When we recently sat together during an after-work drink, we were thinking of the possibilities of IOT (internet of things) from an SAP perspective and how we as a company could get hands-on experience here and possibly create a solution which has a descent commercial viability.

This brought us to visionary ideas and great plans like completely automated drive-in-cinemas with license plate recognition, building access by means of ID readers and SAP HR data, … But that wasn’t really good enough.

On the other side, agriculture is one of the drivers for IOT. And SAP is also offering solutions in this line of business. Why not focus on that ?

If we take the definition from wikipedia : Agriculture is the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life.

After some drinks, we found out that we really love agriculture and more specifically ... wine. Call it coincidence, but Avelon really seems to have quite some wine lovers in its team (we even have a soon-to-be-graduated ‘sommelier’) 

So, why wouldn’t we combine our passion for technology and the better joys of life ?

What’s the business case ?

The art of producing wine is a complex and labor-intensive process. Each grape and vineyard has different characteristics. To decide when to crop the grapes, lots of criteria are important : hours of sun, hours of rain, temperature (drops), wind, ground and grape acidity ...

These parameters need to be checked several times during season and certainly more intensively just before cropping. Knowing most wine growers have multiple vineyards which are hard to reach (on hills, next to rivers, …) … they would be able to save a lot of time by not having to visit the properties over and over. Next to that, we can also offer valuable insights on historical data and maybe do some predictive magic :)

What are the goals of this project ?

  • fully test the possibilities of the SAP Cloud platform
    • web IDE
    • SAP Build for prototyping
    • Analytics
    • Workflow (of course!)
    • Predictive analysis
  • investigate the commercial possibilities of the SAP Cloud platform (licensing, offering compared to the competition, …)  (yes, we dream big !) and our offering
  • compare the different IOT modeling/middleware platforms (SAP doesn’t offer that yet)
  • have a meaningful project which will be used productively and which collects and processes real live data

What do we have so far ?

  • a competent team, project plan, team leader, product owner, ...
  • a sommelier
  • the hardware with 10 sensors, battery and solar charger !
  • access to the Proximus LoraWan network
  • the SAP platform
  • some interested wine farmers :)

We have already made some mockups with SAP build for the user interface. We’ll continue on that using the agile methodology and will be focusing on the hardware aspect now.

SAP Build mockup


What are the next steps ?

  • connecting the allthingstalk module
  • create an abstraction layer so that hardware/devices can be loosely coupled
  • displaying some measured data on a live dashboard

the LoRaWan Rapid Development Kit : for innovators and business developers (hey, that' us !!)

We’ll start doing the measurements at our offices. As soon as we have something which actually means something ... we'll go for the real hardware at some vineyards we've selected.

And now ?

Lot's of things to do, so ... we should just do it. No time to waste ! If you want to get access to preliminary test results, want to do some sparring on this with us, please get in touch.

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