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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Your boss has played with ChatGPT for the first time. He has also learned about how Generative AI is revolutionizing business processes in your industry. Now, he has come to your desk and asked when you will integrate this technology into your system landscape. He is eager to know when, in the coming weeks, he will be able to use it to address his most pressing questions. Left scratching your head, you wonder what to do next... Does this scenario sound familiar?

In this blog, I aim to provide you with some of the foundational elements necessary to harness the power of Business AI in your SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition system. This way, you'll be prepared to respond to your boss's questions with a well-thought-out plan. My intention is to give you a sense of what is possible with these technologies. I invite you to read and comment as I offer recommendations to prepare you for adopting Business AI in your SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition system.

Generative AI alone won't be able to unlock the full transformational potential in your current business operations if it isn't combined with other intelligent technologies already available in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) as a business enabler.

The true transformational value will be achieved by integrating all these elements, taking advantage of the latest advances in Generative AI and the robust foundational elements of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition. These foundational elements include a stable core, which provides the right data structure to base the answers to your most pressing business questions; an excellent User Experience with SAP Fiori, which helps improve the productivity of your users; new business practices, including intelligent features like machine learning and predictive analytics, which add intelligent elements to your business processes and increase your business outcomes; and business automation, which helps free up your time so you can manage your business by exception, among others.

Before I start discussing some of the recommendations, let's first review all the features that S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition provides.

Please refer to the figure below.

Technologies supporting the vision of Artificial Intelligence in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition.Technologies supporting the vision of Artificial Intelligence in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition.

The foundation is the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Digital Core, which serves as the backbone by encompassing the correct data structure and providing out-of-the-box standard best practices. The great thing about the S/4HANA Public Cloud Edition's design is that it ensures your core remains clean by design. This makes it more easily extensible, quicker to adopt new business capabilities, and well-prepared for the upcoming wave of AI integration.

This is possible thanks to the high degree of standardization, which allows you to adopt new business functionality out of the box, including AI features, UX updates, and new best practices, twice a year during a major release upgrade.

In the past couple of years, SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition has incorporated embedded intelligent technologies, such as embedded analytics, situation handling, and intelligent business scenarios (such as machine learning and predictive modeling). These technologies are now pervasive across many business processes included in the solution.  Additionally, we have recently introduced our latest digital assistant, SAP Joule, which is now planned to be embedded within the system. More on SAP Joule will be discussed later in the blog.

SAP BTP now serves as a business enabler, enhancing the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition with extra services for greater competitive differentiation. These enhancements include intelligent services like SAP Build Process Automation, AI Business Services, SAP AI Core, among others.

The key to leveraging all these tools is understanding how to combine them to amplify their impact on end-to-end business processes. Therefore, let's review some recommendations I would like to offer for starting your Business AI journey with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition.

1. Empower your users with the Latest and Greatest SAP User Experience (UX) – Help empower your users to work more productively and have fun while doing so. I encourage you to consistently recommend the most up-to-date and advanced SAP UX to them. Suggest that they personalize their "My Home" within the SAP Horizon Theme. Additionally, if you have not yet implemented Spaces and Pages, I suggest doing so to take full advantage of the productivity enhancements they offer. Due to the higher degree of standardization in the S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, Spaces and Pages are scheduled to become the default environment for all public cloud customers transitioning from the older Fiori Groups.

My HomeMy Home

All these improvements are intended to help empower users and will be evident in future AI navigation systems and embedded AI business processes. 'My Home' was designed to enhance productivity by managing specific to-dos used in various scenarios, such as situation handling, tasks, favorite apps, cards, and more. This interface will offer you the best interactions with our new digital assistant SAP Joule.

SAP JouleSAP Joule

To Dos - Situation Handling and TasksTo Dos - Situation Handling and Tasks

Let's also not forget about the ability to use the latest Fiori apps compared with the traditional WebGUI apps offered in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition. Let's look at some real examples that users love in the embedded AI scenario for sales document automation (73P); this functionality is only available in the SAP Fiori app "Manage Sales Orders – Version 2" and not in the WebGUI app "Create Sales Orders – VA01." As indicated, these UX productivity improvements will play a significant role in the future of Business AI and user empowerment.

Manage Sales Orders - Version 2Manage Sales Orders - Version 2

Create Sales Orders - VA01Create Sales Orders - VA01

2. Consider using SAP Start if you have users utilizing different SAP Cloud Applications - If you manage multiple SAP Cloud Solutions, such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Start can be an effective tool. SAP Start presents role-based content from various integrated SAP cloud business solutions. It operates on the authorization management of the integrated solutions and facilitates access through single sign-on. By consolidating these solutions into a single UX entry point, users will experience streamlined navigation that combines sophistication with simplicity. With the introduction of SAP Start, SAP has also launched SAP Joule, a new digital assistant for integrated solutions, including those mentioned in the examples above, as well as for additional SAP Cloud applications in the future.

SAP Start with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and SAP SuccessFactorsSAP Start with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and SAP SuccessFactors

3. Adopt the New Best Practices – Utilize SAP’s best practices, which are derived from years of intelligent data collection and design. As SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition continues to evolve, we remain committed to incorporating new best practices that are founded on intelligent processes. For instance, take the traditional Material Requirements Planning (MRP) (J44), which has been augmented with the innovative Demand Driven Buffer Level Management (1Y2) and/or Predictive Material and Resource Planning (4B5). Additionally, explore the latest scope items that integrate machine learning into their workflows or predictive scenarios that can provide extra business advantages. Examples include Machine Learning for Monitoring Goods and Invoice Receipts (2ZS) and Predictive Accounting for Sales Orders (2FD). We highly recommend that you enhance your business operations by adopting these cutting-edge  best practices.

Predictive Material and Resource Planning (4B5)Predictive Material and Resource Planning (4B5)

4. Start using intelligent scenarios - Take a look at the latest intelligent scenarios that have been delivered as part of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition. By utilizing the new Intelligent Scenario Management Fiori app, you can gain an overview of the cutting-edge scenarios that SAP has provided out of the box. These are designed to help you make informed decisions and enhance your business processes. I recommend that you explore these scenarios and consider enabling them as necessary. In addition to the out-of-the-box scenarios, you can also create your own custom scenarios in the Intelligent Scenario Fiori app by leveraging machine learning capabilities.

Intelligent ScenariosIntelligent ScenariosCreate your own Intelligent ScenarioCreate your own Intelligent Scenario

5. Automate, automate, automate! - SAP has developed SAP Build Process Automation to enhance productivity within your processes. Automation can help decrease processing times and automate tasks, enabling you to focus on managing by exception. I recommend reviewing the latest content available in the SAP Business Accelerator Hub and the SAP Signavio Process Navigator regularly. Implementing automation where necessary will free your users from mundane tasks.

SAP Business Accelerator HubSAP Business Accelerator Hub

6. Make SAP Joule Your Best FriendSAP Joule is an artificial intelligence digital assistant that truly understands your business. It will revolutionize the way you interact with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition on a day-to-day basis in a secure and compliant manner. SAP Joule is available to customers of SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition as part of an early adoption program, starting with release 2402. If you would like to get more details and participate, click here.

SAP Joule will be tremendously helpful in introducing generative business AI to end-users through natural language conversations. It will drive several aspects of the user experience, including, but not limited to:

  • Informational Patterns – SAP Joule will provide concise summaries of help content to effectively address user inquiries expressed in natural language.
  • Navigational Patterns – SAP Joule will recommend relevant applications and facilitate seamless navigation, empowering users to execute their business processes efficiently.
  • Transactional Patterns – Joule offers insightful information about business objects, eliminating the need to open the corresponding applications.

SAP Joule - Navigational PatternsSAP Joule - Navigational Patterns

I recommend watching this video, which demonstrates how SAP Joule and SAP Embedded AI (Intelligent Scenario) function within the latest SAP UX in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition. Keep in mind that this is just the beginning; more use cases and scenarios will be enabled in the future.

7. Don't overlook the importance of human-to-human collaboration. Although this does not fall within the domain of AI (which concerns human-to-machine interactions), we are constantly improving our system's collaborative capabilities. We anticipate that, in the future, Business AI will be increasingly integrated with human collaboration efforts. Be sure to stay informed about the latest developments in this field, including the SAP Collaboration Manager (exclusively available to 3SL customers) and the enhanced collaboration features with Microsoft Teams.

SAP Collaboration ManagerSAP Collaboration ManagerTeams Collaboration "Share as Tab"Teams Collaboration "Share as Tab"Teams Collaborations "Share as Chat"Teams Collaborations "Share as Chat"

8. Review the SAP AI Roadmap – It is crucial to regularly examine the latest AI-related updates on the SAP Roadmaps page as part of your innovation planning cycle. Neglecting to do so could result in missing out on valuable opportunities.

SAP AI RoadmapSAP AI Roadmap

We recommend utilizing the SAP Release Assessment and Scope Dependency tool (SAP RASD) to generate tailored recommendations that align precisely with your established business processes. By doing so, you can leverage enhanced productivity and AI-driven insights to significantly improve your business outcomes planned for implementation after a release upgrade.

SAP Release Assessment and Scope DependencySAP Release Assessment and Scope Dependency

I hope these recommendations can help you find answers to the questions posed at the beginning. As indicated, Generative AI alone won't unlock the transformational potential in your current business operations if it isn't combined with other intelligent technologies. Please try to follow these recommendations to help you plan your path and provide answers to your Boss.

I also recommend listening to Episode 104 of the Inside S/4HANA Series podcast. In this episode, I discuss these concepts in-depth alongside one of our customers if you're interested in diving deeper into the topic.

I would like to thank Jared Coyle, Lucas Kiesow and Bert Schulze for their review and feedback on this blog.

More Information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition:

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, release info here
  • Product videos on our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and SAP S/4HANA YouTube playlist
  • SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
  • Early Release Webinar Series here
  • Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
  • Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, here
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, Community: here
  • Feature Scope Description here
  • What’s New here
  • Help Portal Product Page here

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