SAP Africa recently pulled out all the stops – including hosting the debut of humanoid robot Sophia – to emphasise that it is the rise of the intelligent enterprise that will ensure Africa can effectively compete in the 22nd century.
The company wrapped up its SAP NOW Conference in Johannesburg at the end of August 2018 and used the opportunity to remind business owners and industry leaders that the technology to break into the frontiers of highly intelligent business processes to digitally transform is already here.
The introduction of Sophia, the social humanoid robot developed by Hong-Kong based company Hanson Robotics, was a fitting way to remind delegates why the continued convergence of intelligent technology in society will impact business – irrespective of whether or not a business is ready.
SAP Africa MD Cathy Smith said, “Innovation has to be at the core of your operation… if not, the risk you’ll run is whether you will be relevant in two or three years.”
Under the theme tomorrow is already here, SAP Africa underlined the strategic importance for business to embrace digital technology like AI, robotics and machine learning to enhance operations – particularly the customer experience.
Chief Operating Officer SAP Africa Mehmood Khan said this technology is not a threat to jobs, but is really a way for businesses to “actually improve the lives of people.”
SAP Africa believes its technology is well positioned as a platform for the intelligent enterprise because it is primarily a data platform which enables businesses to better understand “their truth” – what internal and external data sources are affecting their operations.
“If you are looking for AI solutions or IOT or machine learning, you won’t find any… that is because all of these technologies are already built into every SAP offering, across the supply chain… it is built into everything we do,” said Khan.
He added that every business’ journey to establish themselves as intelligent enterprises is different.
“We can start anywhere and we can go anywhere,” he said and cited the example of a customer in Uganda who established- and is running a full enterprise operation from home that was set up in four months.
This article first appeared in ITWeb Africa