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SAP boosts AI investment, eyes partnership with Microsoft

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Enterprise application firm SAP has signaled an intent to increase its footprint in the artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem in the coming weeks by mainstreaming AI into its suite of cloud solutions.

The company made its stance known during its Sapphire user conference in early June, with representatives hinting at the formal launch of Joule, its version of an AI Copilot. The German company is reportedly mulling the prospects of including Joule across its enterprise cloud apps.

Operating as a large language model (LLM) in the mold of ChatGPT, Joule allows users to understand workflow processes while providing seamless access to information and solutions to challenges. Attendees at the conference described Joule as a “next-generation user interface analogous to Alexa or Siri” but specifically tailored for enterprise applications.

SAP has previously tested the waters with integration in its SAP Start and SAP SuccessFactors programs, with early results demonstrating a measure of promise. However, the primary aim for the second half of the year will be a full-scale integration of Joule across Ariba, SAP’s procurement management software.

“Today’s AI announcements and partnerships build on our commitment to deliver revolutionary technology that drives real-world results, helping customers unleash the agility and ingenuity they need to succeed in today’s fast-moving business landscape,” said SAP CEO Christian Klein.

Upon launch, Joule will feature at least 50 AI use cases for enterprises, with the company seeking to raise the figure to at least 100. Insiders with knowledge of the matter opine that the use cases will encompass code generation, sales forecasting, supply chain applications, and logistics solutions.

There are ambitious plans to add multi-lingual functionality to its AI solution, allowing the offering to interact with German, Spanish, Portuguese and French users.

SAP says Joule excels in data privacy, noting that the company relied on internal training data to roll out the offering. Despite its data handling prowess, there are fears that Joule may only reach its true potential if it leverages customer data for its training.

A bird’s eye view

Enterprises are hurtling toward AI at the speed of light, buoyed by the prospects of improving the efficiency of their internal processes. A McKinsey Global Survey pegged corporate AI adoption rate at 72% in 2024 from 55% in mid-2023, signaling a frenzy by enterprises.

While the frenetic embrace of AI has been hailed by several quarters, there are fears that employee security may be adversely affected, and a timeline for firms to make a return on investment remains blurred. To mitigate the risks, several firms are investing in employee upskilling while others are proceeding cautiously with integration with other emerging technologies.

In order for artificial intelligence (AI) to work right within the law and thrive in the face of growing challenges, it needs to integrate an enterprise blockchain system that ensures data input quality and ownership—allowing it to keep data safe while also guaranteeing the immutability of data. Check out CoinGeek’s coverage on this emerging tech to learn more why Enterprise blockchain will be the backbone of AI.

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