SAP Leonardo embraces machine learning and IoT to prepare for the future of digital enterprise

At SAP's Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, CEO Bill McDermott unveiled a newer Leonardo that integrates machine learning, IoT, analytics, and blockchain. Here's what it means for the enterprise.

Video: How SAP Leonardo can help businesses 'personalize the customer experience en masse'

At the 2017 SAP Sapphire Now conference on Tuesday, SAP CEO Bill McDermott outlined the company's plans for expanding the capabilities of Leonardo, its innovation system. In a keynote called "The Urgency of Doing," McDermott revealed that Leonardo would be getting integrations in machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and blockchain technologies.

In bringing these intelligence upgrades to its SAP Cloud Platform, Leonardo can apply these skills to current SAP applications, like HANA. On Monday, SAP also unveiled some new recruiting tools for businesses, as well, as part of its greater digital transformation initiatives.

"Since 2010, SAP has invested more than $50 billion to drive innovation forward," said McDermott. "This is what you expect from us, and what you deserve."

Here's a preview of what the new offerings look like:

SAP Machine Learning

SAP is harnessing machine learning (ML) into its applications, plus launching its own ML technology on a digital platform, dubbed the SAP Machine Learning Foundation. This is part of a suite of options SAP offers that will allow businesses to use in their plans for digital transformation efforts.

By using ML, SAP's new Service Ticketing--part of SAP Hybrid Cloud for Customer--makes the customer service ticket process more efficient by directing issues to the correct agent quickly, who can then offer options for troubleshooting.

Another new offering, SAP Customer Retention, sifts through data to predict things like "cross- and up-sell and loyalty," according to the company.

Other offerings, include:

  • SAP Cash Application (part of SAP S/4HANA Cloud): This tool can see how humans do things like "match incoming bank statements to open receivables like invoices," according to the press release.
  • SAP Job Matching, which connects job seekers to recruiters.
  • SAP Resume Matching (also part of Fieldglass), to help recruiters hunt down the right applicants for a position.
  • SAP Job Standardization, which helps businesses create "accurate and unbiased job descriptions," the press release noted.
  • SAP Brand Impact uses deep learning to help businesses track who is sharing their brand images in near-real time on social media and elsewhere online.
  • SAP CoPilot uses ML to offer customers an automated digital assistant to aid in internal communications and conversations with vendors.

SEE: Digital Transformation: A CXO's Guide (ZDNet)

SAP Digital Twin

SAP's Digital Twin is a "digital inspection" for the Leonardo IoT platform, which uses sensors to create real-time "digital representations of physical assets"--essentially, an augmented reality-type offering that can help businesses manage IoT devices, which could come in particularly useful in remote areas.

SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain

The SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service, a "ready-to-use blockchain technology," was also announced on Tuesday. According to the company, using this will allow IoT devices to instantly "trigger a business process," to ensure a smoother way for orders to reach suppliers, for instance.

What does that mean? Blockchain extensions can be developed by customers for their businesses, and blockchain technology will be embedded into Leonardo so that customers can use IoT and ML capabilities. It also "allows for an easy setup and management of blockchain nodes." This is all intended to support businesses who want to expand and scale out their offerings.

"Becoming a digital business is a journey," said McDermott. And as ZDNet has reported, companies are struggling to implement digital transformation strategies.

"It's SAP's job to make you an early adopter of the intelligent enterprise," said McDermott. "We want you to win."

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CEO Bill McDermott at the 2017 SAP Sapphire Now conference in Orlando.

Image: Hope Reese/TechRepublic