It has been just over a year since ChatGPT’s free version was released, putting artificial intelligence (AI) within the reach of everybody. However, while its launch was undoubtedly a turning point, the technology behind it was not new, but rather had been in development for decades. In reality, many business management systems—including SAP—already contain AI tools to improve productivity and competitiveness.
However, using them continues to raise questions and many companies are still unaware of their full potential. In this context, Thomas Nørmark and Adil Mohammad, NTT DATA’s AI leaders, participated in a recent episode of our SAP Trends podcast to comment on the latest advances in this field. This article gives a summary of the episode, which explores the possibilities of artificial intelligence and its integration into SAP solutions.
To listen to the podcast, click here.
The term ‘artificial intelligence’ describes a set of machines, systems and algorithmic models that imitate human reasoning and are capable of large-scale learning and action. AI systems are trained using large volumes of data, based on which they make decisions, solve problems or generate content.
These new artificial intelligence solutions allow for process to be automated, new products and services to be generated, and even predictions that help in decision-making to be made. Their potential to significantly improve performance means companies can no longer ignore the competitive advantage that they offer. And while there’s no doubt that the rise of AI also comes with many challenges, undergoing a complex transformation process is not necessary in order for companies to take advantage of it. Business solutions providers are rapidly incorporating this technology into their platforms, and some suppliers—SAP included—already offer revolutionary products in this field.
As the market leader in business management solutions, SAP is uniquely positioned to excel in the world of artificial intelligence. As part of a recent change in strategy, SAP has started to collaborate with Microsoft, Google, IBM and other tech giants instead of trying to compete on its own. As a result, it has launched a new concept: SAP Business AI, which is focused on organically integrating AI into its applications.
As mentioned above, large volumes of data are needed to train artificial intelligence models. The more information an algorithm receives, the more efficient it will be. SAP, which has control over its application models, also has access to enormous volumes of user data. It has obtained the consent of more than 20,000 SAP user companies to use this information to train algorithms that will be integrated into its applications.
For example, S/4HANA already contains pre-trained workflows incorporating artificial intelligence in each of its modules, from finance and supply to marketing or even human resources. Furthermore, SAP Business Technology Platform has its own AI module, with tools allowing for the creation and building of new models based on companies’ specific needs. However, even though these are the most advanced business tools available at this time, SAP is still in its beginnings in the field of artificial intelligence. Upcoming versions of S/4HANA and BTP are expected to contain new models and tools that will transform how we currently work with SAP.
Artificial intelligence will revolutionise the way companies operate across sectors—not just at SAP. Making the most of the full potential of this technology will require new skills. Corporate users will need to learn how to incorporate these tools into their daily work, communicate with machines and create efficient prompts. It is also very likely that the work of developers will change drastically. It will be necessary to expand and adapt programming skills; however, it is likely that in the not-too-distant future, machines will be responsible for this task, with the human element being limited to supervision. Over the short term, the AI revolution will reduce cumbersome and routine tasks, optimise processes and offer valuable predictive insights for planning and decision-making.
Through our comprehensive offering of AI services and our end-to-end approach to helping our clients, at NTT DATA we are positioning ourself as a leader in this field. We offer resources and accelerators to make the most of SAP Business AI. In addition, we can help you design AI strategies, create and train new models and develop the skills necessary to adopt this technology, thus reducing costs and increasing productivity. Shall we get started?