Continuous delivery of outcome-driven support services is vital to SAP customer success. This commitment has led to various innovations that resolve technology issues quickly and automatically. SAP is taking the experience even further with its latest work in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

The transformation of on-call, reactive customer support is fascinating to watch. Over the past few years, SAP has discovered new ways to simplify processes and automate them to optimize the value it brings to customers. Then the company brought in predictive analytics to detect and resolve issues early on.

At SAP, such optimization and predictive capabilities of customer support are setting the foundation for proactive services. This vision is created with the mindset of helping customers become more productive and profitable than ever while taking advantage of the latest intelligent technologies.

Outcome-Driven Support Experience for Customers, Built on Intelligence

Take the Incident Solution Matching service, SAP’s first step toward creating a predictive and proactive support model. With a combination of machine learning and AI, the company is expanding the ability to intelligently understand customer issues, quickly propose relevant solutions, and efficiently resolve problems without the need to submit an incident report.

Over time, the real power behind Incident Solution Matching has become increasingly effective as more customers use it to research solutions for technology challenges and rely on its intelligence to find the corrective action. Now, the service has grown from a whiteboard concept into a full-fledged crucial line of support for customers using all SAP and SAP Ariba solutions.

Customers using SAP S/4HANA Cloud will be the first group to benefit from the enhanced recommendation content. The Incident Solution Matching engine will provide recommended solutions not only from SAP Notes and SAP Knowledge Base Article services, but also from additional data sources such as SAP Help Portal, the road-map viewer tool, and SAP Fiori apps reference library.

The success of Incident Solution Matching inspired SAP to further evolve the Next-Generation Support approach with a clear road map based on data intelligence, rule-based automation, and predictive capabilities. With such a strategic plan, the company is effectively improving and simplifying the support experience to customers’ needs and expectations with through optimized business outcomes.

Quick Resolution with Personalized Customer Support Experiences

This strategic move toward intelligent services led to the creation of guided incident workflow and personalized support assistant capabilities. When initiating assistance in an SAP solution, customers can benefit from an efficient, convenient, and intuitive experience as they find a solution that resolves their issues immediately.

The support assistant workflow asks users targeted and relevant questions about the problems they encounter until they are narrowed down to a solution, such as knowledge base articles, updates, or patches. However, if a solution is not identified through the workflow wizard, the user is automatically prompted to submit relevant log or trace files.

In the background, parser engines analyze the information, pinpoint the issue, alert the customer about the criticality of its problem, and ultimately deliver the right solution. By the end of the interaction, SAP has documented the incident – complete with the underlying issue, lessons learned, and proven solution. This can be leveraged for future solution development and support interactions.

Additional innovation in SAP services also led to the introduction of the Schedule a Manager service. It provides customers with an easy way to engage directly with SAP support managers in order to bring management attention to a service exception or service dissatisfaction, complementing Expert Chat and Schedule an Expert services. During a scheduled, live phone conversation, customers have a real-time channel for sharing their SAP solution concerns and demands with a qualified manager, reducing the effort and frustration of handling critical business needs.

SAP’s experimentation with neural machine translation is another benefit of its work with AI and machine learning. Doing so allows the company to automatically translate SAP Notes and SAP Knowledge Base articles from English to Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, Korean, Italian, or German. SAP is already working on potentially making this technology available for translating incidents into those nine languages.

This automatic translation feature would enable customers to use information on documented incidents, best practices, and terminology. Like the company’s ever-evolving customer support services, this functionality is self-learning – continuously improving the quality of translations based on feedback and machine learning.

Product Training and Accreditation Focused on Customer Needs

The product support team at SAP has also created new services and tools to fulfill customers’ ever-evolving needs. Users can explore new ways to benefit from offerings through the Product Support Accreditation program at no additional cost.

The two-hour, guided learning experience includes short videos detailing the latest tools and capabilities of  support services, designed to optimize the value of their SAP solution investment. Customers can review the content at their convenience as often as they like to stay up to date.

An Evolution Toward Ultimate Customer Support Vision

As SAP continues to innovate with AI and machine learning, support processes will become more efficient and accurate. More importantly, it will bringing the company closer to its ultimate vision for predictive and proactive customer assistance.

SAP will continue to design and deliver new tools, channels, and functionalities to give customers the predictive support experience they want. Just imagine how this experience will evolve as more cloud solutions are backed by analytics processing trillions of captured data points in the background. Customers may never again encounter issues with their technology because intelligent capabilities will reroute the user experience around a detected problem.

Milestone after milestone, SAP is taking the support experience in an entirely new direction as part of its desire to help customers succeed – always.

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Mohammed Ajouz is senior vice president and global head of Product Support at SAP.