What is a SAP Intelligent Enterprise?

At SAPPHIRE NOW this year, SAP shared their vision of businesses of the future could operate – the Intelligent Enterprise. It is a truly revolutionary, yet fully realistic idea that can transform an enterprise operationally to the leading edge. I personally was at SAPPHIRE NOW to find out more about what is on offer and how best to translate vision to reality for our clients.

While inspiring, the SAP Intelligent Enterprise is a big all-encompassing concept that needs to be broken down to understand. What does it mean to be an Intelligent Enterprise? Why do enterprises need to become intelligent? How can enterprises become intelligent? What is the roadmap to intelligence?

In this article, I answer the first question: What does it mean to be an Intelligent Enterprise?

Effective use of data assets

SAP Intelligent Enterprises are those that “effectively use their data assets to achieve their desired outcomes faster – and with less risk”. In other words, an enterprise that efficiently captures useful data from their business processes, effectively uses that data to inform decision making, and hosts their data in a secure and connected platform. An SAP Intelligent Enterprise is also one that interacts intuitively with users, like an intelligent being.

Business processes powered by SAP Intelligent Suite

SAP’s Intelligent Suite provides integration-ready applications to help run business processes in a digitized, consistent and intuitive manner. The applications include Digital Core (SAP S/4 HANA, Cloud ERP), Manufacturing and Supply Chain (including IoT), Customer Experience (CRM), People Engagement (SuccessFactors, HCM) and Network and Spend Management (Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur).

While these applications are familiar to most of us, the interface has changed. SAP Fiori UX has made these intuitive, mobile and easy to use. Robot Process Automation (RPA) can now automate repetitive tasks, increasing efficiency and minimizing human errors. SAP CoPilot is a context aware digital assistant that helps the user complete transactions through conversations, while SAP Conversational AI provides an end-to-end toolkit for training, building and monitoring chatbots that can be integrated with both SAP and non-SAP systems.

Analytics and decision-making powered by SAP Leonardo and Intelligent Technologies

The power of data lies in the ability to analyse it and draw insights for decision-making. SAP Leonardo and its Intelligent Technologies, therefore, is the heart of the Intelligent Enterprise. SAP has incorporated innovative technologies like Machine Learning, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Analytics, Big Data and Data Intelligence to deliver cutting edge analytics that not only describe, but can predict and prescribe. The design thinking methodology and innovation toolkits in SAP Leonardo will help you identify and develop the right use cases for your enterprise. This is the game changer that, I believe, when implemented well, can help enterprises to make the leap into the leading edge.

Trusted, unified, in-memory, cloud based data platform

One can imagine that it must be a daunting task to effectively manage the massive amounts of data needed by an Intelligent Enterprise, and at the same time, ensure its security. SAP’s answer to this challenge is the SAP HANA Data Management Suite, which collects and integrates data from multiple sources into a unified landscape. At the same time, its data management framework and in-memory database allows you to take full advantage of the Intelligent Technologies while reducing the complexity of delivery.

To further minimize IT infrastructure complexity, SAP Cloud Platform provides off-premise open platform-as-a-service that allows enterprises to quickly and easily build and extend the intelligent, mobile-enabled cloud applications that you need.

It may seem, by now, that it takes an entire overhaul of internal systems and a total external facelift to become an Intelligent Enterprise, which will require significant time and monetary investments, as well as major change management efforts. Why is it worth doing this? And how do I make the transition while minimizing risks to my organization? I will try to answer these two questions in subsequent articles.

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