SAP Gen AI Capabilities Shift into High Gear with New Announcements at SAPPHIRE

With Sapphire now behind us, it is a great time for this Insights series to provide a quick overview of all the AI-related  new initiatives from SAP and strategic partners that were announced and/or spotlighted during the event.


While each announcement is significant in its own right, the really big story is how all of these pieces are creating a comprehensive fabric of AI-capabilities woven throughout the SAP S/4HANA Cloud-based ecosystem.

Recent SAP AI-related Announcements

      • Joule: SAP’s generative AI copilot Joule, which quickly sorts and contextualizes data from multiple systems to advance automation and improve decision-making, is expanding throughout SAP’s solution portfolio. Joule launched in SAP SuccessFactors solutions last fall and is now embedded into SAP S/4HANA Cloud solutions and others including SAP Build and SAP Integration Suite. Further expansion by year-end will include SAP Ariba and SAP Analytics Cloud solutions.
      • Microsoft: At Sapphire, SAP also announced plans to further broaden Joule’s scope by integrating it with Microsoft Copilot to surface even richer insights. This deep, bi-directional integration gives users a unified experience built right into the workflow to enable seamless access to information from interactions with business applications in SAP and Microsoft 365. The integration ensures that, regardless of the copilot being used, the experience remains consistent and unified, enhancing productivity and collaboration.
      • NVIDIA: SAP and NVIDIA established a cross-product partnership to embed cutting-edge technologies into enterprise-ready business applications. As SAP trains Joule to serve as an AI assistant for the RISE with SAP solution implementations, NVIDIA’s state-of-the-art AI models sift through SAP consulting assets to provide relevant and precise answers to implementation-related questions. Similarly, with Joule embedded in the ABAP Cloud model it can generate ABAP code for SAP developers and NVIDIA’s accelerated infrastructure will run, scale, and manage SAP’s generative AI code creation.  In addition, as SAP infuses generative AI into the SAP Intelligent Product Recommendation solution, NVIDIA Omniverse Cloud APIs will enable the simulation of complex manufacturing products and configurations as industrial digital twins.
      • Google Cloud: SAP and Google Cloud are expanding their partnership, using Business AI to help enterprises better predict and mitigate supply-chain risks to minimize disruptions and maintain optimal inventory levels. The companies will integrate Joule and the SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain solution with Google Cloud’s Gemini AI assistant and Google Cloud Cortex Framework’s data foundation.
      • Meta: SAP will leverage Meta Llama 3 to generate scripts that render highly customized analytics applications in SAP Analytics Cloud. Meta’s next-generation AI model excels at language nuances and contextual understanding, making it an ideal candidate for translating enterprise business requirements into tangible outcomes.
      • AWS: This integration makes it easier for customers to adopt the RISE with SAP solution on AWS, to improve the performance and efficiency of SAP workloads running in the cloud and to embed generative AI into an enterprise’s entire portfolio of business-critical applications.
      • Mistral AI: SAP will also add new large language models from Mistral AI to the generative AI hub capability in SAP AI Core. Mistral, a global company headquartered in Paris with success in developing advanced LLMs, is set to complement the SAP suite of AI-enabled solutions by providing direct accessibility to Mistral AI’s models through SAP or through SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) applications with generative AI capabilities.
      • WalkMe: As part of the overall strategy to enhance it’s cloud-based, AI-enabled, end-to-end, applications environment,  SAP has announced intent to acquire WalkMe , a global leader in digital adoption platforms (DAPs). WalkMe’s solutions help organizations navigate constant technology change by providing users with advanced guidance and automation features that enable them to execute workflows seamlessly across any number of applications. According to Christian Klein, CEO and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, “Applications, processes, data and people are the four key elements of a successful business transformation. By acquiring WalkMe, we are doubling down on the support we provide our end users, helping them to quickly adopt new solutions and features to get the maximum value out of their IT investments.”

How the Big Picture is Coming Together for SAP AI-Enablement

Each of the above announcements is an exciting event by itself. But, taken together and viewed from a strategic standpoint, the synergy of these innovations, coupled with SAP's unique enterprise-wide solution set, offers a giant leap forward for SAP and its customers to ride a momentous, transformational wave of change.

 As SAP CEO Christian Klein described it in his Sapphire keynote, “SAP is the only tech company who can infuse AI capabilities right into your business processes and workflows."  SAP is fundamentally redefining the future of business with its groundbreaking AI strategy. By seamlessly integrating Business AI into their extensive suite of solutions, SAP is not only enhancing productivity and efficiency but also revolutionizing how companies operate and compete.

An interesting perspective to view SAP's holistic approach to enabling enterprise AI capabilities is to consider the differences between Open Gen AI and Siloed Gen AI requirements.

Open Generative AI:

  • Open generative AI refers to models, algorithms, and frameworks that are openly accessible to developers, researchers, and the general public.
  • Openness encourages collaboration, innovation, and transparency in the AI community.
  • Open AI models are often available for anyone to use, modify, and contribute to, fostering a culture of shared knowledge and advancements.
  • Examples of open generative AI initiatives include projects like OpenAI's GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) series, where models are openly published, and the community is encouraged to build upon them.

Siloed Generative AI:

  • Siloed generative AI, on the other hand, refers to models, algorithms, and frameworks that are developed and deployed in closed environments or proprietary systems.
  • These systems are often developed by companies for specific use cases or applications and may not be openly shared with the broader community.
  • Access to these models is restricted, limiting collaboration and innovation outside of the organization that developed them.
  • Privately siloed generative AI can provide competitive advantages to the companies that develop them, while also protecting proprietary data, however, they can be costly to develop and maintain separately from open AI technology.

Combining open AI with private siloed AI in a hybrid implementation can offer the benefits of both openness and proprietary development.  However, managing such a hybrid AI environment can be a tall order, even for the largest of companies. 

This is where the SAP AI strategy can really make a huge difference.

Since its founding in 1972, SAP has set the global standard for ERP software and has continually evolved toward unifying all aspects of enterprise management into a comprehensive, interrelated set of seamlessly meshed solutions. Now 50 years later and more than 400,000 customers stronger, SAP is fueled by the same pioneering spirit as a leader in turning Gen AI potential into real-world results.

SAP S/4HANA is taking ERP to the next level by using the power of in-memory computing to process vast amounts of data and transactions within a highly scalable architecture that is ideal for supporting advanced technologies such as Generative AI.

SAP S/4HANA Public and Private cloud editions have clearly gained traction as the optimal transition paths for quickly and efficiently  delivering readily deployable solutions for digital transformation. 

By leveraging SAP's end-to-end, highly configurable and scalable solutions environment, the S/4HANA ecosystem comes with all of the necessary robust security for protecting Siloed Gen AI and the architectural flexibility for integrating Open Gen AI.

For enterprises that are looking to quickly leverage the explosion of Generative AI capabilities across both open customer facing systems and protected back-end processing environments, SAP's multi-faceted approach to AI partnerships, applications and capabilities truly does provide the best of all worlds.


About the author

David Fellers

Dave is CEO of Bramasol. After joining the company in 2007 as VP of Professional Services, he became CEO in 2011 and has led the company through record-setting growth and revenues highlighted by a successful re-focusing on serving the Office of the CFO. By building a deep and broad consulting practice that leverages our Comply, Optimize, Transform™ disciplines and a track record of co-innovation with SAP, Dave has positioned Bramasol as the go-to partner for clients that are looking to move into the Digital Solutions Economy and/or to leverage the Digital Transformation of finance using SAP S/4HANA.