SAP CTO Juergen Mueller kicked off SAP TechEd 2019 in Las Vegas this week with a rousing keynote, energizing his audience of developers, architects, and data scientists with the company’s bold vision for the intelligent enterprise. Punctuated with breakthrough demonstrations ─ on stage and live-streamed from experts on the show floor ─ the centerpiece of Mueller’s keynote was the SAP Business Technology Platform strategy.
“This is a strategy and culture change in terms of being more business-centric and outcome-oriented,” said Mueller. “We want to provide the fastest way to turn data into business value…we want you to have the most impact on your business.”
Integration, embedded data, and harmonization power intelligent enterprise
According to Mueller, the SAP Business Technology Platform unites SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA, analytics and business services into a cohesive “orchestra” of technologies. As an evolution of the company’s digital platform, it is designed to be unified and open, helping developers easily embed intelligence across integrated, modular applications – whether on-premise or cloud, SAP or non-SAP technology.
“We easily integrate multiple solutions in an end-to-end process and deliver a single user experience across the entire process for the end-user,” said Mueller. “We’re continuing our focus on harmonization, from data model and database to user experience…we are rethinking processes and increasing automation…[and] embedded analytics and machine learning make it easy for companies to become data driven.”
Mueller shared the latest announcements around the four pillars of intelligence that make up the SAP Business Technology platform: database and data management, analytics, intelligent technologies, and application development and integration. He and his guests took the audience through a series of exciting demonstrations, including intelligent robotic process automation for SAP S/4HANA, machine learning at enterprise scale, SAP Analytics Cloud embedded in SAP solutions, SAP Fiori 3, and combining SAP Qualtrics experience X-data with operational O-data from SAP ERP applications.
“O-data tells you what happens. X-data tells you why it happens,” he said. “With SAP, you can turn insights from X and O data into action to close your experience gap. This is how you become an experience company.”
Data alignment is crucial for intelligent enterprise
Acknowledging that data management is one of the biggest challenges for every company, Mueller announced SAP Graph, a virtual semantic data model. Jan Schaffner, SAP Operating CTO, showed how SAP Graph provided developers with a powerful way to quickly integrate existing and new applications across the SAP portfolio. Now in restricted beta version, SAP Graph can support developers using applications running on SAP or non-SAP technology.
“SAP Graph addresses the complexity of working with large numbers of APIs for applications across the intelligent suite,” said Mueller. “We’re offering a unified API layer which can be used by any application.”
Extending innovation on SAP
As companies move to SAP S/4HANA and the intelligent suite, they need to easily extend SAP on-premise and cloud applications. This is where the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory and SAP Cloud SDK took center stage. Rui Nogueira of SAP demonstrated how developers can build extensions quickly using the Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP).
Integrated analytics, embedded machine learning for seamless insights to action
Mueller received some of the loudest audience applause of the morning when he announced the upcoming release of SAP Analytics Cloud, which will be embedded in SAP S/4HANA Cloud later this year. His point was that integrated analytics across enterprise applications company-wide will allow customers to make more data-driven decisions.
The positive reaction continued as he announced the release of SAP Data Intelligence, a tool designed to speed up machine learning development so companies can quickly generate business value from combined business data.
“With SAP Data Intelligence, you can manage the end-to-end life cycle management of your machine learning project,” he said. “[It] provides data management capabilities in an open source environment for data scientists to confidently develop, deploy, and operate machine learning models at enterprise scale.”
Valuable partnerships with hyperscalers
Throughout his keynote, Mueller reinforced SAP’s commitment to openness and flexibility, notably showing how the company’s partnerships with hyperscalers like Microsoft delivered the best of both worlds: the scalability and flexibility of hyperscalers plus SAP’s business-centric content and services. In a major nod towards customers with multi-cloud strategies, Mueller noted that SAP customers can mix and match services from the hyperscalers in applications built on the SAP Business Technology Platform.
SAP closes experience gap
Mueller explained that while 80 percent of CEOs believe they deliver a superior customer experience, just 8 percent of customers agree. He invited John Thimsen, CTO of SAP Qualtrics, on stage to demonstrate how SAP helps companies brings together O-data from SAP ERP applications with X-data from SAP Qualtrics to close the experience gap.
Next up: SAP TechEd Barcelona
While Mueller laid out SAP’s intelligent enterprise strategy for the crowd in Las Vegas, he also looked ahead to SAP TechEd Barcelona, hinting at upcoming integration and other news around the SAP Business Technology Platform. Stay tuned for more…
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This blog also appeared on SAP News Center