In a key scene from the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire,” a pro football player is in the midst of contract negotiations with the Arizona Cardinals. He gets tired of his agent Jerry’s slick sales pitch and shouts at him in exasperation: “Show me the money!”

This is the very spot the world finds itself with generative AI. We’re past the hype and slick generative AI sales pitches.

Business leaders now want results. They are demanding tech vendors show them the money — the actual business value delivered by generative AI.

The Big Picture

What is artificial intelligence?

At a macro level, generative AI’s impact on productivity could add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy. McKinsey’s latest research estimates that generative AI could add the equivalent of $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually across just the 63 use cases the consultancy firm analyzed — by comparison, the UK’s entire GDP in 2021 was $3.1 trillion.

SAP is uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of generative AI. We deliver the broadest suite of enterprise applications that maintain customers’ most mission-critical data. When this data is combined with the power of AI, it can truly revolutionize the way business runs.

Here are just a few examples of how we’re already showing customers the money with generative AI.

Supply Chain Automation

We’ve built generative AI into the SAP Transportation Management solution to speed up freight verification and documentation for manufacturing customers. 

This transforms a historically cumbersome task that’s often still done on paper into a quick, automated, and fully digitized process. Expediting freight processing time with this capability translates into real money, delivering nearly $1 million in annual savings at a single warehouse facility — a savings customers with multiple such facilities can realize many times over.

Human Capital

Delta Air Lines is another customer working toward using SAP’s business AI. Delta is an early adopter of the talent intelligence hub built into SAP SuccessFactors. Delta Air Lines is developing a generative AI proof of concept slated to automatically transform generic skill descriptions into more accurate capabilities that reflect the job’s requirements based on real-world, updated employee and customer data in context.

To help employees move from an hourly, customer-facing role to the salaried corporate position of their dreams, Delta Air Lines is building a dynamic, skills-based experience for continuous employee learning using the talent intelligence hub in SAP SuccessFactors solutions. Individual employees have a growth portfolio, which is a profile that includes their current skills and competencies mapped to formal and informal learning opportunities within and outside the organization, some recommended by AI-based algorithms.

Intelligent Collections

Suppliers always face the risk that some of their customers won’t pay on time. Late payments impact liquidity planning and working capital requirements. 

Collection management for SAP S/4HANA intelligently analyzes historical data and identifies customers and invoices with a higher risk for late payment. The solution reduces customer billing, credit, and collections costs. In one customer study, the solution enabled a consumer products producer with 30,000 employees to realize up to an extra $2.9 million in earnings annually.

Natural Language Questions. Quick, Intelligent Answers

As these examples show, time is money. Joule, SAP’s generative AI copilot, helps customers save even more of it.

It’s like tapping your smartest coworker on the shoulder to get instant and accurate insights. Users can ask plain-language questions of Joule, which pulls reliable and relevant information from across SAP’s cloud portfolio, instead of manually hunting for answers across systems.

In one Joule test, information and insights about transactional data were achieved an average of 10 minutes faster compared to manual searching and analysis. For the user, that means more time available for higher level tasks. And, for the business, that adds up across the enterprise to real resource and cost savings.

What’s Next

This is just the beginning. We can expect that 2024 will see generative AI solutions create even more value for customers around the world.

We recently launched a number of AI innovations — from AI-infused coding tools to a one-stop shop to create generative AI extensions and applications — that give the developers at the heart of the AI revolution the tools they need to transform the way businesses run.

Who knows? Soon Joule may be the one to tap you on the shoulder with an offer to “Help me help you!”

Julia White is chief marketing and solutions officer and a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.

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