To increase visibility for organizations and enable more accurate data and insights, we introduced updates to our procurement, business network, and external workforce platforms at SAP Sapphire Orlando last week.

With new integrations for SAP Ariba solutions, SAP Business Network, and SAP Fieldglass solutions, as well as the incorporation of new generative AI features, we aim to automate and streamline procurement, supply chain, and external workforce management processes. These innovations will help empower organizations to access real-time spend data and focus on proactive decision-making, ultimately increasing their visibility and effectiveness.

As businesses continue to embrace advanced technologies, the integration of responsible, relevant, and reliable business AI and Joule, SAP’s natural language, generative AI copilot, into the SAP suite of solutions represents a significant leap forward in optimizing business processes and accelerating strategic initiatives. By harnessing the power of supply chain data alongside business AI and generative AI, we are setting the stage for practical procurement and workforce scenarios to thrive.

Taking Business to the Next Level in the Era of AI

Joule Combined with SAP Ariba and SAP Analytics Cloud Can Improve Procurement Processes and Supply Chain Planning

Digital transformation has brought on endless potential for procurement teams, as embedded generative AI and increased access to data across the supply chain can lead to better visibility into spend. That is why we’re announcing further integration of Joule into our procurement solutions.

Later this year, Joule will be generally available in SAP Ariba solutions. Through this update, sourcing managers can utilize intelligent product and supplier recommendations to develop proposal requests. The combined platform will consider cost-effectiveness, sustainability ramifications, compliance regulations, and previous transactions.

Another new generative AI-based feature in SAP Ariba solutions will migrate data from SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition to help provide customers with a 360-degree buying user experience to enable a simple, agile, and collaborative process to identify products and skills in the same purchase order, otherwise known as spend bundling. Buyers can describe their purchasing needs with natural language prompts, and the system will deliver intelligent and personalized recommendations. This will help increase flexibility for buying materials and services, creating a collaborative and straightforward process from searching for products and services through order fulfillment.

To this end, we revealed a version of our generative AI-powered SAP Spend Control Tower during a session with Blackstone at SAP Sapphire. The command center, which can provide a single location for enterprise-wide spend analytics, can identify tail spend, improve compliance, and constantly identify rapidly increasing costs. This will help create meaningful value for organizations by increasing end-to-end visibility to drive efficient spend performance. Find out how to take advantage of the solution’s native connections to other SAP applications and improved insight to action here in this video.

Optimizing SAP Fieldglass with Generative AI to Mitigate Risk

HR departments and procurement teams often struggle to collaborate, creating silos that limit the ability to identify proper external candidates who can fill skills gaps in organizations. The latest update to SAP Fieldglass solutions will introduce embedded AI to help reduce risk and increase the value of the external workforce.

We are leveraging generative AI to produce scope of work (SOW) descriptions, job descriptions, and job description translations for external workers, automatically identifying the required skills and qualifications for each organization. This will help remove data silos to enable total workforce management, an organizational strategy to provide visibility into all temporary and permanent employees.

Additionally, SAP Fieldglass solutions enhanced with generative AI can rank candidates based on salary preference, skills, and experience. Procurement teams can then identify the best candidates in an unbiased manner to reduce the time to hire, ultimately accelerating strategic decision-making. These added facets will help enhance planning and preparation for all external talent scenarios.

Introducing New Enhancements to SAP Business Network

One of the highest priorities for any supply chain professional is to ensure their people, processes, and technology are resilient. Supply chain resilience extends beyond being able to withstand disruptions – it includes visibility into all activity and agility to react quickly to find and secure alternative sources of supply.

In fact, SAP was recognized as a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Commerce Network 2023 Vendor Assessment* and by TrustRadius as a top supply chain software for visibility.

Our latest modernization of SAP Business Network helps enhance customers’ communication channels with trading partners for increased visibility and agility. Improved integrations between SAP Business Network Supply Chain Collaboration and SAP Business Network Material Traceability can allow suppliers to share product genealogy data to help ensure full traceability and compliance across the supply chain. Additional links between SAP Business Network Supply Chain Collaboration and SAP Business Network Freight Collaboration will help automate updates for inbound deliveries, simplifying management of carrier appointments and shipments.

Enhancements to the SAP Business Network Asset Collaboration solution will help increase access to millions of supplier profiles from whom alternative products can be found. These new features across SAP Business Network solutions will work to reduce silos between and within organizations, resulting in significant time and cost savings with fewer manual steps in processing work orders.

Strategic Investment Across the SAP Suite of Solutions

SAP has augmented integrations across its entire portfolio of spend management and business network solutions, aiming to improve efficiency. By investing in technology that provides catered and end-to-end solutions, customers can have all-encompassing visibility to all business processes, from procurement of raw materials to delivery of the final product.

What we shared at SAP Sapphire will only improve relationships between buyers, suppliers, logistics providers, and service providers across the supply chain, developing a larger view of all functions and employees. This will lead to better decision-making, increased productivity, and improved agility.

Manoj Swaminathan is chief product and technology officer for Intelligent Spend and Business Network at SAP.

*Source: “IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Commerce Network 2023 Vendor Assessment,” #US49948423, December 2023.

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