IBM and SAP Team Up to Launch Fresh GenAI and Cloud Capabilities

The two tech titans have unveiled the five key areas that make up their “vision for the next era of their collaboration.”

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Published: May 10, 2024

Rhys Fisher

IBM and SAP have announced plans to expand their existing collaboration to help deliver superior client productivity and innovation.

With generative AI (GenAI) and industry-specific cloud solutions at the core of what the two organizations have termed their “New Value Generation partnership,” IBM and SAP are promising that the innovations will help clients “unlock business value.”

Building on the companies’ 50 plus year collaboration, the new capabilities will be crafted by combining IBM’s GenAI infrastructure with SAP’s Rise program, a managed cloud offering designed to help modernize legacy SAP enterprise resource planning.

The companies also plan to “infuse” AI within SAP’s business workflows within industry-specific cloud solutions and applications for specific lines of business.

Speaking at the announcement of the expansion of the partnership, John Granger – Senior Vice President at IBM Consulting – outlined the customer benefits that the fresh capabilities will bring:

IBM and SAP’s shared approach to generative AI, built on an open ecosystem, trust and purpose-built models, will help empower clients to optimize business outcomes.

“Our new Value Generation partnership initiative will enable clients to accelerate the path to innovation, competitive advantage and become a next-generation enterprise through generative AI.”

So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the five key areas that the companies will be targeting as part of their New Value Generation partnership:

Next-Generation AI Business Processes

IBM intends to expand AI capabilities throughout SAP’s cloud solutions and applications, all supported by SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).

This encompasses various offerings such as RISE with SAP, GROW with SAP, financial solutions for CFOs, supply chain management, human capital management, SAP Customer Experience solutions, and intelligent spend management solutions.

Additionally, IBM will utilize SAP Signavio and SAP Business AI solutions to define next-generation business processes through a proof-of-concept adoption program.

Next-Generation Industry Innovation

IBM and SAP aim to integrate intelligent use cases, driven by data insights, into end-to-end business operations to foster innovation in various sectors.

These use cases will initially target industrial manufacturing, consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail, defense, automotive, and utilities industries, these efforts include IBM’s collaboration with SAP on AI solutions for CPG and retail sectors.

As part of this endeavor, IBM is creating a comprehensive portfolio of over 100 AI solutions spanning industries, lines of business, and product delivery.

Furthermore, IBM intends to develop prescriptive industry value maps outlining AI-driven business processes and potential impact opportunities.

Next-Generation Platform Architecture and Customer Adoption Approach

Part of the Value Generation partnership initiative is to offer advanced reference architectures for implementing a clean core strategy.

By leveraging SAP BTP, SAP Signavio, and LeanIX solutions, IBM plans to establish standards across data, processes, systems, and device integration, along with process orchestration and automation.

Consultants supporting SAP projects can utilize IBM Consulting Advantage, IBM’s AI services platform, and its array of proprietary methods and assets to enhance delivery consistency and efficiency.

IBM Consulting Advantage also enables consultants to enhance their SAP solution delivery by implementing GenAI for tasks like creating user stories, test scripts, training content, change management materials, and code.

Next-Generation Ecosystem Expansion

The partnership will include collaborating on IBM and SAP’s employee network groups and “next-gen” communities, including IBM’s businesswomen’s networks and SAP’s University Alliances and Veterans to Work programs.

The goal is to enhance the SAP solutions expertise within the consulting workforce and foster the development of future talent.

Additionally, the companies plan to explore joint efforts in social impact initiatives, such as training at-risk youths in the IT sector and integrating social businesses into global supply chains to drive positive societal change.

watsonx Planned Availability on the GenAI Hub

IBM’s Granite Model Series is set to be available for utilization across SAP’s cloud solutions and applications, leveraging the GenAI hub within SAP AI Core.

This hub enables the deployment of relevant, reliable, and responsible business AI, offering instant access to a diverse range of large language models (LLMs). This collaboration builds upon IBM and SAP’s existing efforts to integrate IBM Watson AI technology into SAP solutions.

IBM Consulting intends to showcase the capabilities of Granite by developing extensions using the model on the generative AI hub for specific customers.

In discussing the potential of the new innovations, Scott Russell – Chief Revenue Officer & Executive Board Member of Customer Success at SAP SE – commented:

This expanded partnership will help more of our joint customers reach new heights by innovating through the cloud, data and business AI to grow and transform their businesses.

For more news and analysis of IBM, SAP, and the overall customer service and CX sector, check out the rest of the CX Today site.

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