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What is the SAP Intelligent Enterprise?

One of the most talked about topics at this years SAP SAPPHIRE NOW in June was The Intelligent Enterprise. This topic was in nearly every keynote, speech and marketing material at the event. So what exactly is SAP's new strategy.

The next era of enterprise computing will be defined by intelligent technologies

For more than 45 years, SAP has been on a journey with our customers, helping them create value for their organizations by applying technology to solve some of their most complex challenges. In each era of enterprise computing, SAP has evolved our strategy – and product portfolio – so our customers can run better. In the 1960s and 1970s, as mainframe computing gained popularity, we enabled our first customers to automate their plant floor operations with material-requirements planning software. In the 1990s, as companies expanded their use of the Internet, SAP helped connect our customers’ headquarters with their subsidiaries through SAP R/3® software for enterprise resource planning.

And, over the past 10 years, as cloud computing and Big Data have become ever more pervasive, with SAP HANA software, along with SAP's extensive portfolio of cloud applications, has helped our customers begin their own digital transformations. Now, as technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced analytics and blockchain become mainstream, SAP has a new opportunity – to help turn our customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises, with new capabilities that enable their workforces to focus on higher-value outcomes.

Intelligent technologies will drive a next-generation value economy

Advances in machine learning are enabling algorithms to become highly accurate in natural language understanding and in image and speech recognition. Businesses can use these increasingly sophisticated capabilities to drive the next level of intelligent business- processes automation and eliminate repetitive manual tasks.

Automation can now also be implemented far more cost-effectively, because it is embedded more and more within business processes. All of which means that the workforce will be able to focus on high-value activities like customer success, strategic planning, and innovation.

Advances in ubiquitous connectivity and edge computing are creating a step change in business productivity. This connectivity, coupled with artificial intelligence and machine learning, can be used to analyze petabytes of data to affect real business outcomes. IoT can connect the entire value chain, from design to production to supply chain, and data-driven insights of customer preferences can inspire better design, lower material costs, and reduce risk.

Real-time analysis of machines can predict maintenance needs, identify potential quality problems in manufacturing processes before they occur, and reduce asset downtime by as much as 50%. The integration of advanced analytics capabilities into applications allows business users to analyze data on the fly and informs better decision-making. Empowered users, benefiting from embedded analytics in business processes, can get real-time visibility into their changing environment, simulate the impact of business decisions, and achieve better customer outcomes.

Future business challenges will be radically different

The global economic growth of the last nine years has been powered largely by technology. Record corporate profits and new business models can all be tied to technology-driven innovation. On average, an S&P 500 company is now being replaced once every two weeks. This “tumble rate” is accelerating – with the difference between winners and losers tied to their ability to embrace digital technologies. The next decade will, of course, bring about even greater tectonic shifts. To address these challenges, businesses need to make sense of a growing volume of data, create a step change in productivity, and innovate with relentless clock-speed. In other words, they need to accelerate value creation. This is the heart of the Intelligent Enterprise.

To help businesses become Intelligent Enterprises and achieve breakthrough outcomes, SAP provides three essential components:

Intelligent Suite - Will offer unparalleled, breakthrough business value. SAP provides intelligent, integrated applications that enable our customers to automate their day-to-day business processes and better interact with their customers, suppliers, and employees. These applications will be industry specific, global, and applicable to large enterprises and to small and midsize enterprises.

Digital Platform - Will enable data-driven intelligence and innovation.

With the SAP Cloud Platform and SAP HANA Data Management Suite, SAP will facilitate the collection, connection and orchestration of data, as well as the integration and extension of processes within the intelligent suite.

The Intelligent EnterpriseIntelligent Technologies - Will embed intelligence in applications and facilitate new co-innovations.

With SAP Leonardo, SAP will embed intelligent technologies in customers’ core processes, enabling them to use their data to detect patterns, predict outcomes and suggest actions. For customers who want to innovate even faster, SAP solutions will offer industry innovation kits and open innovation services, which apply design thinking methodologies to new business models by industry.

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