SAP Chief Technology Officer Juergen Mueller kicked off SAP TechEd in Las Vegas this week with a rousing keynote, energizing his audience of developers, architects, and data scientists with the company’s bold vision for the Intelligent Enterprise.
Punctuated with breakthrough demonstrations ─ on stage and live-streamed from experts on the show floor ─ the centerpiece of Mueller’s SAP TechEd keynote was the company’s business technology platform strategy.
“This is a strategy and culture change in terms of being more business-centric and outcome-oriented,” said Mueller. “We want to provide the fastest way to turn data into business value… We want you to have the most impact on your business.”
Integration, Embedded Data, Harmonization Power the Intelligent Enterprise
According to Mueller, the business technology platform unites SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA, analytics, and business services into a cohesive “orchestra” of technologies. As an evolution of the company’s digital platform, it is designed to be unified and open, helping developers easily embed intelligence across integrated, modular applications – whether on-premise or cloud, SAP or non-SAP technology.
“We easily integrate multiple solutions in an end-to-end process and deliver a single user experience across the entire process for the end user,” Mueller said. “We’re continuing our focus on harmonization, from data model and database to user experience… We are rethinking processes and increasing automation… Embedded analytics and machine learning make it easy for companies to become data-driven.”
Mueller shared the latest announcements around the four pillars of intelligence that make up the business technology platform: database and data management, analytics, intelligent technologies, and application development and integration. He and his guests took the audience through a series of exciting demonstrations, including intelligent robotic process automation for SAP S/4HANA, machine learning at enterprise scale, SAP Analytics Cloud embedded in SAP solutions, SAP Fiori 3, and combining experience data (X-data) from Experience Management solutions from SAP (Qualtrics) with operational data (O-data) from SAP ERP applications.
“O-data tells you what happens; X-data tells you why it happens,” he said. “With SAP, you can turn insights from X- and O-data into action to close your experience gap. This is how you become an experience company.”
Data Alignment: Crucial for the Intelligent Enterprise
Acknowledging that data management is one of the biggest challenges for every company, Mueller announced SAP Graph software, a virtual semantic data model. Jan Schaffner, head of Central Engineering at SAP, showed how SAP Graph provides developers with a powerful way to quickly integrate existing and new applications across the SAP portfolio. Now in restricted beta version, SAP Graph can support developers using applications running on SAP or non-SAP technology.
“SAP Graph addresses the complexity of working with large numbers of APIs for applications across the intelligent suite,” said Mueller. “We’re offering a unified API layer, which can be used by any application.”
Extending Innovation on SAP
As companies move to SAP S/4HANA and the intelligent suite, they need to easily extend on-premise and cloud applications from SAP. This is where SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory and SAP Cloud SDK took center stage. SAP’s Rui Nogueira demonstrated how developers can build extensions quickly using SAP Cloud Application Programming Model.
Integrated Analytics, Embedded Machine Learning for Seamless Insights to Action
Mueller received some of the loudest audience applause of the morning when he announced the upcoming release of SAP Analytics Cloud, which will be embedded in SAP S/4HANA Cloud later this year. His point was that integrated analytics across enterprise applications company-wide will allow customers to make more data-driven decisions.
The positive reaction continued as he announced the release of SAP Data Intelligence, a tool designed to speed up machine learning development so companies can quickly generate business value from combined business data.
“With SAP Data Intelligence, you can manage the end-to-end lifecycle management of your machine learning project,” he said. “[It] provides data management capabilities in an open source environment for data scientists to confidently develop, deploy, and operate machine learning models at enterprise scale.”
Valuable Partnerships with Hyperscalers
Throughout his keynote, Mueller reinforced SAP’s commitment to openness and flexibility, notably showing how the company’s partnerships with hyperscalers like Microsoft delivered the best of both worlds: the scalability and flexibility of hyperscalers plus business-centric content and services from SAP.
In a major nod toward customers with multi-cloud strategies, Mueller noted that SAP customers can mix and match services from the hyperscalers in applications built on the business technology platform.
SAP Closes the Experience Gap
Mueller explained that while 80 percent of CEOs believe they deliver a superior customer experience, just eight percent of customers agree. He invited John Thimsen, CTO of Qualtrics, on stage to demonstrate how SAP helps companies brings together O-data from SAP ERP applications with X-data from Experience Management solutions from SAP (Qualtrics) to close the experience gap.
Next Up: SAP TechEd Barcelona
While Mueller laid out the company’s intelligent enterprise strategy for the crowd in Las Vegas, he also looked ahead to SAP TechEd Barcelona, hinting at upcoming integration and other news around the business technology platform. Stay tuned for more!
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