IDC researchers have predicted that 60 percent of IT application decisions will be based on the technology provider’s ecosystem, including innovators in machine learning, natural language processing, and cloud by 2022.

I couldn’t agree more, especially after the video demo I watched at SAP TechEd with Eugen Winschel, global vice president and head of Product Management for SAP CoPilot.

“We are giving people the ability to build customized SAP CoPilot skills if they are a developer or not,” said Winschel. “Whether someone works in sales, procurement, finance, or HR, the SAP CoPilot skill builder lets them extend the capabilities of our digital assistant without any coding. All you need to know is your business process.”

Meeting People Where They Work

Personalized digital assistants use natural language processing in the context of common business scenarios to help employees get more work done. Demand for these kinds of services is seemingly unlimited across every part of the organization. This spans daily responsibilities like checking on the status of sales orders by product, region, and other parameters. Procurement can set up new purchase orders. Digital assistants can help HR get a read on the percentage of employees who have completed required training sessions. In finance, teams can obtain fast answers to ongoing billing, payment, and cash flow questions. Winschel said the skill builder tool reflects SAP’s approach to make interacting with enterprise systems a breeze.

“Someone might prefer mobile devices, be using specific group collaboration apps, or love the SAP screen on their desktop,” he said. “Wherever they are, this tool lets them create digital assistant tasks that make employees’ lives as easy and delightful as possible, ultimately getting more work done faster and efficiently.”

Developers and non-developers alike can use templates to create a new skill based on an existing service or completely from scratch. They can collaborate with other team members and define intents by mapping certain phrases and keywords in natural language.

“All they have to say is ‘I want to create something and need these attributes.’ They can quickly create the skill and publish it immediately in SAP CoPilot,” said Winschel.

Business Rallies Around Voice and More

Digital assistants typify the latest phase of digitalization that’s more about human-computer interactions. It’s no wonder developers have rallied around voice, bringing it from consumer-based tech into business. IDC recently predicted that by 2024, human-computer interfaces enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) and business process automation will replace one-third of today’s screen-based B2B and B2C applications. It’s a great testament to the wisdom of communities.

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