In early March, Forrester released its Wave report, Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning Solutions, Q1 2017, which evaluated and scored 23 applications to help businesses select the right predictive technology for their individual needs.

Predictive analytics and machine learning (PAML) are hot topics at the moment, and everyone is trying to jump on the train.

However, Forrester found that not all these PAML solutions are created equal.

Particularly for enterprise technology companies like SAP and Intel, our approach slightly differs from most in that we are seeking to help customers anticipate future opportunities and risks, to embed machine learning-driven features in business systems and applications, and to drive more autonomous technologies.

Leadership in Machine Learning

As I wrote in a recent blog, predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) represent a new breed of software that is able to learn without being explicitly programmed by analyzing and finding patterns and insights in big data that are beyond human computational abilities. These cutting-edge technologies have recently moved from the theoretic world of academia and research labs to the cutting edge of business, where they are powering innovations such as autonomous vehicles, precision farming, therapeutic drug discovery and advanced fraud detection for financial institutions.

According to Forrester’s report, SAP’s machine learning apps and technologies are positioned as a leader in the PAML market. The Forrester study found that SAP not only possesses the technical muscle to execute the data science modeling required to create effective predictive algorithms, it also has the real-world industry experience — as the largest enterprise application software company in the world — to bring machine learning solutions to market that solve real business problems and deliver significant business impact.

Intel has worked closely with SAP for over 12 years to co-engineer SAP HANA & in-memory solutions at the database and analytics layers. Machine learning is the next logical step for our long collaboration, as at its core SAP HANA has been optimized for Intel® Xeon® processors both as an in-house appliance and as a public-cloud-based configuration. The SAP HANA platform on Intel Xeon processor-based servers is well poised as the foundation for running SAP predictive analytics for machine learning.

Partners in Machine Learning and AI

As SAP’s development partner on the SAP HANA platform, Intel has also been a leader in the machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) community for years. Intel has over 90 specific algorithms to support artificial intelligence workflows on Intel Xeon, and is developing a new processor specifically targeted for machine learning computations ideal for the SAP HANA platform. Intel has also announced a partnership to work on AI initiatives with Google, including creating versions of Intel processors that are optimized for Google’s TensorFlow machine learning programs and neural networks. Intel’s Nervana is a new CPU architecture that is geared for success in the machine learning and deep learning aspects of AI.

In its report, Forrester predicts a 15 percent compound annual growth rate for the PAML market through 2021, and IDC estimates that the machine learning market will be worth $47 billion by 2020. Yogi Berra’s classic malapropism states, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” but any way you look at it, the PAML opportunity is enormous. Intel and SAP are proven leaders in machine learning and artificial intelligence, with solid foundations in both technical know-how and industry experience — the building blocks necessary to help ensure that PAML solutions deliver real business benefits.

It’s indeed tough to predict the future, but with technology and business leaders like SAP and Intel on your side, capturing tomorrow’s business advantage gets more real.

Follow Tim on Twitter @TimIntel.

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