SAP pushes deeper into machine learning

With its expanded Leonardo platform that includes machine learning capabilities, SAP hopes to go beyond its stronghold of supplying core ERP systems

Enterprise software giant SAP has brought together multiple technologies in an expanded platform to support the needs of enterprises that are looking to transform their business.

Dubbed Leonardo, SAP’s internet of things (IoT) platform will now deliver machine learning, big data analytics and blockchain capabilities, underpinned by its cloud platform that supports microservices so enterprises can build customised extensions for SAP business applications.

In his opening address at SAP Sapphire in Orlando, SAP CEO Bill McDermott said Leonardo signals the shift of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from systems of record to so-called “systems of innovation”, in aid of digital transformation initiatives.

Building on the capabilities of SAP’s Hana in-memory database, he added that the machine learning capabilities of Leonardo would help enterprises harness the insights from data collected via IoT devices.

In addition, Leonardo will include a set of new machine learning-enabled applications for corporate functions, from invoicing to customer service and retention. Partners and software developers can also tap a network of SAP Leonardo Centres in New York, Paris, Sao Leopoldo and Bangalore to build custom applications.

SAP said Leonardo would offer customers either an industry-focused approach called industry accelerators, aligned to specific use cases, with fixed prices and timelines, or a flexible approach that would allow customers to build what they require for any industry or business need.

McDermott said Leonardo would strengthen SAP’s position in the market, enabling the company to support customers in innovation projects beyond its stronghold in supplying core ERP systems. Over time, he said, Leonardo will also unfold into a roadmap to meet the needs of various industries.

Besides SAP, other business software suppliers have also started baking artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities into their offerings. In September 2016, unveiled Einstein, which delivers artificial intelligence capabilities for the Salesforce platform.

At around the same time, Oracle debuted Adaptive Intelligent Apps, a suite of cloud applications that adapt and learn from a user’s behaviour to offer personalised recommended actions and streamline the tasks of business users.

Separately, SAP said its Cloud Foundry-based cloud platform now supports multiple public cloud services, enabling enterprises to run applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. 

The SAP platform also includes multi-language runtime environments, including Java, Node.js and SAP Hana extended application services. ........ ......... ......... ...........

Read more on Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software