5 Ways AI Can Be Used to Leverage SAP

July 09, 2020 by Stefanini

When AI is integrated with customer experience, it can result in more satisfied customers. Learn how AI can be used to leverage the power of SAP!

 

Human beings – both in business and their social lives – are constantly seeking to validate their freedoms – the freedom to explore, to interact, and most of all, to choose. Yet, this concept of freedom isn’t often extended to the idea of customer experience. After all, customers are humans and freedom is central to the idea of buying and consuming.

Enter artificial intelligence (AI). And when AI is integrated with customer experience, it can create a customer journey that allows customers to own their experience, ultimately resulting in more agency and more satisfied customers. 

According to SAP, a recent report by Gartner stated, “By 2023, organizations at advanced stages of digital transformation will find that poor customer experience is their biggest barrier to further success.”

A poor customer experience can be the result of being unable to effectively handle complaints, not understanding the customer’s point-of-view, and having no idea of a customer’s preferences. There is a need to bridge the gap between freedom and technology. When artificial intelligence is integrated with SAP, it can bridge that gap.

SAP’s Guiding Principles for Artificial Intelligence

According to SAP, with AI, you can make confident decisions, automate repetitive tasks, and deliver human experiences with embedded artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). And AI has its advantages; using AI, businesses can solve complex societal problems and improve people’s lives by helping protect the environment, and build fairer societies. Yet, as with all technologies, there are ethics to consider when using these types of cutting-edge technologies.

By recognizing the amazing impact of AI on people, customers, and society at large, SAP has designed seven guiding principles that help steer the deployment and development of AI software to help the world run more smoothly, overall improving people’s lives. These guidelines were created to further SAP’s mission to move beyond what is legally required and begin a deep, continuous engagement with the wider ethical and socioeconomic challenges presented by AI. Like anything, this is an ever-evolving conversation that must be had with customers, employees, partners, legislative bodies, and civil society.

The seven principles are as follows:

1)      Values-driven

As with any technology, there is a scope for AI to be used in ways that are not aligned with these guiding principles and operational guidelines developed by SAP. First and foremost, any AI software that is developed should be committed to human rights, the UN guiding principles on business and human rights, laws, and widely accepted international norms. SAP has put an AI Ethics Steering Committee into place that serves to advice teams on how specific use cases are affected by the guiding principles listed here. When conflict arises, SAP strives to intervene in order to prevent the inappropriate use of its AI-driven technologies.

2)      People-designed technology

SAP works to create AI software systems that aim to empower and augment the talents of its diverse user-ship with a focus on inclusion. SAP aims to leverage AI to support people in maximizing their potential by providing human-centered user experiences through augmented and intuitive technologies. Systems are designed closely with users in a multidisciplinary, collaborative, and demographically diverse environment.

3)      Working without bias

It’s well-known that bias can negatively impact AI software, which in turns negatively affects customers and other individuals. SAP notes that this is overwhelmingly the case when there is a risk of unjustly impacting underrepresented groups or causing discrimination. SAP takes the approach of requiring technical teams to gain a deep understanding of the business problems they are trying to solve and the data quality this demands. SAP also seeks to increase the interdisciplinary and diversity of its teams. Further, it constantly investigates new technical methods for mitigating biases. Finally, SAP is overwhelmingly committed to supporting its customers by leveraging AI to build products to develop even more diverse business.

4)      Transparency and integrity

AI systems should be helpful in setting specific standards in accordance with their level of intended usage and technical ability. Their capabilities, input, limitations, and intended purpose are clearly communicated to customers. Further, SAP provides a means for oversight and control by users and customers, who always remain in control of the deployment of SAP products. SAP also aims to actively support industry collaboration through the conduction of research that furthers system transparency.

5)      Uphold quality and safety standards

AI software should be subject to quality assurance processes, which should be continuously adapted when necessary. AI software should undergo thorough testing via real-world scenarios, which firmly validate they are fit for intended purposes and that the product specifications are met. Finally, work closely with your customers and users to uphold and improve systems’ safety, quality, security, and reliability.

6)      Data protection and privacy

To maintain a commitment to data protection and privacy, communicate clearly how, why, where, and when customer and anonymous user data is used in AI software. This commitment to data protection and privacy should be reflected in companies’ commitment to all applicable regulatory requirements, as well as through the research conducted in partnership with entities like leading academic institutions. This care will develop the next generation of privacy-enhancing methodologies and technologies.

7)      Engage with the wider societal challenges of artificial intelligence

There are numerous emerging challenges that require a much broader discourse across disciplines, industries, borders, and cultural, philosophical, and religious traditions. These include, but are not limited to, questions concerning:

a.       Economic impact

This includes how society and industry can collaborate to prepare both workers and students for an AI economy. Further, it looks into how society may need to readapt means of social safety, economic development, and economic redistribution.

b.       Social impact

This includes the meaning and value of work for people, as well as the potential role of AI software like caretakers and social companions.

c.       Normative questions

This includes questions about how AI should confront ethical dilemmas and what applications of AI, especially with regard to safety and security, should be considered permissible.

AI-Enabled Virtual Assistants for SAP

When integrated ethically with SAP processes, a virtual assistant based on artificial intelligence that senses, analyzes, and assists enterprises can make smooth business decisions, optimize operations, and prevent disruptions.

A virtual assistant adds immense value to enterprises by assisting in five key areas:

1)       IT Technical Support

Assists technical users by proactively monitoring systems, alerting users on system failures, and increases user experience and productivity by automating repetitive, manual tasks.

2)       Business Workflow Management

Provides assistance to business users by reminding or automating business process approvals, thereby increasing user productivity and reducing process delays.

3)       Business Process Assistance

Senses the changing business needs, state of underlying business processes, operations, planning, and application transactions continuously, helping business managers to make decisions at zero latency, live assisting business functional experts during transactions, and preventing business disruptions by validating them against predefined business rules.

4)       Application Support

The virtual assistant is equipped with a digital brain that consolidates and analyzes different application performances and executions, assisting the application manager to take necessary steps on failures and system errors, thereby increasing system efficiency and proactively controlling applications.

5)       Business User Assistant

Acts as a personal assistant to the business user. It performs personalized operations by providing persona-based training, Self Help services and critical incident support, which improves the overall user experience.

A Customer’s Journey: Virtual Assistant-Customer Interaction

One of the most prevalent uses of AI in SAP is that of the virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are a useful asset in that they offer seamless connection, more possibilities for understanding customers’ needs and preferences, improve customer interactions, and better analyze experience gaps. How does it work? Here, we dive into a scenario as an example. In this scenario, the virtual assistant automatically identifies an SAP-failed background job and triggers self-healing steps within SAP, thus reducing the overall Incident Volume without corrective maintenance.

There is a long running report put together by Sales Details; the business has scheduled this report as a background job to avoid Time Out Issues. Due to technical reasons, this job is cancelled. The virtual assistant’s chatbot is ready to show the end-user information about this cancelled job. As soon as it receives the information from SAP on the Aborted Job, the virtual assistant tries to reschedule the job automatically. Unfortunately, the virtual assistant alerts the end-user that the job has failed using the Job Names and it automatically calls the Job to reschedule.

Yet, once again, the SAP background job is not rescheduled due to some technical reason. Therefore, the virtual assistant provides the business user with two options: “Try Again” or “Escalate to a ticket.” In response, the business user selects “Try Again” to retry scheduling the job again. The virtual assistant again tries to reschedule the specific job.

Unfortunately, the job is not rescheduled and the “Try Again” and “Escalate to a ticket” options are shown again for the user’s selection. This time, the business user selects “Escalate to a ticket” so that an incident will be created in their ticketing tool, “Service Now.” The information is passed to the “Service Now” tool and the incident is created. In the chatbot, the virtual assistant shows the alert of the “New Incident” created with the “Incident Number.”

The user wishes to see the Incident’s details and clicks on the “Incident Number.” The virtual assistant takes the user to ServiceNow with the Incident details. These details include Impact, Urgency, Priority, etc… with all the relevant job details.

When leveraging tools such as the above, business operations can be made seamless, ultimately resulting a satisfactory user experience.

Solutions for SAP

At Stefanini, we are fully embracing the digital transformation and can transform your classic enterprise into an intelligent enterprise. We offer our AI cognitive platform Sophie to integrate with SAP and ultimately improve your business’ operations, thus transmitting to a smoother customer experience. With Sophie’s ability to evolve and grow with your company as she continues to learn, her customizability with SAP continues far beyond her implementation.

Our AI cognitive platform Sophie integrates with SAP, ultimately improve your business’ operations, thus transmitting to smoother customer experience.