In times of increasing digitalization, the way we collaborate has shifted significantly; where years ago, co-workers would put their heads together and brainstorm about an upcoming project, collaboration now takes place online. At SAP, we leverage advanced technologies and offer innovations that offer quick and easy access to information. Our SAP CoPilot is the perfect example of an innovation that optimizes processes and automizes workflows, increases productivity and efficiency, reduces costs, and helps companies with their overall performance.
Now, after having the SAP CoPilot as the perfect companion in the past 7 years it is time to pass the baton to its successor: We are moving forward, with a new functionality to support the frictionless human-to-human (H2H) collaboration in SAP S/4HANA Cloud with the SAP Collaboration Manager.
“Human-to-human?” you might ask, “I thought it is about talking to a machine?”
O.K., before we take a look into the future, let’s step back a little bit and look towards the past: Our SAP CoPilot was first introduced with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 1705 as your digital assistant and bot integration hub for the intelligent enterprise. It enables the interaction with your peers as well as business apps on mobile, desktop, iOS, and external channels through one single interface. You simply need to talk to it or type a message. The SAP CoPilot was taking off with two distinct functionalities in one product: the human-to-human and the human-to-machine collaboration.
The SAP Collaboration Manager
Starting with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2302, we were replacing the human-to-human chat collaboration functionality of the SAP CoPilot in the three-system landscape with the same or comparable features to the former SAP CoPilot.
My focus here are the features of the 2308 release, more comprehensive information on the SAP Collaboration Manager in general you will find in Maria’s Blog, Jürgen’s Blog give you further insights on the commercialization.
In the upcoming release, which is coming in Q3/2023 already, we will offer a handful of new features that bring us close to feature parity with the former SAP CoPilot*. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2308 (and the 2023 release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private), you will be able to
Link your chat to any screen in your apps for reference
Take screenshots to add directly to your chat without having to close SAP Collaboration Manager
Annotate, highlight, and conceal areas of your screenshot
Find out which screen your screenshot was created on
Receive notifications on the SAP Fiori launchpad regarding chat notifications through the notification area.
Conceal and Annotate with the SAP Collaboration Manager
Following the SAP S/4HANA Cloud strategy of a clean core, and in combination with the best practices offerings, the configuration feature for developers to customize a mini-SAP Fiori elements app is not available any longer in SAP Collaboration Manager.
Beyond these peer-2-peer chat and sharing capabilities building on the SAP Fiori launchpad, we plan to enable the SAP Collaboration Manager to recognize the complete business context through context awareness and allow you to trigger quick and easy interactions in a future release.
*All forward-looking statements presented in this section are subject to change.
Technical Realization and Context with Digital Assistants for SAP S/4HANA
We do not want to conceal the part of the human-to-machine collaboration, which came as functionality with the SAP CoPilot. The two parts, human-to-human (H2H) and human-to- machine (H2M), are separated with the launch of the SAP Collaboration Manager. I already described the H2M functionalities in a comprehensive way; the H2M part will be covered by the SAP Digital Assistant, a new product which will come at the end of Q3/2023. The SAP Digital Assistant infuses embedded AI inherently to the SAP S/4HANA and other business software and comes equipped with the SAP Digital Assistant Business Capabilities (default interaction flows) for focused functionalities. But this is another story which will be told another time.
Today I want to focus on the SAP Collaboration Manager, and especially on the enablement in the SAP BTP Subaccount.
Even though the SAP Collaboration Manager comes with the subscription of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, some steps are necessary to activate and leverage the functionality (for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and on-premise deployments of SAP S/4HANA, the steps will be similar).
For a better understanding of the implementation steps, I am giving you an insight on the components interacting in the conversation flow using the SAP Collaboration Manager. Just take a look at the sample conversation before reading the implementation steps.
Start with the steps on the back-end side of the SAP Collaboration Manager, SAP BTP. You have the usual steps here–add entitlement, instantiate service, assign roles. In addition, you have to add a destination for your SAP S/4HANA Cloud system and allow list the FLP domain.
To connect your freshly created SAP Collaboration Manager to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud front-end, you need to have the SAML token exchange and the trust relations between your Identity provider, SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP BTP in place. If the SAP Collaboration Manager is not your first extension here, this is most probably already in place, otherwise, you will have to configure these steps (see the relevant section in the Administration Guide).
Finally, we are on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud side of the house. Create a communication arrangement with communication scenario SAP_COM_0835.
The remaining work is the configuration of the SAP Collaboration Manager with the config app (launched from your SAP BTP cockpit).
What about customers who run on an SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition system right now on a 2-System-Landscape (2SL)?
All customers running on a 3-system-landscape (3SL) will get the SAP Collaboration Manager by default, 2SL customers have the SAP CoPilot – but what happens if I migrate to a 3SL system landscape?
First of all, you get the brand-new SAP Collaboration Manager to take off and use, fresh and clean. But don’t panic, the SAP CoPilot content will not be dropped, it will still be available read-only in parallel. Just take a look at the timetable below:
Timetable for migration of SAP CoPilot to SAP Collaboration Manager
Since the data retention periods will cause the deletion of the SAP CoPilot contents after a while, the read-only stage is not a real limitation. On request, the contents of the SAP CoPilot can be exported.
We have now sent the SAP CoPilot to the final retirement and moved to the SAP Collaboration Manager, a solution on a par. But we will move further on, so stay tuned for the news on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2402 and on the SAP Digital Assistant!