Cloud computing has become an integral part of the modern technology landscape, revolutionizing data services and the distribution of enterprise software applications. The concept of cloud computing, along with its broader principles of Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS), has transformed the IT industry and enabled businesses to leverage scalable and flexible infrastructure, platforms, and services.
While the core concept of cloud computing is well-established, there is ongoing discussion around the idea of a “modern cloud” and how providers in this space are expanding their platforms, offerings, services, and data architectures. One company at the forefront of introducing modern cloud functionalities is the German software giant SAP. They recently showcased their innovations in SAP Analytics Cloud at the SAP Sapphire user event in Orlando, Florida in May of this year. SAP Analytics Cloud is a cloud analytics solution that aims to provide integrated analytics and planning capabilities, simplifying analysis for customers and enabling data-driven decision-making.
An Overview of SAP
SAP, which stands for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing, is a German multinational software corporation specializing in enterprise software solutions. Founded in 1972, SAP has grown to become one of the world’s largest software companies, serving customers in various industries across the globe.
The company offers a comprehensive range of software products and services designed to help businesses streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and make data-driven decisions. SAP’s solutions cover multiple areas, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), human capital management (HCM), and more. Their software suite, known as SAP Business Suite, integrates these various modules to provide a holistic solution for businesses of all sizes.
Harnessing Natural Language Processing (NLP)
One of the key areas of focus for SAP is cloud analytics, particularly leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP). As the trend towards richer AI services across enterprise software platforms continues to grow, SAP has revealed their development of AI-driven analytics using NLP technology acquired from Askdata, a company they acquired in 2022. This technology is now integrated into SAP Analytics Cloud, empowering users to analyze data using natural language queries and extract valuable insights.
SAP has recently integrated Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology into their AI-driven analytics solution, SAP Analytics Cloud. This integration enhances the search experience by providing superior multilingual processing capabilities beyond traditional search-driven offerings, improving accuracy and consistency. Users can access this feature directly from the home page of SAP Analytics Cloud and visualize query results in tables. Leveraging Large Language Models (LLM) further enhances answer accuracy, ensuring a seamless user experience.
Looking ahead, SAP plans to introduce conversational and chatbot-like interaction capabilities in the third quarter of 2023. This enhancement will enable users to receive query results from certified knowledge material in addition to traditional databases, creating a comprehensive and dynamic information retrieval experience.
In addition to NLP, SAP has simplified the development, testing, and management of interconnected planning workflow tasks and processes. They have introduced new application programming interfaces, enhanced data imports, and additional predictive model quality indicators to streamline planning scenarios. These improvements aim to increase customer productivity and save time during planning processes.
By leveraging AI technologies such as NLP and predictive analytics, SAP continues to enhance its analytics offerings, providing users with advanced capabilities for data analysis, data-driven decision-making, and optimized planning workflows. With a commitment to ongoing innovation, SAP aims to empower businesses with powerful and user-friendly tools for efficient and effective data analysis and planning.
Planning the SAP HANA Cloud
SAP has recently incorporated Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology into its AI-driven analytics solution, SAP Analytics Cloud. This technology, acquired from Askdata in 2022, enables users to perform natural-language queries and obtain more accurate and consistent results compared to traditional search-driven offerings.
The integration of NLP technology enhances the search experience by providing better multilingual processing capabilities beyond English-language keywords. Users can access this feature from the home page of SAP Analytics Cloud and visualize query results in tables. The use of Large Language Models (LLM) further improves the accuracy of answers and ensures a more seamless user experience.
Looking ahead, SAP plans to introduce conversational and chatbot-like interaction capabilities in the third quarter of 2023. This enhancement will enable users to receive query results from certified knowledge material in addition to traditional databases, creating a more comprehensive and dynamic information retrieval experience.
In addition to NLP, SAP has also simplified the development, testing, and management of interconnected planning workflow tasks and processes. The company has introduced new application programming interfaces, enhanced data imports, and additional predictive model quality indicators to streamline planning scenarios. These improvements aim to increase customer productivity and save time during planning processes.
By leveraging AI technologies, such as NLP and predictive analytics, SAP continues to enhance its analytics offerings, providing users with advanced capabilities to analyze data, make data-driven decisions, and optimize planning workflows. With its ongoing commitment to innovation, SAP aims to empower businesses with powerful and user-friendly tools for efficient and effective data analysis and planning.
Fingers, toes, count ‘em up
In a newsreel that rivaled major tech events, SAP made numerous product announcements that would require both fingers and toes to count. Among the exciting unveilings was SAP’s combined solution strategy, enabling customers to deliver products as services, optimize resource mobilization for efficient delivery, and extend equipment life to reduce environmental impact. This comprehensive suite of solutions from SAP includes SAP Service Cloud, SAP S/4HANA Service, SAP Field Service Management, SAP Crowd Service, SAP Service and Asset Manager, and SAP Asset Performance Management. These solutions empower customers to adopt new business models, achieve operational precision, and enhance equipment performance.
Innovation took center stage with new integrations for end-to-end service processes across SAP’s service management suite. Notably, SAP introduced cutting-edge field service management capabilities such as mobile augmented reality for remote equipment diagnostics. This technology incorporates visual work instructions and leverages AI for predictive traffic route scheduling.
Furthermore, SAP demonstrated its commitment to monitoring customers’ equipment condition through IoT capabilities and automating predictive service processes.
“SAP solutions provide a comprehensive set of tools to meet and exceed customer expectations. With a single agent desktop offering a 360-degree view of customers, efficient ticketing and case management, and embedded knowledge management, SAP empowers AI-enabled service intelligence to automate ticket categorization, routing, and provide agents with automated recommendations for faster problem resolution,” stated SAP during a keynote speech in Orlando.
Overall Look & Feel
It’s worth noting that we’ve experienced a pandemic (did you notice?), and it has been a while since we attended an SAP Sapphire event. So, has SAP undergone significant changes? Is the event similar to previous editions? Are the news announcements aligned with our expectations? Has SAP transformed into a different company in some ways?
The simple answer is: SAP remains the same but has evolved even further.
As an event, SAP Sapphire continues to be massive (though it may seem to take longer to navigate the show floor for various reasons). The volume of news and announcements has reached unprecedented levels, which is only natural for the first post-pandemic In Real Life (IRL) iteration of the show. While not as technically focused as SAP TechEd, SAP Sapphire showcases the glitz and glamour befitting a customer-centric event. SAP HANA and the company’s cloud solutions took center stage with grandeur, accompanied by a range of enhancements and augmentations (some of which are outlined here). These developments align with our expectations for SAP’s annual gathering.
SAP’s collaboration with key platform partner Microsoft brought generative AI to its platform, reflecting the trend among enterprise software companies. Moreover, SAP has placed a renewed emphasis on sustainability, ticking almost all the boxes. SAP’s cloud-centric technology proposition has undergone significant modernization, positioning the company at the forefront of numerous current developments.
In conclusion, SAP’s endeavors to introduce modern cloud functionalities demonstrate their commitment to staying ahead of the curve in the cloud computing space. Through innovations in cloud analytics, such as NLP-powered capabilities, and comprehensive cloud solutions like SAP HANA Cloud, SAP is empowering businesses to simplify analysis, make data-driven decisions, and optimize their operations. With strategic partnerships and a focus on sustainability, SAP is truly embracing the potential of cloud computing and leading the way in several areas of current development. As the industry continues to evolve, SAP’s cloud vision and advancements are poised to shape the future of enterprise technology.