SAP unveils new GenAI assistant

By Chris Tredger, ITWeb Africa editor.
Johannesburg, 26 Sept 2023
Christian Klein, CEO of SAP.
Christian Klein, CEO of SAP.

SAP today unveiled Joule, a natural-language, generative AI (GenAI) assistant.

At the SAP Business of the Future Summit, hosted this week at the company’s headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, SAP executives said industries continue to converge and core business models are being adapted to adopt and leverage AI.

In line with its strategy to champion the business case for AI investment and integrate the technology into business process management, Joule will be embedded throughout SAP’s cloud enterprise portfolio.

The intention, according to SAP, is to deliver proactive and contextualised insights from across the breadth and depth of its solutions, as well as third-party sources.

The company added that by quickly sorting through and contextualising data from multiple systems to surface smarter insights, Joule drives faster productivity and better business outcomes in a secure, compliant way.

“With almost 300 million enterprise users around the world working regularly with SAP cloud solutions, Joule has the power to redefine the way businesses – and the people who power them – work,” said Christian Klein, CEO at SAP.

According to SAP, Joule will be embedded into SAP applications including HR, finance, supply chain, procurement, as well as into SAP Business Technology Platform.

Supply chain support

The GenAI co-pilot is designed to support digitised, automated supply chain operation, which is another key area of focus for SAP.

SAP said Joule can identify underperforming regions; link to other data sets that reveal a supply chain issue; and automatically connect to the supply chain system to offer potential fixes for the manufacturer’s review. Joule will continuously deliver new scenarios for all SAP solutions.

Joule will be available with SAP SuccessFactors solutions and SAP Start later this year, and with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition early next year.

Phil Carter, group vice president, worldwide thought leadership research, IDC, said: “As generative AI moves on from the initial hype, the work to ensure measurable return on investment begins. SAP understands that generative AI will eventually become part of the fabric of everyday life and work and is taking the time to build a business copilot that focuses on generating responses based on real-world scenarios – and to put in place the necessary guardrails to ensure it’s also responsible.”

According to SAP, over 26,000 SAP cloud customers have access to SAP Business AI across multiple scenarios and partner solutions.

The company’s strategy to build an enterprise AI ecosystem includes direct investments, such as those announced in July with Aleph Alpha, Anthropic and Cohere, as well as third-party partnerships including those with Microsoft, Google Cloud and IBM, which were announced in May.

Global software venture capital firm, Sapphire Ventures LLC, is backed by SAP and has earmarked over $1 billion to fund AI-powered enterprise technology startups.