Telescope Watching The Wilky Way

SAP HANA Empowers ESA Earth Observation Analysis service

Natural disasters have long been the bane of people and businesses around the world. Now, SAP in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the Earth Observation Analysis service, a cloud service powered by the SAP HANA platform.

The two organizations have been working together since early 2016, facilitating access to a new field of business opportunities in the geospatial context. They have done this by combining the power of SAP HANA with ESA’s accurate, timely, and easily accessible Earth observation data, especially from the Copernicus program. Today at SAP TechEd Barcelona, reinsurance company Munich Re showcases its use of the Earth Observation Analysis service for gaining insights and predicting potential future impact from historic and current data.

“Every year, wildfires affect nature, people, their homes and businesses,” said Andreas Siebert, head of Geospatial Solutions, Munich Re. “While the progress of a fire itself is hard to predict, this new service from SAP, leveraging satellite data from ESA, allows us to accurately calculate costs and risks related to wildfires and even gain insights into the future probability of wildfires. This will help us to keep costs down for our clients.”

Powered by SAP HANA, the Earth Observation Analysis service provides a standardized interface for quick, easy consumption of detailed analytics and clusters them according to customer needs. Government agencies and companies active in all industries, from insurance and reinsurance to mill products, mining, utilities, and retail, can leverage the application programming interface (API) delivered through the Earth Observation Analysis service. Based on continuous access to historical and real-time satellite data from around the world, they can make improved business decisions concerning elementary industry-specific questions. Questions may include where to place new power lines, where to build a new store or when to harvest crops. Ultimately, the service helps business users and data scientists reduce the complexity of obtaining reliable insights.

“Our partnership with ESA paves the way to a new field of geospatial business applications, making it possible to close the gap between traditional Earth observation and a digitalized business world,” said Dr. Carsten Linz, Business Development Officer and global head, Center for Digital Leadership, SAP. “That opens a bright future for space-related applications, such as digital farming, gas pipeline management, and the improved planning of smart cities – bringing businesses to a competitive edge, creating new high-tech jobs and improving peoples’ lives.”

Josef Aschbacher, director, Earth Observation, ESA, said, “The European Sentinel satellites are the largest providers of Earth observation data worldwide.” A major challenge is to convert this fantastic data into customer-specific information. Large-scale hosted processing is the next step to meet this challenge, thereby bringing users to the data rather than data to the users. ESA will benefit from the in-memory computing power of the SAP HANA platform to make Earth observation data consumable both through the newly available Earth Observation Analysis service as well as in urban and environmental use cases or even beyond in the future.”

The Earth Observation Analysis service can be tested at no cost in a non-productive environment here from Nov. 8 until Dec. 31, 2016. The service is planned to be generally available in the first quarter of 2017. It will then be offered with a consumption-based pricing model that depends on the number of API calls. A set of related microservices, also powered by SAP HANA, will help entrepreneurs, partners, customers and businesses augment and build highly flexible solutions based on SAP HANA and Earth observation data from ESA in the future. SAP and ESA intend to continue their collaboration in developing solutions and technologies based on SAP technology that leverages geospatial information.

SAP today also unveiled SAP HANA 2, the next generation of the SAP HANA platform optimized for innovation. SAP HANA 2 includes and extends the proven technology from the SAP’s breakthrough in-memory computing platform to help organizations address the fast-changing requirements of digital business. As part of the product strategy of SAP HANA 2, the new SAP HANA microservices are intended to spur developer innovation by embedding richer insight into modern applications.

About the Centre for Digital Leadership at SAP

The Centre for Digital Leadership organization at SAP is a leading source of insight into how to lead and drive digital transformation and innovation. Our network and partner ecosystem represents today’s and tomorrow’s leaders in digital business. Based on SAP’s digital internal transformation experiences, research and meetings with more than 200 CxO customers per year, we aim at being a digital thought leader for internal and external teams. We provide digitalization patterns and best practices to help our customers navigate through the digital transformation of their organization based on our holistic digital innovation and transformation framework, new methodologies and a thought leadership approach. For more information, check out

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