AI Technology

SAP AI – “Built for Business”

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Key Takeaways

⇨ In the ever-evolving world of technology, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking center stage and the potential of generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) are fueling corporate dialogues.

⇨ While the journey towards AI integration is unique for every customer, the industry is just beginning to scratch the surface of generative AI.

⇨ SAP's AI strategy revolves around embedding AI at the core of its services, supporting customers in transforming into intelligent, sustainable enterprises.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking center stage. The potential of generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) are fueling corporate dialogues and making headlines. However, as exciting as these cutting-edge technologies may be, translating these groundbreaking technologies into tangible business benefits poses a considerable challenge for organizations which are primarily due to the gaps in organizations in terms of harnessing these AI capabilities to their full potential.

While the journey towards AI integration is unique for every customer, the industry is just beginning to scratch the surface of generative AI.

SAP has developed a strong AI strategy that stands on three key pillars: built-in, relevant, and responsible AI, with an overarching message that their AI is “built for business”. This strategy seeks to distinguish SAP in a market filled with general-purpose AI solutions by focusing on the specific needs of businesses and their processes. Natalie Patterson, Director of AI Marketing at SAP explains that these tenets embody the company’s unique positioning in the AI marketplace. By “built-in,” they mean that AI is integrated into the SAP applications that power daily business processes for customers across sectors. “Relevant” refers to the use of industry-specific expertise and tailored customer data to make AI insights applicable to the business context. Lastly, “responsible” points to SAP’s commitment to ethical AI, with rigorous processes to ensure fair and unbiased AI applications.

SAP’s strategy revolves around embedding AI at the core of its services, supporting customers in transforming into intelligent, sustainable enterprises. With SAP’s AI offerings, customers can infuse transformative intelligence into every facet of their business. This transformation is achieved via pre-integrated AI capabilities within SAP’s suite of business applications for processes such as lead-to-cash, design-to-operate, recruit-to-retire, and source-to-pay.

As Patterson says, “Our AI is trained on over 50 years of industry insights, business process expertise, and tailored to our customers’ data. And because it is integrated within the application, such as SAP Ariba or SAP S/4HANA Cloud, it already contains the vast data pool that customers have within their applications. Combining this with artificial intelligence and our accumulated insights inside the business applications is where the true transformative potential lies.”

Furthermore, SAP’s Business Technology Platform allows customers to tailor AI functionalities to their unique needs, promoting adaptive innovation. Ensuring trust and reliability, SAP’s AI solutions are underpinned by strict ethical policies and data privacy standards, facilitating responsible AI use with complete transparency and compliance.

Built-in AI: SAP believes that AI should be part of the core fabric of business processes, serving various roles in finance, procurement, HR, and more. The built-in AI offered by SAP is intended to streamline operations and offer meaningful, data-driven insights without necessitating a deep understanding of machine learning or data science from the users. This philosophy ensures that AI is not an isolated feature, but rather an integrated component of business operations, enhancing the functionality of SAP’s applications.

Relevant and rich data foundation: Utilizing over 50 years of industry expertise and a wealth of business data, SAP’s AI is designed to deliver relevant, personalized insights. This is achieved by combining the wide range of data already contained within customers’ SAP applications with advanced AI techniques. The result is a system that can provide precise, context-sensitive information to the user, making their data more actionable and insightful.

Responsible approach to AI: SAP is committed to ensuring that their AI is ethical and responsible. SAP has set up ethics committees and instituted rigorous checks to ensure the unbiased operation of their AI models. SAP is working towards AI that is not just effective, but also transparent, ethical, and socially responsible.

Some of SAP AI capabilities are explained below.

Empowering Human Capital Management

SAP’s focus is on leveraging AI technologies to support organizations in attracting, retaining, and developing their workforce. Through the integration of generative AI capabilities in SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting, hiring managers gain the ability to create compelling and precise job descriptions that effectively capture the desired skills and qualities for each role. The seamless integration with Microsoft 365 Copilot in Word further enhances the refinement and publishing process.

Generative AI within SAP SuccessFactors enables tailored interview questions based on job descriptions and candidates’ resumes, saves time and also improves interview quality, resulting in a more effective hiring process. SAP has also introduced a talent intelligence hub in SAP SuccessFactors software which utilizes individuals’ profiles, including their skills, competencies, capabilities, interests, work styles, and learning preferences, to generate personalized recommendations. These recommendations facilitate employee development and growth with suitable learning opportunities, appropriate roles, mentoring programs, and connections with peers. Organizations also gain a clearer understanding of their workforce’s skill sets, enabling them to enhance internal mobility, retention, and overall agility.

Building Supply Chain Resilience

In supply chain management, SAP uses AI to anticipate, prepare for, and address rapidly changing demands. By leveraging new generative AI features in SAP Transportation Management, automotive and manufacturing companies can automate the processing of large volumes of delivery notes received in various formats each day. This automation eliminates data entry errors and requires no curated training data, making it readily accessible. Moreover, SAP Extended Warehouse Management introduces an intelligent slotting capability empowered by AI. This feature suggests optimal strategies for organizing, stocking, and replenishing warehouses based on product characteristics, demand, and forecasts. It maximizes warehouse space utilization and enhances overall efficiency in warehouse management.

Efficient and Compliant Procurement

SAP integrates AI in procurement to help users manage costs and ensure compliance across different markets. The intelligent invoice conversion capability in SAP Business Network simplifies the onboarding of new suppliers by automatically extracting and processing relevant information from supplier invoices. Ongoing feedback improves the accuracy of data mapping over time, expediting invoice processing and enhancing overall accuracy. AI also enhances the employee purchase experience in SAP Ariba Buying through personalized recommendations. Leveraging data such as employees’ roles, the guided buying capability suggests products and services based on peer preferences and the company catalog. This improves the purchasing experience and reduces rogue spending.

Transforming Finance Operations

SAP is revolutionizing finance operations by AI powered insights, recommendations, and automation. The intelligent collections feature in SAP S/4HANA Cloud helps collection specialists forecast the risk of late payments and prioritize customer follow-ups accordingly. This streamlines the task, simplifies risk management, and aids corporate treasury in managing liquidity and capital levels.

Improving Employee and Customer Experience

For better employee and customer experiences, SAP Digital Assistant offers a unified natural language interface for SAP solutions. The addition of generative AI capabilities tailors assistance based on user context, boosting productivity for both new and experienced users. SAP Digital Assistant also expands its capabilities to provide proactive and context-specific assistance within applications, starting with SAP Customer Experience solutions. With the new SAP Digital Assistant for customer experience, sales and support teams gain comprehensive insights, create recommendations, and automatically generate personalized content to enhance customer experiences.

SAP sees significant changes in the field of generative AI and anticipates that these changes will bring about positive transformations in the business world. They also foresee a greater role for AI within their ecosystem, leveraging synergies between AI and other technologies to further improve and optimize business processes.

Regarding the current progress of their clientele on the AI path, SAP recognizes the distinct journey every business undertakes. The technology, being nascent, sees varying levels of adoption and implementation in organizations. SAP is committed to supporting and guiding its clients on this path, providing built-in AI utilities and features to smooth the transition and maximize their return on AI investments.

SAP advises businesses to start exploring AI within their existing applications and business processes. They recommend reaching out to their SAP teams to learn about enabling different AI scenarios and functionalities. As businesses embark on this journey, they should remember that AI is a tool to streamline processes, deliver personalized insights, and drive meaningful change. The key is to start experimenting and learning, thus paving the way for a data-driven, AI-powered future.

What this means for SAPinsiders?

SAP’s artificial intelligence (AI) offers several transformative capabilities to their customer base. Here are potential ways SAP’s AI capabilities could help SAPinsiders:

Process Automation: SAP’s AI-driven solutions are designed to integrate applications, identify procedural inadequacies, and automate processes spanning diverse corporate infrastructures. With AI, repetitive and time-consuming tasks can be automated, freeing up employees to focus on more complex, strategic tasks. This results in increased efficiency, lower operational costs, and improved employee satisfaction due to reduced monotonous tasks.

Enhanced Customer Experiences: Utilizing AI and machine learning-based guided features, companies can concentrate on the most promising opportunities and enhance their customer interactions. These intelligent functionalities provide companies with insightful machine learning-derived data to navigate the sales process effectively. SAP AI can be leveraged to create personalized customer experiences. Through machine learning and data analysis, businesses can understand customer behavior better, anticipate customer needs, and provide personalized recommendations and support, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Predictive Maintenance: For companies with significant investments in physical infrastructure or equipment, SAP AI can predict when maintenance is needed, reducing unexpected downtime. This leads to optimized operational efficiency, extended equipment lifespan, and reduced maintenance costs. AI powered predictive maintenance enables companies to foresee potential malfunctions and organize necessary maintenance promptly and accurately. It equips businesses with critical data that allows them to extract maximum performance from their invaluable resources, while maintaining the assurance that they’re not overstraining them to the point of a high-cost failure.

Risk Management: SAP AI can help companies with risk assessment by identifying patterns and anomalies in large datasets that may indicate fraudulent activity or other risks. This advanced AI tool sifts through vast volumes of data to spot potential red flags, drawing on its machine learning capabilities to learn from historical trends and continually improve its detection abilities. This provides businesses with a robust and proactive approach to risk management, ensuring that potential hazards can be identified and addressed promptly, thereby safeguarding the company’s assets and reputation.

Enhanced Decision-Making: SAP AI enables businesses to draw actionable insights from their data. Using advanced machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics, companies can make more informed business decisions, helping them anticipate market trends and customer needs with greater precision.

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