Juergen Mueller, Chief Technology Officer and a member of the executive board at SAP, welcomed the audience at SAP TechEd 2023 in Bangalore on day 1. He acknowledged the global audience and highlighted the advancements in Generative AI, emphasizing how it's transforming our world. He shared a personal anecdote about receiving the "uncle of the year" award, partly thanks to Generative AI assistance. He discussed the importance of AI in business and how SAP is poised to help developers become AI developers. SAP's Business Technology Platform (BTP) is introduced as the ideal choice for deploying Generative AI in a relevant, reliable, and responsible manner.
Mueller outlined the various pillars of SAP's approach, which include application development, automation, integration, data management, analytics, and AI. He highlighted the collaboration with partners and customers in building a strong business AI ecosystem. He also mentioned SAP's impressive scale and growth in BTP, with over 22,000 live BTP customers in the cloud and a strong focus on improving the onboarding experience. He introduced "Joule," an AI-powered co-pilot integrated into the BTP cockpit to simplify administrative and development tasks, allowing seamless interaction with SAP solutions. Finally, Mueller revealed plans to make this technology available in the first half of the next year and highlighted the availability of a Terraform provider for current use.
Juergen Mueller introduced KK from HCLTech as a guest on stage and asked why SAP BTP is their choice and what's next for HCLTech. KK explained that their decision to use SAP BTP stemmed from the collaboration between SAP and HCLTech, focusing on adding Generative AI capabilities to their solutions. He highlighted the importance of integrating Generative AI as a fundamental part of business processes to drive real value and improve business outcomes. KK also emphasized the need to extract value from existing processes and systems rather than mindlessly modernizing applications. He discussed AquaSphere, a solution inspired by water scarcity challenges, built on BTP with Generative AI capabilities, to merge data and provide contextual insights for decision-making.
Mueller thanked KK for sharing their insights, and KK expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to speak.
Leticia Nunes, representing the social startup Sustainable Development and Water for All (SDW) from Brazil, shared her story about growing up without access to clean water and sanitation. She emphasized that access to water and sanitation was scarce, leading to unclean water storage in containers and tanks, which posed health risks. SDW's mission is to provide services and devices, such as solar-powered water purification, to ensure safe water and sanitation for those in need.
Leticia explained that as a startup, they must secure funding while demonstrating a return on investment and proving the social impact of their services. To address this challenge, SDW developed an application using SAP Build Apps to collect data about sanitation services and social parameters. The application helps measure key performance indicators (KPIs) and the social impact of their services, providing clients with up-to-date data and ensuring data safety and confidentiality.
Juergen Mueller thanked Leticia for sharing her inspiring story and her organization's innovative approach to solving water-related challenges.
During this segment, Michael Ameling discussed the benefits of using SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) for application development. He emphasized how BTP helps in keeping the core clean and enables fast and secure development of extensions and applications. Michael introduced SAP Build Code, a new offering that simplifies the developer experience and enhances collaboration between citizen developers and professional developers, including Generative AI capabilities.
A live demonstration was conducted by Sangeetha, showcasing how Joule, an AI co-pilot, assists in generating code and building applications quickly. They also highlighted the integration of SAP Build Code with CAP (Cloud Application Programming Model), which automates the creation of CDS models and standard interfaces, making development efficient.
The audience was invited to register for the SAP Build Code preview using the app created during the demonstration.
The presentation also touched upon the future developments for ABAP pro-code developers and introduced the SAP BTP Developer's Guide as a valuable resource for best practices in pro-code development.
Juergen Mueller emphasized the importance of application development within SAP BTP, particularly in maintaining a clean core strategy for SAP S/4HANA, and the synergy between SAP Build, SAP Build Code, and SAP BTP ABAP environment to create extensions and applications.
Overall, the focus was on streamlining and simplifying application development processes with the integration of Generative AI and providing valuable resources for developers.
Takuya Sakai from Hitachi High Tech discussed their experience applying the clean core strategy and the reasons for choosing SAP BTP. Hitachi High Tech had a complex SAP ERP system with numerous add-ons and high maintenance costs, making it difficult to adopt new technology. They used SAP BTP for side-by-side extensions to simplify their systems and easily upgrade to SAP S/4HANA, keeping the core clean and benefiting from the latest SAP innovations. They reduced the number of add-ons from 9,000 to 800.
Sakai-san also shared their plans to further automate processes using SAP BTP, including robotic process automation, data entry automation with SAP Build Process Automation, workflow management, and cross-system workflows. They aim to enhance process integration between SAP S/4HANA Cloud public and private using Enterprise Service Planning (ESP) and utilize AI through data management to build global processes without affecting the SAP S/4HANA core. Sakai-san believes that SAP BTP will be a crucial tool in accelerating their business processes.
Juergen Mueller thanked Sakai-san for sharing their story and highlighted the importance of automation and integration in achieving a clean core strategy.
Juergen Mueller discussed automation and integration within SAP's offerings. He highlighted how automation is becoming increasingly important in the Generative AI age and introduced SAP Signavio to identify opportunities for automation in business processes.
He also mentioned the integration of SAP Signavio with SAP and third-party systems for process mining and automation. The combination of SAP Signavio, SAP Build, and the SAP Integration Suite allows for enterprise automation, identifying, modeling, and automating business and IT processes with AI-powered tools.
Additionally, Juergen announced SAP's intent to acquire LeanIX, a leader in enterprise architecture management software, to further expand their business transformation portfolio.
Juergen invited Rucha Nanavati from the Mahindra Group to share their journey with automation and integration. Rucha discussed how they have automated over 250 business processes in just three months, saved time and resources, and emphasized the growing role of citizen developers within their organization. She highlighted their use of AI in various aspects of their business and their efforts to move towards a more sustainable future.
Juergen also introduced the concept of process generation, where AI can generate approval processes and accelerate process automation. He announced that SAP plans to make this capability available in the first half of 2024.
Lastly, Juergen unveiled the general availability of Edge Integration Cell, a hybrid runtime that allows businesses to design processes in the cloud and run them in various environments, including private landscapes like remote factories and warehouses. This further enhances SAP's integration capabilities and bridges the gap for on-premise customers.
In summary, SAP is focused on providing a comprehensive suite of automation and integration tools, powered by Generative AI, to streamline and optimize business processes.
Juergen Mueller discussed the importance of data management within business processes. He introduced SAP Datasphere, a tool that unifies all data into a single semantic model, allowing for the efficient and effective management of critical data. SAP Datasphere facilitates the integration of SAP data with various external data sources while maintaining data consistency and meaning.
Mueller highlighted SAP's strategic bidirectional integration with partners such as Collibra, Confluent, Databricks, Google, and DataRobot, emphasizing the importance of open data and collaboration with existing data infrastructure.
He also announced the expansion of data center coverage on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, enabling semantic onboarding of SAP application data with full context and meaning. This approach simplifies data modeling and enables self-service data distribution within and outside the organization.
Mueller introduced SAP HANA Cloud Vector Engine, a significant development that integrates large language models (LLMs) with company-specific data and business process context. He emphasized the importance of connecting LLMs with organizational data to enable retrieval augmented generation.
Sabrina was invited on stage to further discuss SAP HANA Cloud Vector Engine, highlighting its capabilities in tapping into mission-critical SAP and non-SAP data while leveraging SAP HANA Cloud's multi-model database capabilities. This integration is crucial for enhancing AI models' understanding of business context and data.
In this section, Sabrina discussed the SAP HANA Cloud Vector Engine, which allows users to incorporate multi-dimensional vector representations into intelligent data applications. Large Language Models (LLMs) have been trained on vast amounts of data and have an implicit understanding of semantics and relationships. The Vector Engine helps connect LLMs with organizational data, enabling retrieval augmented generation. The Vector Engine utilizes values across numerous dimensions to describe attributes or features of objects, preserving semantic similarity.
The SAP HANA Cloud Vector Engine simplifies the search for semantically similar data by conducting a nearest neighbor search in a multi-dimensional vector space using SQL. Users can apply filters, perform joins, and use spatial predicates for advanced searches. The Vector Engine enhances the understanding and utilization of data in various machine learning and data analysis tasks.
Juergen Mueller highlighted that the SAP HANA Cloud Vector Engine will be made available to users in Q1 2024.
In the summary, Juergen emphasized the significance of combining Large Language Models with organizational data, enabling a rich understanding of data and its context.
Next, Dharani Karthikeyan discussed SAP Analytics Cloud, focusing on performance improvements. He introduced the lightweight viewer, which offers a 63% faster rendering performance compared to the classical stack. The lightweight viewer is designed for seamless user experiences and does not require migration steps.
Dharani highlighted a performance comparison with a multinational manufacturing customer who found that SAP Analytics Cloud outperformed competitors in various scenarios, providing over 60% improvement in filtering, 75% faster initial load times, and faster navigation.
He also introduced "Just Ask" in SAP Analytics Cloud, allowing users to type in business questions and receive immediate answers using natural language. Just Ask will utilize the Vector Engine to combine relational data, making it even more powerful. Additionally, Dharani mentioned the unification of data-first and structured-first approaches into a single enriched model, available from Q1 2024.
Juergen concluded the section by indicating SAP's intention to leapfrog the competition in the analytics space and beyond, with a unified enriched model and other innovations.
Michael from Henkel discussed the importance of SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) in Henkel's digital transformation journey and its role as an innovation platform. Henkel, a global company, operates in two main businesses: industrial business (B2B) with adhesive technologies and consumer products (B2C).
Henkel's partnership with SAP, known as "digital leapfrog," has been instrumental in accelerating innovation and business improvements. Michael focused on a specific use case, trade promotion management, a mission-critical aspect of their business.
Trade promotion management is complex, involving the management of two billion planning notes and integration with SAP core systems. Henkel chose to build a trade promotion management solution on SAP BTP, leveraging HANA's capabilities and achieving integration at scale.
Michael emphasized that Henkel views Generative AI (GenAI) as a significant opportunity and a disruptive force similar to the internet. The rapid advancements in GenAI have the potential to drive exponential improvements in business.
Henkel worked on trade promotion optimization, combining traditional machine learning algorithms and natural language processing (NLP). They integrated Just Ask AI for human interface prompts to make the solution user-friendly for a wider audience. The collaboration with SAP allowed them to create a 12-week MVP, leveraging SAP's out-of-the-box functionality and building their GenAI tech stack, including domain-specific knowledge. The trusted partnership, coupled with a strong innovation mindset, has been essential to this successful journey.
Michael invited attendees to visit the Henkel booth to explore more details and MVPs built in partnership with SAP.
Walter Sun, Head of AI at SAP, discussed the AI foundation and its role in making AI relevant, reliable, and responsible for enterprises. The AI foundation includes AI services, runtimes, and management tools, designed with security, governance, and trust as top priorities. Developers can use this foundation to embed AI capabilities into their applications and extensions.
Walter introduced the Generative AI hub, which provides instant access to language models like Azure, OpenAI, and Falcon-40b. This hub aims to simplify Generative AI development, offering features like prompt management and grounding capabilities. Developers can leverage HANA Vector Cloud Store for retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) to extract context-aware information.
Walter explained how a developer, Sunil, could use the Generative AI hub with RAG grounding capabilities to find specific information. The hub simplifies the interaction with large language models, and SAP plans to expand its capabilities with features like model recommendations, fine-tuning support, and proprietary SAP models.
In addition, SAP has entered a partnership with the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence to further advance AI technologies. This partnership will help SAP contribute to the responsible and ethical development of AI.
The Generative AI hub aims to make AI more accessible and efficient for developers, and SAP is actively working to provide tools that address specific business use cases and scenarios.
During the keynote at SAP TechEd 2023, several key announcements and highlights were made:
These highlights showcase SAP's commitment to delivering AI-powered solutions and empowering developers to leverage AI and cloud technologies for business success.
During the keynote at SAP TechEd 2023 on 2nd Day, Thomas emphasized the importance of continuous improvement and innovation, encouraging businesses and developers to "Keep Running Better." He highlighted the need to question the status quo and continually enhance success. SAP's suite of intelligent, sustainable solutions is designed to support this journey of continuous improvement.
The keynote then shifted its focus to integration, which serves as the foundation for SAP's offerings. They discussed the progress made with One Domain Model, which enables applications to communicate for master data and configuration objects. SAP Start, a central entry point across all SAP applications, was introduced. It allows users to navigate seamlessly between applications, access business insights, and manage workflows.
SAP TaskCenter, a unified workflow inbox, was discussed, with the announcement that it is expanding to non-SAP applications, including integrations with ServiceNow, Salesforce, Workday, and more. This expansion will be available in Q1 next year.
The keynote also mentioned SAP's suite qualities, emphasizing the innovation taking place across various end-to-end processes and highlighting the ability to innovate on top of integrated processes, such as Total Workforce Management.
The keynote featured speakers like Philipp Herzig, Senior Vice President, Head of Cross Product Engineering and Experience at SAP, and Siva Sundaresan, SVP of applications engineering for SAP SuccessFactors, who discussed Total Workforce Management.
During Siva Sundaresan's presentation at SAP TechEd 2023, he highlighted the importance of managing a diverse and dispersed workforce, with 50% of organizations relying on external workers. To address this, SAP introduced Total Workforce Management, which integrates selected capabilities from SAP SuccessFactors, S/4HANA, SAP Fieldglass, and Resource Management. This integration allows organizations to manage both internal employees and external workers efficiently.
Total Workforce Management provides a single skills model across the entire talent lifecycle, enabling organizations to become skill-driven. SAP has introduced Talent Intelligence Hub, which is integrated across the SAP ecosystem, allowing organizations to enhance their learning and talent strategy.
A demonstration was provided to showcase how these innovations can improve project staffing. The demo featured Kalpana Karunamurthi, playing the role of a Product and Resource Manager at Point B Consulting. She demonstrated the use of SAP Start, an entry point for SAP applications, and introduced Joule, an AI assistant that simplifies tasks and inquiries. Kalpana showed how she used SAP S/4 Cloud for Projects and Resource Management to compare and select candidates for a project.
The presentation also highlighted the importance of considering the employee's perspective when making staffing decisions and introduced a new people profile design in SAP SuccessFactors to provide a comprehensive view of the employee.
Lastly, Kalpana discussed the concept of skills matching for recruitment, showcasing how SAP is enhancing the candidate recruitment process.
Siva emphasized the importance of improving recruitment strategies and ensuring that organizations have the right expertise to achieve their goals.
During Siva Sundaresan's presentation at SAP TechEd 2023, he discussed the importance of understanding skill relationships and how SAP is planning a skill map to facilitate this. This map will help users comprehend similar skills and ease the comparison of candidates based on their skillsets. A demonstration was given where a comparison was made between two candidates, Priya and John, to illustrate how the skill map concept works.
Kalpana Karunamurthi, playing the role of a Product and Resource Manager at Point B Consulting, demonstrated how SAP's integrated solutions can simplify the process of staffing a project. She used SAP Start, an entry point for SAP applications, and introduced Joule, an AI assistant, to make the staffing process more efficient.
Siva Sundaresan highlighted the importance of Total Workforce Management for managing a diverse and dispersed workforce. He emphasized the need to align the skills of employees with an organization's goals and introduced features like the Talent Intelligence Hub to support this strategy. A demo showcased the recruitment process and how SAP's solutions can help in selecting the right candidates.
Mathan Das, SVP of Rizing Digital Services, provided a testimonial about the benefits of Total Workforce Management. He emphasized the agility, visibility, and intercompany process optimization that this solution offers, especially in a dynamic business environment.
The presentation focused on the integration of SAP solutions to streamline the talent management process, improving resource allocation and recruitment based on skills and qualifications. Total Workforce Management was highlighted as a crucial tool for managing a modern, diverse workforce.
In the second part of the event, Philipp Herzig discussed SAP's integration capabilities, showcasing One Domain Model, SAP Start, SAP TaskCenter, and their expansion to non-SAP applications.
Arin Bhowmick, Chief Design Officer at SAP, discussed the importance of user experience (UX) and introduced Daniela Meisenheimer, Head of CX and Business Platform at Doehler, who shared insights about their business transformation journey and the significance of collaboration with SAP for enhancing the user experience. They emphasized the importance of making SAP applications accessible, simple, and enjoyable for users. The presentation also mentioned the launch of the User Research Panel to gather feedback and shape the future of SAP products.
Arin Bhowmick then highlighted SAP's progress in user experience, such as the adoption of horizon design language across SAP applications and updates to components for better accessibility and understanding. Examples included improved visual designs and contrast ratios for input fields, as well as enhancements to popular product experiences like the Org Chart in SAP SuccessFactors.
In the presentation, Arin Bhowmick, the Chief Design Officer at SAP, highlighted the significant updates made to the Fiori Design Guidelines to provide the most up-to-date design resources for UX and product designers. These resources are accessible in Figma libraries. For developers, UI software development kits, including SAP UI5, SAP Web Components, Fiori Fundamentals, and more, have been updated to offer an opinionated design system for a more streamlined and unified experience.
Philipp Herzig discussed SAP's mobile innovations, including making mobile applications easier to use and unifying the store experience. New features and components have been introduced to enhance the mobile user experience, and SAP is working closely with Apple to bring SAP to Apple's new spatial computing platform, Apple Vision Pro.
During a live demo, Raksha showcased the SAP Retail Execution mobile application, which assists users in store visits, visual inspections, and promotions. The demo emphasized how the application can support store managers and enable more efficient in-store operations.
Jan Gilg, Chief Product Officer of Cloud ERP, discussed SAP's cloud offerings, including SAP S/4HANA cloud public and private editions, designed to cater to different customer needs. The focus was on SAP S/4HANA Cloud's sustainability features and its role in embedding data on carbon and resource usage into business processes.
Jan Gilg also highlighted the importance of extensibility in the cloud and introduced Central Business Configuration (CBC) as a solution for customizing and localizing cloud systems. With CBC, customers can scope and select features, customize applications, and localize systems more efficiently.
Finally, Philipp Herzig concluded the presentation by discussing extensibility through customization and extensibility options with a clean core strategy, emphasizing the importance of making SAP applications truly yours through development and extensibility.
The presentation highlighted SAP's commitment to providing updated design resources, enhancing mobile experiences, offering cloud solutions, and enabling customization and extensibility for its customers.
The presentation discussed SAP's launch of Joule, a generative AI assistant designed to be embedded throughout the entire portfolio of SAP's cloud solutions. Joule aims to enhance user productivity and engagement by providing AI-powered contextual responses and performing various tasks, such as answering questions, generating text, and combining internal and external data sources to provide insights.
Key highlights of Joule and the SAP Business AI approach include:
- Joule is designed to be context-aware and offers enhanced experiences for users.
- It can engage in classic dialogues, generate code, and provide insights by combining various data sources.
- Joule is built with enterprise-grade security and privacy, addressing limitations present in consumer Large Language Models.
- The architecture of Joule involves unified user experience, an orchestration layer, skills in Joule to respond to requests, and a responsible AI layer that ensures fairness, transparency, and explainability.
SAP's vision for Business AI is to combine data, language models, and SAP's business applications in a seamless and unified experience, offering users a more relevant, reliable, and responsible AI solution for enhancing their business processes.
on the Closing Day, the inspirational conversation between Astronaut Sir Rakesh Sharma and Kulmeet Bawa left a lasting impact on me as well. Sir Rakesh Sharma's insights on establishing "profit with purpose" to save the planet are truly inspiring and carry a message that resonates globally.
His three lessons are particularly valuable:
1. There is no need to burn out before the balloon goes out: This lesson reminds us that we don't have to exhaust ourselves before reaching our goals. It's important to maintain a healthy work-life balance and prioritize self-care.
2. All of us have self-doubt, jump into it and get your hands dirty. It is not as difficult as it seems: This lesson encourages us to overcome self-doubt and take action. It's a reminder that challenges can often be more manageable once we dive in and start working on them.
3. Choose a purpose higher than yourself: This lesson highlights the significance of working towards a greater cause. Finding a purpose that extends beyond personal gain can be incredibly fulfilling and have a positive impact on the world.
Sir Rakesh Sharma's wisdom is a source of motivation for anyone seeking to make a difference and create a meaningful impact. It's a reminder that we can all contribute to a better world by aligning profit with a higher purpose and taking meaningful action.
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