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SAP Business AI

SAP Business AI is the latest development in SAP’s AI strategy. First announced at Sapphire 2023 in May, this product portfolio is accessed via SAP’s cloud-based Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). This is the latest step by SAP in their ambition to use AI and analytics to manage business process and networks more efficiently in order to derive more value for their customers.

SAP Business AI is a group of applications and services using AI that automate and optimize business processes and user experience, and these capabilities are being expanded upon rapidly as the platform evolves. This has important implications for SAP consultants.

AI Capabilities

With AI capabilities applied at the core and throughout business systems, SAP Business AI has the potential to fundamentally change the way that businesses run for the better. SAP Business AI is trained using industry and business process data, and created to conform with best practice.

The solution uses historical data to predict the future state of metrics like consumer volume and demand, as well as natural language processing so computers can understand and process human language, in interactions with customer service chatbots, or sentiment analysis.

Leveraging machine learning SAP Business AI trains computers from data and improves their performance over time. This can be used for fraud detection or customer segmentation.

Computer vision is integrated so computers can see and understand the world around them, which can be used for quality inspection and facial recognition.

Reducing Cost, Improving Performance

SAP Business AI has use cases in a variety of industries:

In manufacturing it can be applied to improve production efficiency, predict equipment failures, and optimize supply chains.

In the retail sector alone there are over 60 use cases. Business AI can be used to personalize customer experiences with product recommendations, and helping to predict when customers might leave. Sales teams can also be guided to concentrate their efforts on the most promising opportunities.

It can also improve inventory management by optimizing inventory levels and costs while improving product availability and margins.

SAP Business AI can be used in financial services to detect fraud, manage risk, and make better investment decisions. Healthcare applications include diagnosis of diseases, personalized treatment plans, and improved patient care.

The solution can also can be used to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and make better decisions across the public sector, as well as in intelligent agriculture so food producers can be competitive, and adapt to changes in weather patterns, soil conditions and demands in global food markets.

More generally this stack of technologies can be used analytically to facilitate strategic business investment decisions, and to create automated business processes: reducing business operations costs. It provides businesses with new ways to use data, accelerating innovation.

New SAP And Google Cloud Collaboration

In a related development SAP and Google Cloud recently announced that they will be combining their integrated open data cloud using SAP Datasphere and Vertex AI to create new industry solutions using generative AI. This will enable further AI-powered solutions which can draw and analyze data from almost any source to improve business insights and decisions.

This new chapter in the SAP-Google strategic partnership will initially focus on two areas: the automotive industry and enterprise sustainability.

Catena-X and Business AI

In the automotive industry new solutions are being created that combine Vertex AI and the SAP-powered open data ecosystem for the automotive sector, Catena-X, which allows partner companies to exchange data over a secure network to accelerate innovation, improve CX and increase overall operational efficiency.

Partners of the Catena-X initiative will be able to predict potential problems with automotive products and take appropriate action before resorting to recalls of vehicles, share automotive safety research, and improve product quality with insights that would not be apparent from one partner’s data alone.

AI and Sustainability Management

The combination of Vertex AI and SAP Datasphere in conjunction with SAP Sustainability Control Tower can also help customers to improve their sustainability initiatives using third-party ESG datasets. The resulting insights will enable more impactful sustainability reports, AI sustainability alerts for supply chains, and contribute to deep analysis of environmental impact.

Commenting on this new stage of the partnership Juergen Mueller, Chief Technology Officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP said:

“Our partnership with Google Cloud is quickly evolving to incorporate generative AI. For this purpose, we utilize our expansive joint data cloud to transform business decision-making and improve productivity, leveraging the potential of SAP Datasphere built on SAP Business Technology Platform. With SAP Business AI offerings, we build systems of intelligence with three core principles: they are relevant, reliable and responsible. Customers will not only benefit from AI already embedded across our business solutions, but also from a unified, open data foundation and additional AI capabilities from Google Cloud.”

The Corporate Vice President of Global Partner Ecosystem and Channels for Google Cloud said:

“Google Cloud and SAP will provide joint customers with generative AI capabilities that have a tangible impact on day-to-day work and create real-world value for their businesses. Through our open data and AI partnership with SAP, we will apply generative AI to enable customers to get significantly more value from information stored on SAP systems and third-party data sets, helping companies operate more safely and enterprises run more sustainably.”

Because this new series of AI solutions will be integrated with critical systems and data, the new portfolio of generative AI solutions will also be designed with the highest levels of security, privacy, compliance and ethics in mind. Data is protected and anonymized following the strict standards of European legislation of data protection.

As well as protecting data and ensuring compliance, SAP Business AI is built to be reliable, and relevant to the daily needs of organizations.

SAP AI Research

In SAP Labs the teams have been working on ways to minimize the amount of time and IT personnel required to build applications that are ready to use. This process takes a long time and highly experienced developers need to consult technical documentation to ensure the resulting solution is functional, especially in a business context.

Among other AI research projects, SAP Labs teams have been using generative AI automatically generate SAP BTP applications based on the SAP cloud application programming model (CAP), so future developers will be able to use SAP Business AI to create a proposal for an SAP BTP application based on the desired capabilities, then refine it. This will reduce the IT workload for these projects to hours instead of months, adding the ultimate level of adaptability to an SAP system.

SAP AI Is Evolving: Don’t Fall Behind

With each month that passes SAP is finding new ways to use AI: from the level of the database right up to the executive level of organizations, embedding capabilities that integrate coherently in a business context and reduce the workload for employees.

By working with partners across all industries, and creating secure but open networks for sharing anonymized data, SAP is democratizing access to AI technology to introduce a change in the way that businesses run, and minimize their impact on the environment.

The propagation of AI technologies throughout all levels of commerce and industry, combined with cloud technology, has led to the creation of a new and extremely profitable sector in the SAP services market.

SAP technical and functional consultants are already in short supply, and with the accelerating rate of technical innovation the world will need a far greater supply of competent SAP professionals to implement and administer to these innovations.

SAP consultants need to redouble their personal efforts to understand cloud and AI technologies and to get experience and qualifications so that they can ensure there is no bottleneck in the pipeline for organizations to access to these technologies.

Those who can demonstrate that they can keep up with the pace of change and help others to do the same will be at the forefront of a new wave of IT services which will carry them through their own careers in full and well-compensated employment.

If you want advice on how to be part of the wave of change in the SAP services market, or you are looking for a new role in the SAP ecosystem, IgniteSAP’s team of dedicated SAP recruitment consultants are there for you, so reach out to IgniteSAP.