Dr. Hasso Plattner, the often off-script co-founder of SAP and chairman of the company’s Supervisory Board, took to the stage May 17 at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, Fla.to outline his company’s efforts to “make all applications intelligent.”
One of SAP’s own takes on adding intelligence to apps is the new CoPilot feature in the 1705 (May 2017) update to SAP S4/HANA Cloud, the company’s cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. Now generally available, CoPilot is a context-aware digital assistant that can improve collaboration by collecting and sharing business objects in the SAP system.
Using a chat-based interface and the technology’s guidance capabilities, workers can work together to unearth insights, resolve issues and streamline workflows between business units, according to the company.
However, Co-Pilot is not Apple’s Siri digital assistant in a business duds, asserts Darren Roos, president of SAP S4/HANA Cloud.
“While consumers have had personal assistants for some time now, SAP CoPilot is SAP’s first step toward bringing that experience—and all its benefits—to the enterprise space. SAP CoPilot is intuitive to use, highly intelligent and contextualized behind the scenes,” Roos wrote in a May 17 blog post. “This lays the foundation for more collaboration between you, that guy in accounting (who may still be waiting on your expense report) and everyone else. As a result, employees will be able to work more quickly and, ultimately, more successfully.”
SAP S4/HANA Cloud also gains additional artificial intelligence capabilities from machine learning that automates manual tasks and provides users with predictive analytics that for example can be used for automatic invoice matching, according to SAP. The platform’s finance capabilities for large enterprise customers have also received an upgrade, including credit integration in the platform’s Finance component and support for SAP digital payments.
For manufacturers, the offering now offers new end-to-end processes that tackle inventory and supplier management in addition to providing transparency on the financial impact of business decisions, capabilities that sets the stage for efficient, demand-driven manufacturing.The German business software giant also launched a mobile app called the SAP Project Companion that delivers business insights using push notifications and eases collaboration using SAP data.
SAP’s S4/HANA cloud partners are also made a number of announcements this week.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the availability of larger in-memory processing instances, enabling customers to deploy SAP HANA clusters with 17 nodes and up to 34TB of memory. Soon, AWS will offer new x1e.32xlarge processing instances that offer twice the memory of the current x1.32xlarge version.
“These instances will offer 4 TB of DDR4 memory (twice as much as the x1.32xlarge), 128 vCPUs (four 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon® E7 8880 v3 processors), high memory bandwidth, and large L3 caches,” explained Jeff Barr, chief evangelist at AWS in a blog post. Finally, Amazon teased the future availability of even larger instances with up to 16TB of memory.
Microsoft also unveiled new M-Series Azure virtual machines with support for up to 3.5TB of memory in an SAP HANA single-node configuration. The company also announced an SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication Services integration with Azure Active Directory, Microsoft’s cloud-based identity management offering, enabling single-sign capabilities for SAP applications. The companies are also working toward offering Azure cloud as a deployment option for HANA Enterprise Cloud, SAP’s managed cloud product.