This post is excerpted from a post originally appearing on the SAP Community blog.

It’s been called the Woodstock of IT for good reason: SAPPHIRE NOW is a celebration of innovation. The past two days have been full of incredible ideas, speakers, and conversations. Today was marked by some of the best sessions yet, with news about product launches and recent projects including:

  • Intelligent Robotic Process Automation
  • SAP Leonardo IoT and IoT Edge
  • SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Experience Management
  • Data Intelligence and the future of SAP

Read on to find out more about these sessions and where to learn more about each topic.

Markus and Shawn: Intelligent Robotic Process Automation

Markus Noga, Senior Vice President of Machine Learning, introduced three types of bots in his Best Run Theater session: automation, conversation, and intelligence.

Automation

Today SAP launched Intelligent Robotic Process Automation with the help of the newly acquired RPA specialist Contextor. Intelligent RPA, or IRPA for short, allows users to automate business processes. By delegating routine tasks to bots, businesses can focus on creating innovative solutions to their most complex problems. As of today’s launch, there are already more than 100 Contextor customers, and more than 100, 000 bots deployed by Contextor. Find out why IRPA is here to stay.

Conversation

The second type of bot is Conversational Artificial Intelligence (CAI), or chatbots. “We’ve made it dead simple to generate bots in many more ways,” Markus said. It’s true: SAP can create bots from old interfaces, FAQ documents, policy guides, and countless other resources to answer customer and employee questions. The results show that conversations with bots are over three times faster than with humans.

Intelligence

Intelligence is last, but not least. “Dealing with big data is like coming to a big city, you don’t quite know your way to your destination,” Markus said. “You want to zoom in on the elements that matter to get to where you need to go—and SAP Data Intelligence does that.” With a combination of SAP Leonardo, Data Hub, the best of Python and R open source, SAP has over 150 Machine Learning Foundation customers and over 100 Data Hub customers.

Shawn Brodersen, Vice President & Global Chief Technology Officer at HCL Technologies, joined Markus onstage. He agreed that the true value of SAP’s bots comes from the convergence of these three technologies. He gave the example of a past customer who used IRPA, CAI, and SAP Leonardo in the creation of an Ask HR bot to answer their employee’s frequently asked questions. The technologies together were the key to providing an elevated experience.

Markus finished by thanking the audience. “It is your demands and insistence on excellence that brings us to a world class level.” For more information, visit sap.com/ml

Elvira and Jeff: SAP Leonardo IoT and IoT Edge

There is no one more well-suited to speak about SAP’s IoT than Elvira Wallis, Senior Vice President and Global Head of the Internet of Things (IoT).

She had the audience picture two scenes. In the first scene, she had them imagine that a technical problem is converted into an IT service ticket. In the second scene, however, she tells them that a service technician receives the full customer context and the service ticket on an app via the Internet of Things. Through IoT, the technician gets a richer context, and the customer gets a better experience.

“We are living in an experience economy,” she said. “IoT can help elevate customer satisfaction.”

Onstage to demonstrate a real-world example of IoT value was Jeff Mueller, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Pregis, the premier packaging company. He leverages IoT to improve inventory through automated replenishment. He explained that in the past, many of his customers wouldn’t realize they were running out of product because it required manual inventory. Now, replenishment happens automatically. The inventory sends an alert when it’s running low, no manual interference needed.

Elvira closed her presentation by noting that “the business Internet of Things is here, it’s real,” and that “SAP is the top choice.” Learn more about SAP Leonardo IoT.

Hasso and Gerrit: SAP Analytics Cloud

Hasso Plattner, one of the original Co-Founders of SAP, was joined on stage by Gerrit Kazmaier, Senior Vice President of SAP Analytics, to discuss SAP’s trusted Cloud Platform. Gerrit, more than anyone, knows the value of a reliable system.

“Did you know that I almost didn’t make it to SAPPHIRE?” he asked. The airport’s records system  had crashed and he had trouble obtaining his visa before flying to Orlando. “I almost didn’t make it because of a system fall. That simply cannot happen.”

In today’s world of advanced analytics, the problem with systems is not lack of data but difficulty consuming it. SAP Analytics Cloud solves this problem, providing the opportunity for decisions without doubt. This project was started four years ago with zero lines of code, but now serves over 2400 customers and over 690 partners.

Sonia Burjorjee of Customer Experience & Product Marketing took the stage to demonstrate SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. She guided us through many features, noting that the system allows users to see the same data while maintaining secure access, and that the pre-built templates provide instant insights.

“It’s cliché to say ‘revolutionizes’ at SAPPHIRE.” She smiled out at the crowd. “But I’m going to say it anyway. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud revolutionizes data management.”

Markus couldn’t agree more, saying “We can all leverage the vast amount of data given to us to drive better business outcomes.” He encouraged everyone to consider a free trial at sapanalytics.cloud and become part of the movement at sapdatawarehouse.cloud.

Hasso and Jared: Experience Management

There’s a new kid on the block, and it’s X Data. SAP’s recent acquisition of data giant Qualtrics has introduced Experience Management, and XO Data. Qualtrics Co-Founder Jared Smith joined Hasso Plattner onstage and began with a scenario for the audience.

“Imagine you’re in the cockpit of an airplane and there’s one gauge in front of you,” he said. “It shows how fast you’re descending—100 feet per second. Now that’s fine, normal even, but now imagine a second gauge that shows altitude, and you realize you’re only 50 feet above the ground.” The crowd chuckled. “Instrumentation is important,” he said. He reiterated that we all need both gauges to understand the full picture of where we stand.

Experience Management combines SAP’s expertise in Operational Data, or O Data, and Qualtrics’ expertise in Experience Data, or X Data. O Data can show businesses the lifetime value of their top customers. X Data can tell businesses how to keep them. When they’re put together, XO Data is the lifeblood of Experience Management.

 

Qualtrics has spent 16 years building a complex platform to capture, analyze, and act on X Data so that businesses can translate it into meaningful outcomes. Drawing on social media posts, product reviews, customer service call transcripts, and direct surveys, Qualtrics has been able to give businesses a full picture of their customers’ experience. Jared emphasized that there’s power in the ability to provide focus. Setting the right priorities matters more than the execution.

“People focus on the wrong things because they don’t have the right instrumentation to guide their business,” he said. In other words, they’re running on a single gauge instead of a pair.

Jared gave the example of a luxury hotel chain that couldn’t maintain its business. All the experts had suggested that they revamp their spa and add a steakhouse, but they didn’t have the funds to undergo renovations. They turned to Qualtrics for X Data instead. The data showed that their guests actually wanted a memorable check-in experience instead. For almost no cost, the hotel focused on providing guests with the best and most personalized experience from the moment they arrived. The result? Business has never been better.

Hasso summed it up best: “I was upset when you did this,” he said, “because I didn’t invent that.”

Interested in learning more about Experience Management with SAP and Qualtrics? Visit SAP Experience Management for more information.

Juergen and Geoff: Data Intelligence and the Future of SAP

This is Juergen Mueller’s first SAPPHIRE NOW experience as an Executive Board Member. He’s been newly appointed to the role of Chief Technology Officer at SAP, but he’s been involved in computer programming for most of his life. In fact, he founded a technology company with his friends when he was only seventeen years old.

However, it was his first job as a soccer referee that’s influenced his priorities the most. In that role, he learned the value of fairness and transparency. Today, he focuses on how to provide businesses with fair, transparent technology.

Geoff Scott, CEO of Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG), joined Juergen onstage to discuss his plans to help SAP reach its next level. Geoff asked Juergen one of the most frequent questions he hears from customers: how do we find time to innovate when we’re so busy with day-to-day problems?

Juergen introduced the Business Technology Platform for Data-Driven Innovation. SAP’s four-pronged strategy was created with the end-goal of streamlining customers’ business processes, so that they can spend more time innovating. The strategy includes data management, analytics, the business cloud platform, and intelligent technologies. The projected outcomes are to:

  1. Deliver a business technology platform to customers
  2. Embed integration and innovation across the entire Intelligent Suite
  3. Incubate the next generation of Intelligent Enterprise Solutions.

Learn More

To find out more about the Business Technology Platform, read the whitepaper,  Technology & Innovation Overview and Outlook.