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May 16, 2023

SAP launches Business AI to bring artificial intelligence to its cloud ERP platform

After its rivals infused their products with AI, the German software giant has announced a new range of improvements.

By Matthew Gooding

SAP has announced a host of artificial intelligence-powered improvements to its cloud ERP platform. Known collectively as Business AI, the tools are a bid to keep up with the likes of Microsoft and Salesforce, which have already incorporated AI into their platforms as the popularity of the technology booms.

SAP CEO Christian Klein has announced his company’s new AI tools, Business AI. (Photo by ULI DECK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The company’s CEO Christian Klein said on last month’s earnings call that SAP’s AI offering would debut at its Sapphire conference, being held in Orlando, Florida, this week, and he was as good as his word, with a raft of announcements setting out how AI will become an integral part of the software stalwart’s future.

Traditionally a vendor of on-premises IT solutions, SAP is on a mission to convince its clients to move to the cloud. Last week it penned an open data deal with Google Cloud, and yesterday announced it would be working with Microsoft on generative AI solutions.

SAP Business AI brings artificial intelligence to ERP

SAP says Business AI can help customers in all aspects of the sales and customer management process. New features include intelligent collections, which will help finance teams forecast the risk of a late payment on an invoice and better prioritise which customers require follow-up. This feature is available on the company’s cloud platform from today.

Later in the year, SAP will be introducing order auto-completion, to aid sales teams in completing complex sales order documents automatically, enabling faster processing, and tools for managing inventory and logistics.

Other innovations include an AI-powered companion app for managing customer interactions, which “uses generative AI to give sellers and support teams holistic insights, create recommendations, and automatically generate content to personalise customer experiences”.

Business AI also includes products to help HR teams better manage staff, as well as automating tasks such as customer support.

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Business AI arrives as SAP faces fierce competition in the cloud ERP market

The Business AI suite hits the market several weeks after two of SAP’s biggest competitions in the cloud ERP and CRM space announced their own automated offerings.

Microsoft, which has been riding the crest of the generative AI wave thanks to its partnership with ChatGPT maker OpenAI, announced its Dynamics 365 Copilot in March, while Salesforce has an AI model of its own, Einstein GPT, which can be used across the companies apps including Slack and Tableau.

But despite the crowded market, Klein believes his company’s offering is a compelling one. “In a world of geopolitical tensions, product and skills shortages, and new regulations, our customers continue turning to SAP for the solutions they need to solve their most pressing challenges,” he said.

“The innovations we’re announcing at SAP Sapphire build on our heritage of responsibly developed technology and decades of industry and process expertise to ensure our customers’ success today and in the future.”

Klein will deliver a keynote speech at Sapphire later today, where he is expected to go into further detail on the company’s AI plans.

Read more: SAP and Kyndryl sign deal to boost cloud relevance

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