SAP expands S/4HANA’s AI tools

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SAP has rolled out the latest release for the S/4HANA Cloud platform, offering its AI functionality to companies in the manufacturing and professional services sectors.

Following S/4HANA's 1805 release, which introduced a set of 12 machine learning-powered business functionalities in areas such as finance or production, the 1808 release announced today will deliver more than a dozen more processes.

"Building on SAP's unmatched industry domain expertise to help every customer become a best-run business, these updates will increase customer agility and flexibility, as they adapt to rapidly changing business conditions," said Sven Denecken, the company's senior vice president for SAP S/4HANA cloud product management.

The company highlighted a number of new features, including the ability to visually detect load capacity and quickly resolve any bottleneck or overload situations, and insights for engineers to understand key performance indicators (KPIs) and staffing analysis.

SAP says these updates will give manufacturing firms the ability to synchronise capacity and materials planning, and could reduce inventory demands by up to 45%, while professional services firms may benefit from greater transparency into resource availability.

The software company outlined a scenario in which a bullwhip effect is created due to delays between forecast and production, with manufacturers left with poorly matched production and demand.

Automation of certain processes, the company said, would better synchronise capacity and materials planning across the supply chain, and could reduce inventory by up to 45%.

"Our world today moves at breakneck speed and the first companies to lead change will have the ultimate edge," Denecken continued. "We understand that yesterday's accomplishments won't guarantee tomorrow's success, which is why our focus is, and will remain to be, keeping our customers "best-run" through continuous innovation and access to the latest and most intelligent technologies via SAP S/4HANA Cloud."

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.