SAP proliferates partner programme to 'keep the core clean'

SAP used its SAP Sapphire user conference this May to detail a wide-ranging partner proliferation programme that includes a number of key developmental technologies.

Arguably foremost among its expanded unions is work with Microsoft to add generative AI functions to the SAP platform.

Going forwards, the companies will collaborate on integrating SAP SuccessFactors technology with Microsoft’s 365 Copilot AI assistant built on OpenAI’s GPT4 Large Language Model (LLM) as it is integrated with the Microsoft Graph API development platform and Copilot in Viva Learning, Microsofts learning and skills technology service alongside the Azure OpenAI Service for customisable AI models to make use of language models capable of analysing and generating natural language.

SAP also has also workday with Google Cloud to introduce an open data offering designed to simplify data landscapes.

The offering enables customers to build an end-to-end data cloud that brings data from across the enterprise landscape using the SAP Datasphere solution together with Google’s data cloud.

The idea, in concept and in practice, is that businesses can view their entire data estates in real time and, so, logically, they may be more likely to maximise value from their Google Cloud and SAP software investments.

Data chores

SAP reminds us that organisations spend significant resources building complex data integrations, custom analytics engine and generative AI and natural language processing (NLP) models before they start to realise value from their data investments. 

Data originating from SAP systems can contain critical information on supply chains, financial forecasting, human resources records, omnichannel retail etc. So then, SAP says that SAP Datasphere combines this mission-critical data with data from across the enterprise landscape, regardless of its origin. 

Being able to combine SAP software data and non-SAP data on Google Cloud from virtually any other data source, means organisations can accelerate their digital development with a fully defined data foundation that retains complete business context.

“Bringing together SAP systems and data with Google’s data cloud introduces entirely new opportunities for enterprises to derive more value from their full data footprints,” said Christian Klein, CEO and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “SAP and Google Cloud share a commitment to open data and our extended partnership will help break down barriers between data stored in disparate systems, databases and environments. Our customers not only benefit from the business AI already built into our systems, but also from a unified data foundation.”

SAP says it will advance its multi-cloud offerings by expanding regional support of SAP BTP and SAP HANA Cloud on Google Cloud, which includes support for SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Datasphere. 

“SAP and Google Cloud now offer a comprehensive and open data cloud, providing a foundation for the future of enterprise AI,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud. “Few resources are as important to digital transformation as data. By deeply integrating SAP software data and systems with our data cloud, customers will be able to utilise our analytics capabilities as well as advanced AI tools and large language models to find new insights from their data.”

Defying data duplication

The integration between SAP Datasphere and Google Cloud BigQuery allows customers to access critical data in real-time without data duplication. This joint offering can unify data from SAP software systems, such as SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud, providing organisations with a comprehensive view of their most important data on Google data cloud.

SAP and Google Cloud co-engineered data replication and federation technologies, which allow businesses to integrate SAP software data with BigQuery environments and use SAP and Google Cloud’s data analytics capabilities. 

Now, users can federate queries across SAP Datasphere and BigQuery to blend data from SAP and non-SAP software. This (so says SAP) eliminates common data silos from sources that span marketing, sales, finance, supply chain and more. For example, customers with wholesale business distribution models can now have full visibility into their products as they go through the sales pipeline and reach customers.

Accenture adventure

SAP has also worked with Accenture to collaborate on what it calls ‘immersive services and simulations’ to improve supply chain resilience and sustainability. The story here sees Accenture and SAP joining forces to bring immersive services to SAP BTP, contextualised with data from SAP Business Suite software. 

This new offering gives customers the ability to simulate business scenarios in rich and interactive digital environments before tackling them in the real world. Accenture’s expertise in implementing immersive services will help clients achieve value and scale on SAP BTP. 

SAP and Accenture are also collaborating in a partnership focused on SAP Business Network to bolster the development of a sustainable trading partner network. The collaboration aims to foster increased transparency and visibility across assets and inventory and faster value realisation within a global, multitier supply chain network. 

Keep the core clean

Additionally, SAP has announced new partner software certification scenarios through SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) to support the clean core initiative. 

A clean core means the core system is not modified or customised and can easily be upgraded in the cloud. Moreover, SAP aims to increase upgradeability and SaaS qualities, especially for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition for SAP customers. 

The new certification scenarios aim to keep extensions provided by customers and partners separate from the application core of SAP S/4HANA, private edition. All extensions are built using SAP Business Technology Platform. The add-ons are packaged using SAP’s guidelines to impact future developments.

SAP SAPPHIRE 2023, Orlando, USA

Data Center
Data Management