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Author's profile photo Nora von Thenen

Meet SAP’s AI Portfolio and What It Can Do For You

When I was 8 years old, my dad and I built a robot out of wood. Unfortunately, we couldn’t agree on a suitable head for the robot. My dad wanted to just put an empty wooden box as a head. I on the other hand wanted my robot to be smart. I wanted it to talk to me and play with me. Our project came to an end. But I didn’t give up. I used an empty cereal box and put my Walkman inside for some ‘interaction.’ Very unsatisfying…  

Years later at university I developed my first neural network, and I was amazed! My love for AI was reignited. Another decade later I found myself at SAP where I now get to be a Developer Advocate for the Artificial Intelligence portfolio. I am so excited to share with you all the possibilities AI has to offer for your applications and your business! I hope you learn to love it as much as I do. 

Without further ado let’s meet SAP’s AI portfolio: 


SAP’s AI Technology Portfolio

SAP AI Business Services 

SAP AI Business Services are reusable services with underlying machine learning models that tackle some of the most common business problems. The models are pretrained and/or customizable, which means you can use them as they are, but you can also retrain them with your own data. You can access the services either through the RESTful APIs (Swagger UI – example) or via a Python SDK. The services are currently being migrated to SAP AI Core (SAP’s AI runtime – I will explain it further down) which is why you can also already access some services via AI API and SAP AI Launchpad. There are currently six SAP AI Business Services with one to be released in April (tentative): 

The Business Entity Recognition service (BER) can detect specific entities in your unstructured text. Within the service you will find four machine learning models, each specialized in identifying different entities. These span from finding the address, invoice header or general terms in a text. Using this service will help you to speed up the process of manually looking through your text data from, for example, emails or service tickets. BER is a customizable service, which means you can optimize it for your own text data. 

Example use case business entity recognition 

With the Data Attribute Recommendation service (DAR), you can classify your data records and predict missing data points. DAR is also a customizable service using business blueprints, which is why the Invoice Object Recommendation service is now available as a business blueprint in DAR. Check this blog post to find out more about business blueprints and all the benefits that come with combining the two services. 

The Invoice Object Recommendation service will soon be deprecated as it was integrated into Data Attribute Recommendation. 

The Document Information Extraction service (DOX) uses documents as an input and extracts the text into structured data. By combining OCR (Optical Character Recognition) with post processing of the extracted text and data enrichment, DOX can significantly reduce the time needed to process incoming documents. While Business Entity Recognition looks specifically for certain entities in text, DOX extracts specific information from a file including their position as coordinates in the given document. Business Entity Recognition is already used in DOX for certain use cases. 

Service Ticket Intelligence classifies incoming service requests and directs the requests to the right agent, while also recommending solutions to the agent based on historical data. Service Ticket Intelligence can help you to tackle huge amount of messages faster and reduce the cost of customer service. 

The Document Classification (DC) service categorizes your documents (for example .pdf files). You can use the pre-trained model which classifies into the classes invoice, payment advice or purchase order or you can train a custom model with your own classes. DC will be integrated into Document Information Extraction in Q3 2022 (tentative). 

With the Personalized Recommendation service (PR) you can give users recommendations based on their browsing history and your item descriptions. You need to train a model for each of your websites. The trained model can then provide similar-item recommendations and return smart-search results. The tentative release date of PR is currently April 18th. 

 

Personalized Recommendation we all know from Online Shops 

SAP AI Core 

SAP AI Core is not only the (soon-to-be) underlying runtime of the SAP AI Business Services but also has a lot of functionalities of its own. You can use it to train your own models or deploy already trained models. It comes with the AI API which is a standardized interface to access all your models on SAP AI Core. It is a service on SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry environment. You can realize any machine learning use case on SAP AI Core you’d like by using open-source frameworks. 

SAP AI Launchpad 

SAP AI Launchpad is the platform to manage all the magic. The SAP AI Launchpad is a multitenant SaaS in SAP BTP (again within the Cloud Foundry environment). You can use it to manage your AI use cases across multiple instances of AI runtimes. It is your admin app! 

Screenshot of SAP AI Launchpad (UI) 

SAP HANA PAL 

SAP HANA Predictive Analysis Library (PAL) is a collection of several machine learning algorithms that you can access in HANA, ranging from time series analysis to classification or regression algorithms. If your data is already in SAP HANA and SAP HANA PAL offers an algorithm to solve your machine learning case, then it is an easy to implement and powerful way to do machine learning at SAP! 

SAP Conversational AI 

SAP Conversational AI is our chatbot solution! For news, videos and more information on the topic follow my wonderful colleague Daniel Wroblewski. 

SAP Data Intelligence 

SAP Data Intelligence (DI) is for data integration and data management. While DI still has some machine learning functionalities, it is not suitable for big AI use cases that require a lot of CPU/GPU power. Nevertheless, DI and SAP AI Core can complement each other. 

Closing 

Some of you might wonder what happened to SAP Leonardo. Well as cool as some of the services were, SAP’s strength lies in our knowledge of business use cases! With our new portfolio we still offer you a way to do almost everything you could do with Leonardo but with a lot more possibilities, transparency, and flexibility. Additionally, we offer the SAP AI Business Services which are especially tailored to your business problems! 

I hope I was able to clarify what’s behind AI at SAP and get you hooked on our AI portfolio. In the coming months I will take a closer look at each of the SAP AI Business Services, SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad. I will show you how to use them, what’s behind the scenes and share some cool and creative use cases with you! If you want to learn more about AI at SAP subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow me here and on social media! If you have any questions, write it in the comments or reach out to me! 

 

 

Helpful links: 

SAP Help Page – Artificial Intelligence

SAP Community – AI Business Services

Blog Post on SAP AI Business Services Tutorials 

SAP Help Page – SAP AI Core

SAP Help Page – HANA PAL 

 

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      7 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Jay Xiong
      Jay Xiong

      Thanks for the blog Nora.  My team engages with customers to help them better adopt SAP's AI products. We will also create content, build examples based on use cases using our AI products.  Look forward to staying connected on this topic and developing future collaborations.

      Author's profile photo Daniel Wroblewski
      Daniel Wroblewski

      Very helpful blog post to put everything into perspective ... sorry about your robot, but it seems to have all worked out in the end.

      Author's profile photo Nora von Thenen
      Nora von Thenen
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks 😀 let's see maybe I'll finish it with my son one day!

      Author's profile photo Paul PINARD
      Paul PINARD

      Great blog post Nora, thanks for putting the spotlight on AI at SAP! Stay tuned for more in April... 🙂

      Author's profile photo Serdar Simsekler
      Serdar Simsekler

      Hi Nora

      Thanks for this helpful blog for introducing the strategy around AI services. Can I ask a bit more about the overlap between SAP AI Core and SAP Data Intelligence? So far, my perception was SAP DI was positioned to be the one-stop shop for data management including ML use cases as well. It was even told to be the enhanced combination; hence, the successor, of both SAP Data Hub and SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation. I can see in your blog that SAP AI Core includes similar capabilities SAP Data Intelligence offers, e.g., Jupyter notebooks, consuming SAP HANA PAL/APL, operationalizing ML models, etc.

      Will the use cases SAP Data Intelligence and SAP AI Core address be distinctive? I can see you say SAP Data Intelligence ML capabilities may not be enough for resource-hungry ML scenarios. Is this the only criterion?

      Most importantly, will SAP Data Intelligence ML capabilities be eventually downgraded to interoperability with SAP AI Core in the medium-to-long term? Is SAP DI already using AI Core; or, do they have common parts in the foundation. If not, is this the plan?

      Kind Regards

      Serdar

      Author's profile photo Nora von Thenen
      Nora von Thenen
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Serdar!

      Thank you so much for your great questions! Of course every use case is different and it always depends on your landscape, where your data is and what the ML model will be like. But generally, yes: the solution for custom (open source) ML projects at SAP especially when they are resource-hungry is AI Core! SAP AI Core has capabilities which are important for productive ML projects. Such as: CI/CD, GitOps principles, GPU support, multi-step batch jobs, cost-efficient serving. Also check out this blog post for more information.

      After talking to PM I cannot give any statement on medium-to-long term developments for SAP Data Intelligence. Please check the Road Map Explorer for updates.

      SAP Data Intelligence and SAP AI Core do not have any common parts. They are two different products that can complement each other though. SAP DI concentrates on data orchestration whereas SAP AI Core is made for AI projects. However the SAP AI Business Services partially run on AI Core with more to be migrated.

      I hope this helps! Feel free to reach out anytime!

      Author's profile photo Sergiu Iatco
      Sergiu Iatco

      Now I look at Titanic and MNIST models again and again in different environments after I used to play with Kaggle. Where are the SAP projects and how can I join one? How many work with SAP AI Core?