The latest advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI have opened the possibility to reshape every business and brought new challenges. At SAP Customer Experience LIVE, I discussed SAP’s approach toward adopting AI to provide a delightful customer experience.

In the SAP Customer Experience organization, we focus on our deep industry knowledge and vast customer data to devise AI strategies. These strategies are based on three business AI principles:

  • Relevant: Make agile decisions, unlock valuable insights with data aligned with business outcomes, and automate tasks
  • Reliable: Use AI that is trained on your industry and company data, driven by SAP process expertise, to tirelessly satisfy and surpass customer expectations
  • Responsible: Run responsible AI built on leading ethics and data privacy standards throughout our customer engagement process

Using these principles, we are building and bringing AI innovations to market in two ways for our customers.

SAP Debuts New CX Generative AI Capabilities to Enhance Customer Experiences and Boost Business Operations

First, we are developing portfolio-wide AI capabilities that can be accessed everywhere by business teams through a common interface, including a standalone app and Joule. These capabilities, built on top of proprietary AI models and fine-tuned large language models (LLMs), leverage SAP’s experiential and operational data as well as third-party data. The result is proactive, contextual, and AI-powered insights from across the enterprise, which help organizations optimize their business processes. These features will be available for purchase as a “package” with the ability to use only what you need.

Second, we’re making our current products — SAP Sales Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement, and SAP Customer Data Platform solutions — even more valuable by natively embedding new AI features. These features will be available within the products.

New Portfolio-Wide AI Capabilities

Supercharge Catalog Management and Product Discovery with AI

With CX AI models, commerce managers can spend significantly less time on catalog enrichment and maintenance. Product attributes can be automatically extracted from images and textual descriptions, enriching product catalogs. Product descriptions can be automatically generated and published to a commerce storefront for an engaging purchasing experience. And image-based semantic search can help users easily discover new and existing products.

These capabilities (available December 2023) will result in better product discovery, produce personalized recommendations, reduce time spent on repetitive data entry, and help increase cart sizes at checkout.

Intelligent catalog enrichment generates a new product description based on selected attributes and tone

Automate Labor-Intensive Tasks with Curated Role-Based AI Tools

Service, sales, and commerce teams now have access to job-specific AI tools to automate time-consuming and repetitive tasks. Most enterprise tools can write generative AI-powered content. The SAP Customer Experience portfolio now offers localized AI agents to bring business context with hyper-relevant content. 

For example, when a customer issue arises, AI swoops in to create an overview of the situation and provide remediation guidance, for increased efficiency and a healthier bottom line (available December 2023).

A role-based AI tool writes a case overview for a service agent based on case details

Retrieve Answers in Natural Language with Proactive AI

Sales and service teams will benefit from CX AI models that automatically detect questions and suggest responses.

This goes beyond generative search. The SAP Customer Experience portfolio now proactively detects questions and retrieves answers in natural language. The answers are derived from business data, including data in CRM, various communication channels, various document formats, and knowledge articles. CX AI models powering these capabilities are trustworthy because they transparently provide the sources from which answers are derived.

These capabilities will proactively identify and answer customer questions within conversations to free up sales and service teams to focus on more value-adding tasks (available December 2023).

Intelligent Q&A detects a question in the email and suggests a response based on trusted company sources

Surface Customer Profile Intelligence in Context

With AI-generated customer profiles powered by real-time data from SAP Customer Data Platform, teams can effortlessly dive into customer preferences and deliver a more tailored and relevant experience.

The power of intelligent customer profiles and insights is fully realized when they are personalized in natural language and surface contextually, prompted in CX applications. The SAP Customer Experience portfolio uniquely delivers this value through native data connectivity across SAP S/4HANA and CX in SAP Customer Data Platform.

This means the ability to equip sales representatives to know when to offer the right discount and incentive to close a deal based on the total lifetime value of the customer (available December 2023).

Contextual Customer Profile surfaces key insights like order information or account segments for a sales representative from SAP Customer Data Platform

New Embedded AI Capabilities

In addition to developing AI capabilities that extend across the SAP Customer Experience portfolio, we’re also embedding throughout our solutions AI that has the ability to do the following things.

Create Personalized Content Powered by Generative AI

Marketers can now use the new generative AI capabilities in SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement to create compelling content, such as subject lines and content blocks. In addition, with new AI capabilities like semantic search, they can quickly discover new products that deliver the right message to the right audience. For example, marketers can search for a specific keyword or a generic description, such as “items that are new in stock” or “best-selling products in <a specific product category>.”

The new subject line and content block generation allows marketers to leverage generative AI to create targeted, compelling email content that produces profitable personalization (beta available first quarter of 2024, with general availability planned for soon after).

Personalized subject line options are generated using the Visual Content Editor in SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement

Generate Instant, Context-Aware Email Responses with Embedded Generative AI

Sales and service users already benefit from automatically generated email summaries and responses. Now, these features are supercharged with generative AI to be more contextual and relevant.

Relevant and accurate summaries are extracted from publicly available information and SAP business data. With this natural language summary of contacts, accounts, opportunities, and cases, users can effortlessly sift through information and identify what is relevant. Email response recommendations are automatically generated based on the most recent communications with a customer, allowing sales and service representatives to engage with customers naturally and effectively (incrementally delivered in the SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Service Cloud releases).

AI-powered account summary in SAP Sales Cloud shows key account and contact information in natural language
A role-based AI tool writes a case overview for a service agent based on case details

Fortify Customer Identity and Access Management with AI

CIOs and security officers understand how crucial it is to secure their customer’s digital identity, footprint, and assets.

The latest enhancement to the SAP Customer Identity and Access Management solution is an AI risk-based authentication capability. This feature is designed to fortify end-user identity data and provide an intelligent shield against potential threats across all our digital platforms and brands. 

With a unified customer view and consent profile, end users can confidently navigate real-time engagements, knowing that their data remains secure and private (available now with additional enhancements planned for second quarter of 2024).

These are just a few innovations the CX team is working on. The next announcements I am very excited about are AI capabilities in the new SAP Enterprise Service Management solution.

The shape, pace, and extent of AI transformation will vary from one industry to another, while remaining compliant with local and global regulations. We strive to build our products with relevant, reliable, and responsible AI that goes beyond buzzword-laden ambiguity.

Using this AI, we at SAP CX are committed to continually providing industry-tailored, connected, insightful, and adaptive products that will serve as a powerful toolkit in your digital transformation journey.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

Ritu Bhargava is president and chief product officer of Industries and Customer Experience at SAP.

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