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Commerzbank Integrates SAP and R3’s Corda for Blockchain-Based Financial Services

Commerzbank has announced the successful completion of an end-to-end integration of SAP’s S/4HANA business suite and R3’s Corda blockchain platform. 

The integration between SAP and R3’s Corda is targeted toward corporate customers of the trade and supply chain financial services provided by Commerzbank. It seems likely that the integration between SAP and R3’s Corda could boost the adoption of blockchain technology by major corporate users by leveraging the popularity of SAP-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in that user base.

“This solution has the potential for corporations to significantly enhance and leverage their access to future business models based on distributed ledger technology, via their own corporate SAP system,” according to the announcement. “By deploying Corda’s secure blockchain technology to SAP Cloud Platform, the existing application programming interfaces (APIs) are utilized to access business networks and systems across all industries.”

Commerzbank, headquartered in Germany, is a major international bank with “more than 18 million private and small business customers, as well as more than 60,000 corporate clients, multinationals, financial service providers and institutional clients.” 

SAP, also headquartered in Germany, is a leading provider of enterprise software and ERP systems, with over 335,000 enterprise customers in over 180 countries. SAP S/4HANA is a business suite built on SAP's proprietary operational database system and in-memory computing platform SAP HANA.

“The successful connection test between Corda and SAP, as an important [enterprise technology provider], is a significant milestone in our journey to develop and implement digital product solutions,” said Nikolaus Giesbert, divisional board member of fixed income, currencies and commodities and trade finance and cash management at Commerzbank, according to the announcement. “In Trade Finance, we see significant potential and the need to support digital data flows along the supply chain of our corporations. This is only possible by connecting ERP systems to new … [DLT] networks and platforms. We will share the results of this technical test in our ongoing projects with R3 and aim to use the SAP connection with Corda in future pilot transactions.” 

R3 is an enterprise software firm that works with a network of over 200 banks, “financial institutions, regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies to develop on Corda,” its blockchain platform designed specifically for businesses. Commerzbank is a member of R3’s global network and an active participant in a number of R3 initiatives on use cases in areas such as trade finance. SAP is actively collaborating with both R3 and R3’s members.

“Trade finance is a key area of focus for R3 as we work with our partners to develop a vibrant ecosystem of applications on Corda,” said David E. Rutter, R3’s CEO, per the announcement. “Integrating the platform with SAP’s business processes is a further milestone in enabling widespread adoption of Corda by businesses around the globe.”

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