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SAPPHIRE NOW 2018 was nothing short of a thrill ride – and the main concept driving it was that of the intelligent enterprise. From the keynotes and breakout sessions, to the demo floor, one of the key takeaways was that businesses must consider how they can more efficiently connect their processes and technologies to achieve their desired business outcomes faster and build a competitive advantage to become a “best run” business.

The evolution of the enterprise into a “best run” model is similar to the evolution of the automobile.  When the car was first invented, the sole requirement was that you could drive it from point A to Point B. However, today’s auto consumers have broader expectations, like built-in navigation systems, entertainment systems and even proactive security like distance control and brake assistance.  The wants and needs of a best run business are no different in this regard, which is why SAP’s Next-Generation Support is optimizing the support experience for its customers as they embark on their intelligent enterprise journey.

A Drag Race Against Incidents

Even the most cautious of drivers can fall victim to the unexpected.  Regardless of driving ability, mechanical failures in a car can have devastating consequences.  Thankfully, today’s automakers are becoming increasingly efficient at discovering issues in a specific car model based on customer feedback, and if need be, conduct an immediate recall before the problem is experienced more broadly.

Through an expanding list of predictive capabilities, Next-Generation Support offers the same incident prevention capabilities to enterprises.  SAP support customers currently have a wide selection of real-time and self-guided support channels at their disposal: Expert ChatSchedule an ExpertKnowledge Base Articles (KBAs) and Guided Answers to name a few.  In addition to the resources within SAP, Next-Generation Support is also tapping into the knowledge of external but certified experts through a pilot program called Ask an Expert Peer.  These support channels drastically cut down on time-to-resolution for our customers and more importantly, provide us with the data to further streamline support for the future.

The addition of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) provides the capability to quickly cross-compare past incidents for similarities.  For example, incident solution matching first analyzes specific incidents as they are logged and after matching them with past successful solutions, recommends the best resolution for the incident at hand.  Similarly, SAP is also working towards integrating incident clustering into the support experience.  This will funnel similar support requests to the same support specialist to allow the SAP expert to focus in on quickly and efficiently solving a specific problem.

From Point A to Point B and Everything In Between

Car models have become increasingly diverse and tailored to unique wants and needs of the customer, and as such, the selection process has become less about buying a car and more about buying a driving experience.  Given the unique needs of the intelligent enterprise, the same goes for enterprise solutions. Services and support are integral in making or breaking the “experience” that businesses choose to implement.

As mentioned in my last post, bringing support to the customer through built-in services is a key factor in optimizing the enterprise support experience.  For example, SAP Leonardo machine learning is already working in the background of the SAP CoPilot chat functionality. This allows for contextual support for S/4HANA Cloud customers that considers the specific system, components and user activity. In the future, SAP plans to expand this function across the wider SAP solution portfolio.  Through this resource, customers can access support without needing to leave their solution environment.  And with the growing capabilities of automatic translation, support documentation can quickly be translated into the user’s preferred language, without needing to open another window.

Beyond built-in support, vendors must also be mindful that intelligent enterprises are constantly bouncing between tasks, indicating that a modern support experience should become omni-channel.  Given the socially-connected world that we live in, SAP is continuing to integrate the Next-Generation Support experience across various social channels such as Twitter and WhatsApp.  Timely solution updates and tips are proactively pushed out through these channels to alert customers of various ways they can optimize processes.  And, as social media becomes further engrained in the support experience, this medium will continue to become a growing resource for SAP support customers.

After many exciting conversations with customers during SAPPHIRE NOW, it’s clear that they are revving their engines in pursuit of becoming “best run” businesses.  And with Next-Generation Support for the intelligent enterprise, SAP is buckled up and ready to serve as a copilot along the way.

Highlights from SAPPHIRE NOW 2018, including more information on the innovation to come for Next-Generation Support, can be found here.

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