SAP wants to help enterprises learn from their smart devices

New machine-learning capabilities for its IoT platform are among the advances SAP revealed at its Sapphire Now customer conference

IDG

IDG

SAP has added machine learning to its Leonardo IoT software suite to help businesses handle data gathered from smart devices more intelligently.

It unveiled the additions to Leonardo  -- and a cloud of other news -- at its customer conference, Sapphire Now, in Orlando on Tuesday.

Leonardo runs on SAP Cloud Platform and provides a number of services to process data from the internet of things, including streaming and predictive analytics. Now, those predictive capabilities will include machine-learning tools tuned to work with the rest of the Leonardo components.

"It's about adding intelligence to existing business processes and integrating with the core systems of record. Leonardo's capabilities can be infused into SAP applications," said Mike Flannagan, SAP's senior vice president for analytics. "We see Leonardo as something that will help customers transform processes."

Leonardo isn't the only place machine learning is turning up at SAP. It's being used for reconciling bank statements with invoices in SAP Cash Application, and for matching job applicants with open vacancies as part of SAP's Fieldglass recruitment suite. The company is also incorporating it into its customer relationship tools, SAP Service Ticketing and SAP Customer Retention, to recommend follow-up actions appropriate to individual customers.

With artificially intelligent chat bots all the rage at the moment, it was inevitable that SAP would find a way to join the throng. SAP CoPilot will use machine learning to allow people to interact with SAP applications in a conversational manner -- and will also connect to systems from other vendors, including Slack and Google's G Suite, providing a new way to access data.

There's another Google connection too: SAP is working with the company to make SAP Cloud Platform available to Google Cloud Platform users globally, and to certify more of its software to run on Google's cloud. NetWeaver is now certified, and SAP HANA is now certified on larger instances.

The companies also have plans to hook up Google's machine learning tools, including the Translate and Speech APIs and the TensorFlow open source library, with SAP's nascent machine learning platform.

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