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How AI is enhancing ERP for businesses of all sizes

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Ivo Totev, chief marketing officer of SAP Cloud ERP, discusses how AI-powered ERP is accessible to businesses and can automate up to 5% of business processes where it is applied.

SAP Cloud ERP’s chief marketing officer Ivo Totay, chats with TechRepublic’s Tonya Hall on how AI-powered ERP is accessible to businesses and can automate up to 5% of business processes where it is applied. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Tonya Hall: With the addition of machine learning and artificial intelligence, this isn’t your father’s ERP. Welcome Ivo.

Ivo Totev: Hey, Tonya. Pleasure to be speaking to you.

Hall: So most people recognize SAP as a leading provider of enterprise application software. Explain SAP Cloud ERP.

 Iotev: It’s my pleasure. So, SAP is the clear No. 1 in the ERP market. SAP invented ERP some 40 years back. It’s a very exciting time because we are now entering the new year, a new generation of ERP where the solutions are provided to the cloud, where the solutions become more and more intelligent. Artificial intelligence is a key topic, which I would love to talk with you about today.Hall: What role does machine learning and artificial intelligence play in the digital transformation of ERP?

Totev: So when you look at the traditional ERP, customers had to put a lot of data into forms and that data gets taught in traditional relational databases. Looking backwards or looking at data, which was two-weeks, four-weeks, two-years old, customers would try to get some reports, some analytics to understand where business is going. As you can imagine, this is a very cumbersome process.

It requires a lot of resources. What we see today, so it’s a new generation of ERP has artificial intelligence and machine learning particularly embedded. So, many of the manual processes simply get eliminated because machines are very good at doing certain tasks, where we used human labor before. With SAP, we believe humans should do more high-value tasks. They should take care of our customers. They should be engaged in creative processes, but everything — when it’s repetitive — really should be done by machines, because machines are much, much better at many of those tasks.

Hall: You recently released a survey about artificial intelligence. What did you learn?

Totev: So what we did is we reached out to more of a 2500 executives throughout the world. So US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, just to name a few countries, statistically versus a solid number. It was interesting to learn that 90% of executives are already actively looking at artificial intelligence, and what that can do to the business.

Sixty-percent of the 2500 already considering, and, having plans on how to introduce artificial intelligence and machine-learning into our business. Thirty-percent of 2500 have plans to invest somewhere between half-a-million and five-million dollars within the next 12 months.

So I must say this is very encouraging, and this is eye-opening to see that AI has to reach already a maturity where we’re not just talking about it, but where are companies are taking money, investing into it to make it work.

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Article Credit: TechRepublic


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