The ‘Intelligent Cloud’ is an attempt by SAP to develop an AI-based solution for SAP S/4 Hana Cloud. Released in the SAP S/4 Hana Cloud 1705 update, this Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) add-on for implementing automated processing through an ERP is a bold new step towards improving SAP S/4 Hana Cloud. Bundled with this release is SAP Co-Pilot, an AI system that can be integrated with chat to offer automated support to customers by offering in-context chat that utilizes SAP’s uniquely interlinked system. It’s like giving SAP a voice that the average consumer can interact with and bodes well for the future of companies that invest in SAP for their ERP solutions.
Machine Learning and AI Development
In addition to this release, SAP has also announced its intention of expanding Leonardo, its Internet-of-Things solution, to use machine learning in order to better serve its customers. SAP intends to release its own machine learning platform dubbed SAP Machine Learning Foundation, while at the same time implementing machine learning on its platforms to aid customers who want access to IoT tools right now. SAP also has its eyes on developing blockchain technology and big data to work alongside its recruiting tools for businesses that will enhance SAP-based companies, allowing them to spot and nurture talent.
Machine Learning Updates Across the Board
While these announcements on their own are quite compelling, SAP also intends to release machine learning updates for a wide array of already-supported software. These include:
- Manufacturing Solutions incorporating End-to-End processing to allow for exposure of the manufacturing process to other previously sequestered areas such as finance, supply management and inventory systems
- SAP Project APP for mobile allowing push notification feedback and an area designed for collaboration with other team members
- S/4 Hana Cloud Finance allowing for SAP digital payments, for-credit integration as well as statutory financial consolidation across disparate entries
- Integrations with third-party systems allowing for an extension of the sales-order capability
In addition to these machine learning upgrades, there are also upgrades for the analytical system. These include:
- SAP Digital Boardroom which enables collaboration across geographically separated units in order to collate and compare data across a wide range of industries.
- Improvements in SAP Analytics Cloud including additions to R scripting, smart discovery, data preparation functions, and a smart insight that automatically proposes visualizations, among other things.
- SAP Lumira 2.0 building bridges between the SAP business users and IT users for better collaboration.
- SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) with a brand new interface.
- SAP Predictive Analytics offering a much more streamlined platform for data preparation alongside feature engineering.
SAP announced a partnership between SAP Ariba and Microsoft as part of a push to deliver applications that are developed with the future in mind, seeking to make procurement a much easier practice within the digital sphere. The aim is to take Leonardo and Watson and develop a system based around those new technologies to completely revolutionize supply chain management, espousing the idea that spending creates value across the entire length of the business. Additionally, insights can be tied into these projects to generate insights based on data from procurement to produce a more efficient system.
AI and Analytics in Motion
SAP’s advances show their dedication to providing not only the most cutting-edge solutions to its clients, but the level of development it puts into these products to ensure that they can be utilized right out of the box. In combination, these add-ons and upgrades can help a SAP S/4 Hana install that uses every element of AI available to better learn how to perform its automatable tasks and thereby give operators more time to deal with the tasks that the AI can’t handle.