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rui_jin
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Preface/Introduction - Solving Timesheet Management Problem for Beyond Technologies and AlixPartners 

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Collaborating closely with two distinguished firms, Beyond Technologies and AlixPartners, to streamline their time management practices has presented a considerable endeavor. Both firms are recognized for their contribution to the services industry, wherein they are often required to engage with SAP S/4HANA Cloud for project time management. Despite the advanced features this system offers, they found themselves struggling with the management of their timesheet tasks. 

We developed a GenAI-powered SAP BTP application for real-time tracking of project tasks, seamlessly integrating with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, for automated timesheet entries and billing. This system allows users to immediately log tasks upon completion, which are then processed in natural language and drafted into their timesheet via SAP S/4HANA Cloud APIs and the GenAI Hub on SAP BTP. Our application operates independently alongside any SAP S/4HANA timesheet app, ensuring compatibility with custom apps as well as existing and future standard versions. Users can easily submit their time records for approval within their company's timesheet application. 

Project Github:https://github.com/SAP-samples/btp-ai-core-simplifying-timesheet-tracking-task-in-s-4hana-cloud 

 

Business Scenario/Challenge – Addressing Timesheet Record Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud

The critical problem both companies faced was associated with their timesheet record task in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. Delayed and after-the-fact time entries resulting from manual user operation led to inaccurate entries. It was time-consuming and negatively impacted work efficiency, delaying billing and payment processes as well. It was crucial to resolve this challenge as it directly linked with their business' operational efficiency, and therefore, profitability. 

  

Co-Innovation/Solution – Creating an GenAI powered application with SAP AI Core

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Generative AI significantly enables our solution by empowering users to log their project time effortlessly in their own words, without strict syntax. It intelligently interprets natural language inputs, crafting accurate payloads for S/4HANA system API calls. This flexibility ensures users can continue their varied task tracking practices across multiple languages, maintaining efficiency without the need for predefined structures. Generative AI thus enables an easy way to track consultant’s own time and adding it to the S/4HANA system already. It preserves the intuitiveness and accessibility of our task tracking, transforming user experience and data entry reliability.

Understanding the customers' need for efficient time management and with the power of Generative AI, we set out to create an application powered by the robust capabilities of SAP Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP) and SAP UI5. This application integrates seamlessly with the SAP Generative AI Hub in SAP AI Core via Destination Service and embeds with CAP LLM plugin(A free and open-source tool created by our team. Click on below drop-down for more information). Meanwhile all conversation data is managed by SAP HANA Cloud. 

Spoiler

Introducing the CAP LLM Plugin: 

An indispensable solution empowering developers with the essential tools to effortlessly craft robust AI-driven CAP applications. Seamlessly integrating the LLM capabilities of SAP Generative AI Hub with the vector engine and anonymization features of SAP HANA Cloud, this plugin revolutionizes the development journey. 

The CAP LLM Plugin is a powerful tool that empowers developers to craft customized Generative AI-based CAP applications seamlessly. It ensures that sensitive data remains confidential by utilizing SAP HANA Cloud Data Anonymization, thereby safeguarding privacy while leveraging the capabilities of LLM. With this plugin, developers can confidently create innovative applications without compromising data security or integrity.

https://github.com/SAP-samples/cap-llm-plugin-samples/blob/main/README.md 

https://community.sap.com/t5/technology-blogs-by-sap/cap-llm-plugin-empowering-developers-for-rapid-... 

As soon as a user logs in, the application collects all the projects to which the user is staffed. Then the user can simply report his or her time on those projects via natural language. The application will process the user’s input, returning a valid JSON payload. This payload is then used to post a time record in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system effectively bypassing the manual input. 

Main features of the application:

  • Embedded analytics that display the completeness of the recorded hours for the day and week
  • User can view the history of time recording conversations, including their status. If any time recordings are incomplete, you can complete them in the chat or in the S/4HANA timesheet.
  • You will see a main window where you can provide all the necessary information for time-recording by typing or using natural language. The required information includes the project, the work package (in case of multiple assignments within one project), the date of service, and the hours worked. 

An example interaction between user and application. 

  1. User clicks on the project name button for one of the projects the user is staffed on. 
  2. User inputs their intention for booking time for the project with natural language. 
  3. Interact with application to ensure all necessary information is provided. 
  4. The application creates the time record on SAP S/4HANA Cloud via API. 

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Conclusion/Summary - Efficient Time Management Achieved Through Co-Innovation 

By creating a natural language interface application to do time management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud system, we have enabled Beyond Technologies and AlixPartners to manage their timesheet tasks more efficiently. The application delivers accurate time records through a simplified and quick process, significantly reducing the time spent on manual data entry. 

I welcome more inquiries on this solution and the benefits it can bring to your business operations. Feel free to reach out to paa@SAP.com for further information or any questions.  

 

 

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