world. 

MEDIA 7: If I were to say to a bunch of people who know you, ‘Give me three adjectives that best describe you’, what would I hear?
TOM RAFTERY: 
I would like to think that I am a good communicator, maybe smart and hopefully generous. You will have to ask people other than myself though. They would be a better judge.

M7: What is the role of a technology influencer in driving environmental sustainability?
TR: 
The role of someone like me would be to raise awareness of the issues that are happening and potential solutions to them, particularly technological solutions. A lot of people are busy in their day-to-day lives and they might not be aware of some of the more pressing environmental issues that are happening in the world and that might impact them. So, raising awareness with people, of the importance of these issues, and the potential technological solutions to them is the role I think that influencers should be playing.


"Raising awareness with people, of the importance of environmental issues, and the potential technological solutions to them is the role that influencers should be playing."

M7: SAP is celebrating the 10th anniversary of strategic sustainability this year. What are the initiatives being taken by the company to help the world run better and achieve the UN sustainable development goals by 2030?
TR:
We are involved in a lot of different projects in this front. We work for example, with Vestas Wind Systems who are the only global energy company dedicated exclusively to wind energy. We help them with their backend systems to help optimize the delivery of windfarms and turbines to windfarms, so that they are keeping their costs down and deploying the windfarms with the highest efficiency. We work with Munich Re and the European Space Agency. Munich Re are one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world and for them, they need to predict, and try and mitigate the damage of natural disasters. We use data from European Space Agency to help Munich Re do that.

We work with Brazilian company, Stara who are an agricultural company. They manufacture agricultural equipment, and the work we do with them is what’s called precision agriculture. Precision agriculture means that we can help their machines be far more precise in things like spreading fertilizers, spreading seeds to make sure that the seeds don’t overlap, the fertilizer doesn’t overlap and you’re doing it row by row. You have to sow the seeds and spread the fertilizer very accurately to avoid an overlap. Because if you have overlap with fertilizer, it can reach toxic levels and damage the plants that you are trying to help. If you have overlap in seeds, you can have excess competition between the seeds and then you get reduction in yield. Whereas if you are optimizing using precision agriculture, you are massively reducing your inputs and you are maximizing your outputs. So, you are able to feed more people with less land and less resources which obviously, as we are reaching higher population levels year-on-year, this becomes more and more important.

We work with NGOs like this one in Africa, called Elephants, Rhinos and People which was founded to preserve and protect the wild elephants and rhinos in Southern Africa. We work with local people to make sure that it’s more profitable for them to protect wildlife than it is to be poaching wildlife. We put collars on elephants and rhinos with geo-tracking in them. We use drones, to track the elephants and rhinos and if they start approaching borders of the parks that might expose them more to poaching. We send off alerts and help move them back into places where they are safer. Since we started the initiative in that area, no elephants rhinos, or humans have been harmed since the deployment of the tracking.

We work with Swiss Federal Railways, the largest energy consumer in Switzerland and they are also an energy producer - they produce electricity. So, we work with them to help reduce the peak loads, the peak demand for electricity by flattening their load which then means, they don’t need to build extra generation plants, reducing their carbon footprint and making their organization more efficient.


"Making our workforce aware of what we are doing as our external constituents is important for our employees to feel engaged and part of something important."

M7: You have been on the SmartCitiesWorld Advisory Board. How does SmartCitiesWorld help in developing smart cities of the future?
TR:
The SmartCitiesWorld is a publication. It raises awareness of smart cities initiatives that cities can take to make the cities run better, reduce their energy requirements, reduce their footprint, increase their air quality, reduce noise pollution, and lots of different initiatives like that. So, as a publication, it’s primarily responsible for raising awareness and helping cities find better ways to increase quality of life for their constituents.

M7: How does SAP embrace an innovative culture in the company?
TR:
Obviously, as a technology company it is very important for SAP to embrace an innovative culture in the company and what the company typically does is, it spends a lot of money on research and development and it does a lot of communication internally and externally highlighting the innovative solutions that we have come up with for our customers. And making our workforce aware of what we are doing as our external constituents because it’s important for our employees to feel engaged and part of something important. And as a consequence, every time, every year, we run this survey internally on how happy our employees are working for SAP. And our rate of employee retention is extremely high.

It’s not unusual in Europe to talk to SAP employees who have been working for the company for 10 or more years, which in the technology industry is unusual. So, that’s how we embrace the innovative culture and we talk of the things that we do, we work closely also with our customers because we do a lot of co-innovation projects with our customers where we take our customers into our co-innovation centers and we talk through their problems with them and come up with innovative ways to solve any particularly gnarly issues that they might have.


"A lot of people are busy in their day-to-day lives and they might not be aware of some of the more pressing environmental issues that are happening in the world and that might impact them."

M7: What is your favorite part of working at SAP?
TR:
I started working for SAP in September 2016, so it’s just over 3 years ago now. And, prior to working with SAP, I had worked primarily with startups and small companies. I have never worked with a global mega vendor before. So, I was wondering what it would be like and I had my doubts, and if you would ask me in 2016, I would have said, “Yeah, I’ll probably last about three months with SAP”. But, three years later, here I am. And, a lot of that is down to the fact that the company is so big, and it has close to 100,000 employees, it means there are always people I can approach, if I need help in any country or in any industry. Because my role is across industry. So, if I need to talk to somebody who is in the transportation industry, I can just go straight to the transportation business unit and talk to people there. If I need to talk to people in the hospitality industry, same story. If I need to talk to people in the airline industry, the mining industry, the electricity industry, we cover all industries, we cover all regions globally. And, there’s a culture within SAP of helpfulness which is great. Apparently, it’s unusual. For me, it’s the norm if people bring up and ask me for help, I would say, “Yeah sure, absolutely, no problem.” And that’s the way most people in SAP are! You pick up the phone or send an email, and they are happy to help, no matter what. Apparently, that’s not the norm for big companies, but it is the norm for SAP which is great and that’s why I love working for SAP.  

M7: When did you start working, how old were you, and what was it?
TR:
My first job was when I was 14. I worked on a building site where I was a builder’s mate, helping raise the scaffolding on the building and also help ferry bricks that were delivered to the site from the ground up to the brick layers on the top floor. So, that was my first job.

ABOUT SAP

SAP is a global software application vendor. SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables our customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improves people’s lives.

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Casa Systems Unveils New AurusXT 5G Industrial IoT Router Series Featuring the World’s First Dynamic Slicing Support

Casa Systems | January 10, 2024

Casa Systems (Nasdaq: CASA), provider of innovative access network solutions serving customers worldwide, today announced the launch of the first solution in its AurusXT 5G Industrial IoT (IIoT) Series, the NTC-500 5G IIoT router, which leverages the speed and coverage of a 5G network to provide high-speed Ethernet-to-cellular connectivity. Casa’s NTC-500 is the first 5G IIoT router to support dynamic network slicing capabilities, allowing operators to provide new and tailored services to their enterprise customers. Casa’s AurusXT Series will offer a range of 5G IIoT devices designed to deliver reliable connectivity to a broad range of both fixed and mobile use cases. The NTC-500 is the first of the AurusXT Series to disrupt the IIoT market with a cost-effective 5G IIoT Router that utilizes the speed and coverage of a 5G Sub-6 GHz network to deliver a fast and reliable connection to machines, equipment, and vehicles. Casa’s industry-first and proprietary 5G Dynamic Slicing Technology sets the NTC-500 apart from every other IIoT router on the market. Other 5G IIoT routers are limited to static slicing, forcing end users to endure labor- and time-intensive manual, on-site reconfigurations whenever they want to make a slicing change. Casa’s Dynamic Slicing Technology empowers mobile operators to unlock new revenue streams by allowing their customers to flexibly establish and rescind network priority on demand. “The proliferation of 5G networks coupled with the sunset of global 3G networks has created a groundswell of demand for 5G IIoT devices,” said Steve Collins, SVP of Access Devices, Casa Systems. “Our AurusXT Series is designed to deliver cost-effective 5G IIoT solutions that will address most use cases. With our dynamic network slicing capabilities, mobile operators will be able to unlock new revenue streams by offering tailored service plans to meet their enterprise customers’ individual requirements.” IIoT routers can be found in installations around the world – wherever Ethernet-to-cellular connectivity is in demand – from remote security cameras in industrial sites or on roadways, to digital signs in shopping malls or other public venues, to standalone ticketing and other vending machines, to anywhere an IIoT device in any industry needs wireless connectivity to transmit data. Enterprises facing the inescapable sunsetting of 3G technology now have a cost-effective and future-proof option for upgrading the hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of IIoT routers within their domain. By opting to deploy Casa’s NTC-500, operators can bypass the adoption of 4G devices and minimize costly truck rolls to replace both 3G and 4G IIoT routers. The NTC-500 supports the latest 3GPP Release 16 features, including 5G Non-standalone (NSA) and 5G Standalone (SA) with failover to 4G LTE. This ensures it will not become obsolete when 4G technology phases out, minimizing the operational impact of updating hardware. The NTC-500 is compatible with both 4G and 5G, enabling customers to enjoy the benefits of 5G with the added assurance that existing 4G devices will deliver the best possible performance. Casa Systems is currently welcoming new resellers globally. Resellers or system integrators interested in becoming a Casa Systems IIoT device reseller are encouraged to contact Casa at https://www.casa-systems.com/. About Casa Systems Casa Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CASA) is a next-gen technology leader that supports mobile, cable, and wireline communications services providers with market leading solutions. Casa’s virtualized and cloud-native software solutions modernize operators’ network architectures, expand the range of services they can offer their consumer and commercial customers, accelerate time to revenue, and reduce the TCO of their network infrastructure and operations. Casa’s suite of open, cloud-native network solutions unlocks new ways for service providers to quickly build flexible networks and service offerings that maximize revenue-generating capabilities. Commercially deployed in more than 70 countries, Casa Systems serves over 475 Tier 1 and regional service providers worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.casa-systems.com/.

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Enterprise Iot

Telit Cinterion Partnership with floLIVE and Skylo Enables Ubiquitous Global Cellular IoT Connectivity with Satellite

Telit Cinterion | January 08, 2024

Telit Cinterion, an end-to-end IoT solutions enabler, today announced a solution featuring cellular and satellite connectivity services on its ME910G1 and ME310G1 modules. In partnership with floLIVE and Skylo Technologies, the new solution ensures that mobile assets — shipping containers, agricultural equipment, trucks, and other high-value assets — are continually trackable and monitored anywhere on earth, from cities and rural highways to deserts and oceans. The new Telit Cinterion solution is ideal for enterprises in transportation, logistics, construction, mining, agriculture and other verticals whose mission- and business-critical applications require guaranteed global connectivity with their mobile assets. The solution will provide OEMs, system integrators, and enterprises with a turnkey, end-to-end suite featuring: Telit Cinterion cellular LPWA module that is fully compliant with the new 3GPP R17 NB-IoT over non-terrestrial network (NTN) standard. This will enable satellite data communication using the NB-IoT protocol — without any special hardware changes required for the integration of the cellular module in the customer application. Telit Cinterion cellular and satellite data service plans, as well as a connectivity management portal. This drastically simplifies access to global connectivity with unique, centralized support and an advanced monitoring platform for full control of device fleets. Satellite connectivity services from Skylo — a direct-to-device Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) operator focused on connecting anything, anywhere — in conjunction with floLIVE — the creator and owner of the world's first and largest hyperlocal global network and a leading IoT connectivity enabler. The Telit Cinterion ME910G1 module is currently under certification and approval by Skylo, making it one of the first modules that will be commercially available for customers globally. The solution will debut in Europe and North America following the launch of the floLIVE-Skylo service in 2024. "The ability to leverage local cellular connectivity across the globe in tandem with satellite connectivity truly opens the globe to IoT and digital transformation," said Chen Porat, floLIVE SVP of Sales, APAC and Africa. "floLIVE offers MNOs and IoT MVNOs with a global hyperlocal infrastructure that becomes the backbone to anywhere, 'always-on' connectivity. This expansion into the NTN domain signifies our dedication to supporting our partners through continuous growth in carrier relations, global presence, and service offerings." "We are thrilled to partner with Telit Cinterion, a recognized leader in the IoT industry. This collaboration will enable us to leverage Telit Cinterion's expertise in cellular connectivity to expand the reach and capabilities of standards-based NB-IoT-over-NTN with the Skylo solutions," said Sriram Subramanian, Director of Product Management at Skylo. "Together, we will empower businesses across industries to unlock the true potential of connected devices and drive digital transformation on a global scale." "Transportation companies, logistics providers and mine operators are just three examples of enterprises that need to monitor their high-value mobile assets anywhere and everywhere on earth," said Manish Watwani, Chief Marketing and Product Officer, Telit Cinterion. "Our strategic partnership with Skylo and floLIVE meets that need by providing the world's first turnkey package of hardware and seamless, ubiquitous, global connectivity that leverages the best of cellular and satellite — all based on the new 3GPP R17 NB-IoT over NTN standard." About Telit Cinterion Telit Cinterion is a global end-to-end IoT solutions enabler providing complete solutions that reduce time to market and costs, delivering custom designed, ready for market connected devices in addition to maintaining the industry's broadest portfolio of enterprise-grade wireless communication and positioning modules, cellular MVNO connectivity plans and management services, edge-cloud software and data orchestration, and IoT and Industrial IoT platforms. As the largest western provider pioneering IoT innovation, Telit Cinterion delivers award-winning and highly secure IoT solutions, modules and services for the industry's top brands.

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SAP

SAP is a global software application vendor. SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced...

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