German software company SAP SE has announced the launch of a blockchain platform that will facilitate the development of blockchain enterprise solutions. The blockchain-as-a-service platform will enable developers to build enterprise-level blockchain applications and will support Hyperledger Fabric and MultiChain, the company said in a statement on June 6. SAP also launched a host of other products that target emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and machine learning.

Low-Cost, Low-Risk Platform

SAP hailed its blockchain platform as “a low-cost, low-risk way for businesses to explore the technology, integrate it into their SAP landscapes, and capitalize on its potential.” The platform will enable developers to innovate on an open platform, extend existing applications with blockchains, and develop new applications. Developers will also have the option of connecting their blockchain networks to SAP’s soon-to-be-released in-memory data management platform, SAP HANA. The cloud platform will allow users to integrate analytical abilities into their blockchain applications.

SAP’s blockchain offerings will enable users to use blockchains for diverse applications, including tracking and tracing goods moving along their supply chains. It will also enhance logistics management with real-time visibility into transportation systems.

SAP’s blockchain product will enable blockchain applications to be built on top of the Hyperledger Fabric platform. This platform is an open-source collaborative effort hosted by the Linux Foundation. SAP is among the founding members together along with other industry leaders in the fields of finance, technology, manufacturing, and supply chains.

SAP has been one of the global tech giants that have been leading the blockchain race. In May, the company announced that it had been appointed as the vice chair of the Chinese Trusted Blockchain Alliance, a joint venture between Chinese companies and research institutions to facilitate innovation in blockchain technology. The alliance is chaired by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a think tank for the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

SAP previously announced that it had formed a blockchain consortium bringing together like-minded industry leaders to facilitate blockchain innovation. The consortium aims to work in concert with innovative minds to solve some of the biggest challenges that face the industry and to develop new business models that integrate blockchain technology. The founding members of the consortium include Intel, HP, UPS, and Amkor Technology.

Tech Giants and Blockchains

Blockchain technology has become the new frontier for competition among tech giants. Amazon recently announced the launch of blockchain templates for Ethereum and the Hyperledger Fabric that will be offered through Amazon Web Services (AWS). The templates will allow developers to create secure blockchain networks in a simplified way and take advantage of secure Amazon cloud services. In offering blockchain-as-a-service, Amazon hopes to drive mass adoption of blockchain technology.

IBM is the undisputed leader in the creation of blockchain products. The New York-based multinational tech giant has developed a host of blockchain products that encompass a great number of industries. It has previously partnered with Maersk to develop a decentralized logistics platform, with Unilever and Mindshare on a blockchain-based media advertising project, with BMW and Ford on blockchain-based mobility services, and others.

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