Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning have evolved over the years - and here at SAP as well, a lot of updates and new additions happened to leverage these technologies into the SAP suite of products. In today's writing, I will give a brief overview about the different approaches available to leverage Predictive Intelligence with SAP S/4HANA business processes.
As you know, Predictive Analytics is the "analysis of historical information and existing external data" to find patterns and make informed decisions about future events. It is an area of study, not specific technology and existed long before Artificial Intelligence. As a general rule, any attempt to quantify the possible future based on past events is encompassed by Predictive Analytics. It attempts to identify patterns, classify groups of items, forecast the most likely scenarios by comparing current conditions to historical data and placing the results in a modern context. etc., With the advent of AI, predictive intelligence forms the core of intelligence in the process of an AI infused environment.
I have also put a podcast on this aspect of machine learning which you canlisten in here
A brief history:
During the pre-S/4HANA days, we have leveraged the then Predictive Analytics technologies to augment intelligence into the SAP ECC processes externally by leveraging the "HANA Platform to build the data models", and utilize the "Predictive Analytics platform to build predictive models", finally "visualizing the results" with the different BI tools. The following picture illustrates the same.
I have also put a podcast in this aspect of the historical aspects of machine learning at SAP which you canlisten in here.
How it all fits together:
As we discussed in the above section, SAP's journey into the world of Artificial Intelligence started a while back with the evolution of the Predictive Analytics tools and how they have been integrated into the ERP products even before the days of S/4HANA. You might have followed some of my earlier blogs on the Predictive Analytics RDS package and how that could be leveraged and implemented.
Here is a pictorial representation starting from the ECC and HANA Live days and how we have now progressed with embedding Predictive Intelligence into S/4HANA, expanding to SAP Business Technology Platform services, extending with the SAP Analytics Cloud etc., and further more. We shall dive a bit deeper into these approaches in the later section.
The Different Approaches:
As you might have now understood with the advent of S/4HANA and the incubation technologies that comprise of AI (such as Predictive Analytics, Machine Learning, Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, Natural Language Interface - Conversational AI, Blockchain, IoT), SAP is actively involved in the evolution of the Intelligent Enterprise.
While we have started embedding Predictive Intelligence into the SAP S/4HANA business processes for the operational users to leverage out-of-the-box functionality, there are additional machine learning hybrid models built on the SAP Business Technology platform that are consumed by the SAP S/4HANA processes. We are further working on extending Predictive Intelligence with SAP Analytics Cloud for the business user.
Here is a high level overview of these different approaches..
Here is a blog series discussing the various topics around how Predictive Intelligence can be leveraged around SAP S/4HANA. As we evolve and adapt, the blog series and the blogs shall also be maintained for relevance with needed updates as much as possible: