Intelligent Enterprises: Unlocking New Possibilities Across Every Industry

There’s no question we live in a time of both great excitement and big questions about artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact.

McKinsey & Co. recently published a new analysis suggesting that the risks of AI in business still are not yet well understood — but also estimating that by 2030, AI could deliver additional global economic output of $13 trillion per year.

At SAP, we’re already seeing this happen. Even as many questions remain, the impact of intelligent technologies — AI, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, analytics, and blockchain — is coming to life across all the 25 industries we serve around the world. From consumer products and retail to financial services, professional services, and more, intelligent technologies are helping companies unlock new cost savings, dramatically increase speed and efficiency, and, most of all, open up entirely new possibilities.

Bumble Bee Foods, for example, uses blockchain and other intelligent technologies to help ensure the integrity of its supply chain from catch to table, so that sustainable fishing methods and fair-trade practices are in place.

In another example, Discovery Financial launched the world’s first behavioral bank. A system of dynamic interest rates helps clients earn more interest on their savings and pay less interest on credit as they improve their financial behavior.

These are exciting and impactful outcomes, and we’ll see many more like them over the next months. Still, the challenge for many companies is that this kind of innovation requires significant organizational and process change as well as the integration of emerging technologies with legacy systems, just to start. All this is compounded as customer expectations continue to rise, competition comes from unexpected challengers, and talent becomes an even more precious resource.

Whether in B2B or B2C, the path forward increasingly starts with an even more intense focus on the customer, and the creation of distinctive experiences that exceed their expectations and build trust. The key to this is the intelligent application of data to understand customer needs, to inform the development of new products and services, to find process efficiencies throughout the supply chain and within an organization, and to deliver an unparalleled experience.

What does that look like? To start, imagine if you could:

  • Automate the customer service experience
  • Improve marketing effectiveness by leveraging customer experience data
  • Improve sales by providing customers with the right purchasing and delivery options
  • Reduce time to revenue through agile billing

To make this promise real, we’ve just launched an initial set of 15 SAP Guided Outcomes that do exactly that. These pre-packaged multi-product solutions with embedded intelligence deliver a specific business outcome. We’ve focused these on five key areas: cost optimization, revenue growth, total workforce management, customer experience, and product and service excellence.

Notice that these are not classified by organizational structure, systems, or processes. They are defined by business outcomes, which are what we mean by intelligent enterprise solutions. It’s also worth noting that we know these new solutions work, and they are ready for use right now. Every SAP Guided Outcomes package has undergone extensive technical and business validation and we have developed a set of best practices for deploying each solution.

In a second big step, we are also making changes that allow every customer to select the exact level of intelligent capabilities that they want to take advantage of with their existing or planned SAP applications — in the form of tiered intelligent technology packages.

At launch, these intelligent technology packages will be available for SAP S/4HANA, SAP C/4HANA, and SAP SuccessFactors solutions, and will be at two discrete levels — silver and gold — depending on the needs of a business. One-size-fits-all makes no sense when it comes to an intelligent enterprise strategy.

What’s more, I believe that taking the next steps in making the Intelligent Enterprise real is a need that’s growing more urgent every day, for all of us. Now more than ever, people are looking to work with companies they know, like, and trust. And yet our world is growing ever more complicated and opaque.

For me, the implication is clear: The companies that show their customers that they understand them, share their values, and have their best interest at heart earn their loyalty and reap outsized rewards. And I can see already that the application of intelligent technologies in new ways is making those outcomes very real.

Learn more this week at SAPPHIRE NOW, in my Best Run Theater session with Verizon Communications, “Unlock the Value of Intelligent Enterprises Across Industries,” and join us for other Intelligent Enterprise and Industries Best Run Theater sessions on May 9.


Mala Anand is president of Intelligent Enterprise Solutions and Industries at SAP. Follow her on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @MalaAnand.