After bringing together its customers, prospects and partners, SAP painted a bold vision of where ‘intelligent’ business applications are heading in the future at their SapphireNow event in Florida.
This year, the theme was “Intelligent Enterprise” focusing on three key potential benefits:
- Embedding AI/machine learning into core business processes to allow greater automation
- Connecting business to devices (IoT) and other data sources to provide a richer pool of information on which to base business decisions and enhance products/customer service, etc.
- Predictive and intelligent analytics to support decision making
While there were some great demonstrations of the new technologies in action, these capabilities need to mature further before wide-spread implementation can take place. Regardless, it will be interesting to see use cases of successful adoption and the embedding these capabilities into the core business.
Another key takeaway is around SAP’s increased investment in more open standards and API-driven integration. Portfolio integration is something companies like SAP always strive towards and getting everything to ‘play together’ is something that customers expect. SAP’s greater investment should be welcomed, but out-of-the-box integration between the core products for the majority of integration use cases would make the greatest impact.
A third key takeaway from the event is around the continued growth of Cloud adoption and the change in conversation from ‘Do we need it?’ to ‘How do I get the most out of it?’. Read more here.
Once these exciting developments are implemented correctly and integration is even more seamless, it could create an ideal platform in the current challenging digital landscape, and businesses could start to really see the benefit and reap the rewards.
However, for most customers, SAP is not the only application vendor in town. The vision to strengthen and make integration more open needs to acknowledge that, as much as SAP might like to be the only application suite a customer owns, it’s not and it won’t be. Customers need to especially strengthen their integration capability to cope with the reality of a digital landscape that has SAP and non-SAP application and technology components. SAP needs to embrace openness and take a less aggressive stance towards customers and their chosen application eco-system partners.
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