One of the topics that currently gets  the most hype is (drum roll…) machine learning.

We face a tsunami of incredible stories about programs mastering the art of AlphaGo in three weeks, robots nicely opening doors and doing backflips, cars self-learning to drive

It’s not a surprise that Gartner placed the topic at the peak of inflated expectations. We naturally claim for the benefits of these breakthrough changes in our lives, and especially at work. As a product manager and citizen evangelist, my perception of the market is that there is a gap between the vision and the current reality.

Good news first—there is a huge appetite to apply the potential of machine learning to the world of the enterprise and everyone can sense that we are only at the start of the journey.

Now the reality check—for the companies that are serious about becoming data-driven, the fun starts!

Obstacles on the way to the Holy Grail include:

  • Difficulty to identify the business cases where machine learning brings traction and ROI
  • Absence of qualified personnel to successfully operate the machine learning toolset.
  • Lack of stakeholder interest, sometimes due to the misunderstanding of the possibilities, sometimes because a “business as usual” approach prevails over a “data-driven business” approach.

At SAP, we strongly believe that a data science journey is worthwhile when the end goal is to transform the business. The destination is reached when the data science insights are leveraged by the “real” business users in their day-to-day work.

Enter the Machine Learning Customer Engagement Initiative

The SAP analytics product management team has established a customer engagement initiative named “Improve Machine Learning Adoption in Business Processes” to exchange with customers on their current or future machine learning practices, the challenges they face, and the successes they get.

Through this initiative, we want to identify best practices to deliver machine learning projects that meet business expectations and foster user adoption from day one.

These best practices will also be used as a material to shape future SAP software, with a specific focus on SAP Predictive Analytics, SAP Analytics Cloud, and SAP S/4HANA.

 

Will You Join In?

As a customer, you might ask yourself, What’s in it for me?

The main points to consider are:

  • Learning what your peers do
  • Getting an external viewpoint on your current practices
  • Influencing SAP in the forthcoming designs

We’re looking for participants that have already implemented machine learning and predictive analytics projects or have strong business expectations and an appetite for such future projects.

Participants should be willing to share their practical experience and exchange ideas on what work and what doesn’t work.

We plan a first get-together call on April 6 to kick-off the program and present the planned activities so that you can decide whether to join us. We offer to travel in Europe for selected customers to discuss your flagship machine learning projects. Remote calls can be planned with US-based customers.

Please register on the SAP Customer Influence site and join us!

We look forward to working with you!