SAP unveils new innovation hub at Expo 2020 Dubai

SAP House features interactive solutions powered by the cloud as company aims to expand its services through more partnerships

Mohammed Al Hashimi, chief technology officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, speaks at the launch of SAP House on Tuesday. Alvin R. Cabral / The National
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SAP, one of the world's biggest enterprise software developers, unveiled its latest experience hub at Expo 2020 Dubai, as it seeks to tap the growing demand for cloud solutions in the region.

The 900-square-metre SAP House, developed in collaboration with Google Cloud and professional services network firm Deloitte, brings together technologies such as retail solutions to demonstrate an intelligent city model.

“Even the small things that are part of our daily lives, we can shore them up with innovative ideas. Having these ideas here at Expo 2020 is really an opportunity for us to show and leverage the innovation to all of the visitors,” Sergio Maccotta, senior vice-president at SAP Middle East South, told The National on Tuesday.

“There are many stories behind what we've done here at Expo 2020. With this house of innovation, co-operation and partnership, we are going to continue what we have built,” said Mohammed Al Hashimi, chief technology officer of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Expo collates cutting-edge technologies from around the world, with companies and country pavilions exhibiting innovative and futuristic solutions from their respective nations.

Demand for innovative cloud solutions, which have helped businesses become more agile, has picked up amid a trend of hybrid working in the Middle East.

About three quarters of employees in the UAE have stated a preference to continue working from home despite a fall in Covid-19 infections, and this is prompting companies to step up spending to secure their cloud data, a recent report from Microsoft and the International Data Corporation showed.

On Tuesday, Oracle opened a new cloud region in Abu Dhabi – its second in the UAE and its third in the Middle East – as it seeks to address demand for storage capacity from regional enterprises.

Increased investment in cloud technology also comes as regional governments begin to increase spending on IT services.

SAP, citing latest the data from YouGov, said customer and citizen experience is a priority in the Middle East, particularly in the public sector. About 91 per cent of government IT decision makers in the UAE and 94 per cent in the GCC say technology is crucial for transforming citizen experiences.

At Expo 2020, SAP – a major partner of the event – supports a supply chain of about 25,000 companies, including those that provide personal, security, retail and logistics services.

Its over 1,000 point-of-sale systems handle more than 100,000 transactions on a daily basis. While not an especially large number, it does show the seamless nature of systems put in place to ensure efficient operations at the event, with more than Dh1 billion already spent on the platform, SAP said in a statement.

We want to streamline and become more and more quicker in providing services and the best way is to engage with partnerships ... [people] don't want to be cornered and dwell on just one possible solution
Sergio Maccotta, senior vice-president at SAP Middle East South

SAP, which has also supported the Olympics and the NFL Super Bowl, continues to collaborate with “hyperscalers” – companies that provide internet, cloud and networking services via the internet-as-a-service model – to drive its expansion, most notably with the four biggest players in the sector – Microsoft, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Alibaba.

“We want to streamline and become even quicker in providing services and the best way is to engage with partnerships,” Mr Muruzabal said.

That, in turn, will enable SAP to offer more flexible solutions, as people “don't want to be cornered and dwell on just one possible solution".

The opening of SAP House also marks the debut of PODway, the company's platform for people of determination that lets them safely navigate the event.

Updated: November 15, 2021, 3:41 PM