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Joule demonstrated at Sapphire 2024 in Barcelona. Photo: JASON BANNIER

Artifical Intelligence

Sapphire 2024: Business AI saves joules of time

SAP’s GenAI assistant, Joule, is transforming enterprise functions and it is about to extend its impact, writes JASON BANNIER.

SAP’s generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) business assistant, Joule, is transforming how enterprises function by providing insights, custom-tailored outcomes, and a personalised experience for businesses. As a result, says SAP, the product with a name inspired by the unit of energy significantly improves productivity and efficiency.

“We are entering a new phase of AI with endless opportunities for all of us,” said Christian Klein, CEO of SAP, at the Sapphire 2024 conference in Barcelona. “The technical evolution continues by using the power of generative AI across our stack to revolutionise once again how businesses will run, and how your end users will work in the future.”

SAP performed a detailed analysis of the tasks completed with cloud software by their 300-million end-users every day. Consequently, they announced, by the end of 2024 80% of the most used tasks will be managed via Joule.

“As a result, your end users will do their work 20% more productively and with higher quality,” said Klein.

Christian Klein, CEO of SAP, presents the keynote presentation at Sapphire 2024 in Barcelona.

For example, Joule will manage tasks in all management areas to create and change orders. It will take over some sequential activities in billing and cash collections. In finance, books will be closed faster as the software manages standard compliance checks.

“Joule will also turn into a very powerful analytical engine to create insight for the boards for finance, for HR, for all parts of your business.”

The digital assistant will be an engine that offers strategic recommendations by having access to the broadest business-to-business data model in the technology industry, which includes finance, supply chain, HR, sales, or ESG data from thousands of customers. Based on this data, which allows SAP to train algorithms and find certain performance patterns in one’s business, Joule will provide recommendations to collect cash faster and make smarter procurement and supply chain decisions.

During Klein’s keynote, he highlighted SAP’s recent partnership with leading AI chip-maker Nvidia. A highlight was a video featuring a ringing endorsement of SAP by Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia, in which he said: “We have one of the most complex supply chains in the world. We build AI supercomputers, AI factories. Enormously complicated systems. Our latest Blackwell System has 600,000 parts.

“All of this has to be delivered to some 100 different customers, and all of our entire supply chain, build materials, forecasting systems, build plans, those 600,000 parts, and some 40 different manufacturers are all managed under SAP.

“This is the beginning of a new computing age, the beginning of a new industrial revolution. Through Joule, we have created some amazing generative AIs that understand the languages of SAP, supply chains, and enterprise planning systems so that we have a specialist, an agent, an AI to help us to do all the things that we want to do to manage our business.”

Dr. Philipp Herzig, chief AI Officer of SAP, said: “Earlier this year, we gave Joule internally to up to 4,000 service consultants within SAP. What we observed is that they can save up to 2 hours every day.”

Dr. Philipp Herzig, chief AI Officer of SAP, presents a keynote presentation at Sapphire 2024 in Barcelona.

More than 50 of SAP’s certification programmes, more than 200,000 pages, and 2Tb of curated best practices and community content, have been put into Joule. On top of that: it is supercharged by Nvidia’s technology.

“If you take this productivity gain and multiply it by our ecosystem, we can altogether save up to 600-million working hours every year, accelerating our transformation to the cloud,” said Herzig. “This technology is based on more than 250-million lines of code out of S/4HANA based on Nvidia’s hardware and software, as well as other models.”

SAP has also expanded its strategic partnership with Google to enhance supply chain risk prediction and mitigation in volatile global environments. This collaboration integrates SAP’s Joule and SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain with Google’s Gemini AI assistant and Google Cloud Cortex Framework’s Data Foundation, boosting forecast accuracy and enabling quicker responses to demand signals.

SAP has partnered with Meta Llama 3, leveraging its advanced language model to create images in SAP SuccessFactors and generate scripts for highly customised analytics applications in SAP Analytics Cloud. Meta’s AI model excels in language nuances and contextual understanding, making it ideal for transforming enterprise business requirements into actionable insights.

Read more articles covered at Sapphire 2024 on Gadget: Sapphire 2024: AI finds a home – the bathroom! – Gadget and Sapphire 2024: AI drives Bayern Munich’s Road to records – Gadget

* Jason Bannier is a data analyst at World Wide Worx and writer for Follow him on Twitter and Threads at @jas2bann.

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