SAP's new service makes blockchain network integration easier

SAP announced new network extensibility services and two new consortium groups at TechEd Las Vegas. (TechRepublic)

In an effort to simplify the integration process for multiple blockchain networks, SAP introduced its new network extensibility service for customers at the 2018 TechEd Las Vegas conference. According to an SAP press release, the service was announced alongside two new industry blockchain consortia as well.

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The goal of the network extensibility service is to make it easier for customers and partners to integrate different blockchain infrastructures, with less friction. It will support integrations between SAP-provisioned nodes and those that may be hosted on-premises or in a different cloud, the release noted.

"This helps customers meet specific regional, hardware, performance and regulatory requirements," the release said.

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As blockchain has invaded industries from banking to diamond trade, industry consortia have popped up to help support and drive innovation around the use cases. At TechEd Las Vegas, SAP introduced two such consortia--one geared toward pharmaceuticals and life sciences; and another targeting blockchain use in agribusiness, consumer products, and retail, according to the release.

According to the release, the consortia will host "SAP customers, partners, and other relevant players," who will come together to flesh out use cases and identify opportunities for cross-industry collaboration. The idea is that these consortia can help improve transparency and efficiency around the use of blockchain.

SAP's focus on blockchain, similar to many other companies' investment in the technology, is a future-proofing play. A recent Tech Pro Research survey found that 70% of professionals hadn't used blockchain, but 64% said they expected the technology to impact their industry in one way or another. That same report listed education and usability as the two aspects needed for blockchain to gain wider traction in the enterprise. As it does, though, companies like SAP want to be leading the integrations.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • SAP's new network extensibility service wants to make it easier for customers to integrate multiple blockchain networks, with less friction.
  • SAP announced two new blockchain consortia: One focused on pharmaceuticals and life sciences, while the other centers around agribusiness, consumer products, and retail.

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This article was originally published on TechRepublic.