Demystifying Joule – SAP´s New Generative AI Assistant
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the introduction of Joule in September 2023 marks a significant milestone. Joule is not just another AI tool; it’s a transformative natural-language, generative AI copilot that promises to revolutionize the way businesses run.
In this blog, we will try to simplify what exactly is Joule, and how does it work? We’ll break down Joule’s capabilities and explain how it is set to change the game for businesses of all sizes.
The blog will cover:
- Some Prerequisite terms to better understand Joule, for example Generative AI, AI Copilot etc.
- What is Joule?
- How will customers use Joule?
- Is Joule the successor of SAP Conversational AI?
- When is Joule available in SAP SuccessFactors, SAP S/4HANA, SAP BTP and other SAP Solutions?
- How to stay updated on Joule?
Anyone who wants to learn the basics about Joule.
Let’s first have a quick glimpse on Joule
Imagine having a trusted AI companion by your side, ready to assist and enhance your daily operations using the power of natural language and generative capabilities across entire SAP’s cloud portfolio – That’s Joule. It’s a natural-language, generative AI copilot.
Below summarizes major points about Joule.
Now, let’s go in-depth on each point. Before doing that, it might be a good idea to quickly break down few important terminologies to understand Joule better..
What is Generative AI?
Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence(AI) that can create new things, like artwork, music, or even realistic images, without being explicitly told what to create.
Generative AI can create new content by learning patterns from existing data. It’s like having a creative machine that can imagine and generate new things, such as art, music, or text, without directly copying from the data it has seen.
Imagine you have a Generative AI program that can draw different types of animals. You show it lots of pictures of cats, dogs, and birds. Now, with this knowledge, the program can draw a completely new animal, like a “cat-dog-bird” combination.
It doesn’t copy any existing image; instead, it uses its understanding of what makes cats, dogs, and birds unique to create something entirely new.
To know more about Generative AI and how it’s different from Regular AI, please refer to my blog Generative AI Vs Regular AI — Let’s Hear a Story to Understand This
If you are looking for a super simple explanation of AI, Ml and Generative AI, refer to my blog How I Explained AI, Machine Learning and Generative AI to My 5 Year-old Kid
What is AI Copilot?
Just as a copilot assists a pilot in flying an airplane, an AI copilot acts as a smart assistant that helps you in various tasks.
AI Copilot is a tool that uses artificial intelligence to understand what you need and provides suggestions or support, making your work easier and more efficient.
How does AI Copilot work?
Technically, AI Copilot is a conversational interface that uses large language models (LLMs) to support users in various tasks and decision-making processes.
By leveraging LLMs, AI copilots possess the capability to understand, analyze, and process vast amounts of data.
Let’s break it down with a simple example. Imagine you’re writing a report on your computer. An AI copilot could be a tool that understands what you’re writing and suggests better words or phrases, corrects your spelling and grammar, or even helps you find relevant information to include in your report.
In a nutshell, an AI copilot acts to simplify complex tasks and provide valuable guidance and support, ultimately elevating the user experience and driving businesses toward their goals effectively and efficiently.
Some AI Copilots in Market
Apart from Joule, some other example of AI Copilots are: Microsoft Copilot, an intelligent AI-driven chat tool that can have human-like conversations OR GitHub Copilot designed to help developers write code more efficiently and effectively.
What is Data contextualization?
Data contextualization is the process of adding related information to data to make it more actionable. This can mean including background information, patterns, trends, outliers, and more to help a reader make sense of what the data is really saying.
Now, let’s come back to the main topic of this blog – Joule!
What is Joule?
Imagine having a trusted AI companion by your side, ready to assist and enhance your daily operations using the power of natural language and generative capabilities across entire SAP’s cloud portfolio – That’s Joule.
- An advanced, generative AI copilot
- embedded throughout SAP’s cloud enterprise portfolio
- To deliver proactive and contextualized insights from across the breadth and depth of SAP’s applications and third-party sources
Joule is designed to helps people get work done faster and drive better business outcomes in a secure, compliant way.
How will customers use Joule?
Joule works by quickly sorting through and contextualizing data from multiple systems to surface smarter insights.
Joule will be embedded into SAP applications from HR to finance, supply chain, procurement and customer experience, as well as into SAP Business Technology Platform. It will be pretrained with SAP business data and business processes.
Users may simply ask a question or frame a problem in plain language and receive intelligent answers drawn from the wealth of business data across the SAP portfolio and third-party sources, retaining context.
Imagine, for example, a manufacturer asking Joule for help understanding sales performance better. Joule can identify underperforming regions, link to other data sets that reveal a supply chain issue, and automatically connect to the supply chain system to offer potential fixes for the manufacturer’s review. Or in HR it may help write unbiased job descriptions and generate relevant interview questions.
Is Joule the successor of SAP Conversational AI?
This was the first query I got when I heard the announcement of Joule.
SAP Conversational AI was a platform for custom chatbot creation and customers had to build their own content.
SAP Conversational AI is already sunset. Starting January 2023, SAP Conversational AI, has been set to maintenance mode. There is no direct successor of SAP Conversational AI.
Joule is not a replacement or successor for SAP Conversational AI. Joule is directly embedded into SAP applications, providing value right out of the box.
Below image summarizes the difference between SAP Conversational AI and Joule.
Some Important Facts about Joule
Here are some of the important facts about Joule:
Integration with SAP applications
Joule provides a conversational user interface that is integrated with SAP applications. It is a rich web client that renders assistant responses using SAP Fiori compliant UI controls.
Joule provides an Out-of-the-box integration with SAP backend systems. It is compliant with AI ethics, GDPR, and privacy controls while maintaining SOC-II compliance.
Joule gets automatically updated whenever the capabilities are added or changed.
Joule in SAP SuccessFactors HXM
Starting from the 2H 2023 release, Joule is available in SAP SuccessFactors .
Users of SAP SuccessFactors now can perform HR tasks in SAP’s new generative AI assistant Joule. For example, employees will be able to get answers to questions and complete HR-related tasks, such as approving or rejecting time-off requests; changing names, locations or personal pronouns; and more.
More functionalities will be available in early 2024, such as clocking in and out, viewing pay statements and writing unbiased job descriptions.
You may also check the blog Say hello to Joule – Your Digital Assistant for SuccessFactors and other SAP Cloud products by Erik Ebert
Joule in SAP Business Application Studio
Joule is incorporated in SAP Business Application Studio, with some limitations.
Joule in other SAP Solutions
Joule is integrated with SAP Start as well. It will be available with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition early 2024. Afterwards it will be available in SAP Customer Experience and SAP Ariba solutions along with SAP BTP as well.
How to stay updated on Joule?
Here are some of the resources which can help you get updated on Joule:
Check this openSAP course Generative AI at SAP to learn about the value of different types of artificial intelligence (AI), including generative AI, and explore how to leverage AI capabilities within your SAP products and solutions.
Other blogs from me, you might be interested:
- Explaining SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) to a Beginner
- Learning Path for SAP BTP – Customized for Developer, Architect, Consultant and Administrator
- A Beginner’s Guide to Understand Major Solutions, Services and Platforms in SAP Ecosystem
- Demystifying SAP Build for Beginners
- Demystifying DevOps with SAP BTP: Part 1 – What is DevOps?
- SAP BTP Environments – Cloud Foundry Vs ABAP Vs Kyma
If you have any queries, let me know in comment or get in touch with me at LinkedIn!