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Next Gen ERP

Can SAP Copilot be used to program an S/4 successor as a composable ERP? Not yet, because Copilot does not support Abap, but that may change. Theoretically, S/5 could be developed by users and partners.
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine
November 9, 2023
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Composable ERP as the successor to S/4

Nowhere else are the opportunities for a composable ERP better tha¬n in the SAP community. The SAP Business Technology Platform is an IT tool that already covers many ERP functions. Based on an existing Abap development environment, the range of ERP add-ons is constantly growing. BTP and Hana thus provide a platform for an S/4 successor.

The next generation of ERP software can be created as a composable enterprise with Steampunk, the Abap development environment on the BTP. SAP customers and partners have sufficient business and organizational knowledge to develop the S/4 successor from their own ideas. With SAP Build (low/no code) and SAP Copilot, the experiment could succeed in the coming years.

SAP Abap Copilot

There is still no efficient and verified co-pilot for creating Abap programs. The version presented by SAP Chief Technology Officer Jürgen Müller only masters Java for the time being. This is a problem with the available learning material. Simply put, generative AI, including bots and copilots, is based on the data provided. Lots of data results in high competence. There are now billions of freely accessible lines of Java code available as a basis for learning and information. But how can a machine like ChatGPT learn Abap? Here, every AI algorithm still fails due to the lack of quantity.

It would be an interesting experiment if all SAP customers were to anonymously import their Abap code from the past 30 years into a repository. This database could be sufficient for a Large Language Model to generate an Abap copilot. SAP partner Alep Alpha should be able to do this with its own LLM solution.

New programmers and new ERP

Handelsblatt, a German magazine, has stated that artificial intelligence is making programmers faster and better. Software is becoming a common good. Even small and medium-sized companies could soon be able to keep up with tech giants.

The democratization of software production through copilots opens the door to a completely new market and power structures. If every SAP customer can independently create good and verified Abap code, then the added value of SAP itself will soon become clear. SAP is currently still surprising us with innovative algorithms in the areas of IBP, Integrated Business Planning (the successor to APO in the cloud), and BRIM, Billing and Revenue Innovation Management. However, if an Abap copilot were to master this algorithmic knowledge, an expert specialist could program their own supply chain, logistics, and finance tasks.

Public cloud or Abap copilot

At the moment, it is unclear where SAP is heading and where it wants to go: the community keeps hearing cloud only from SAP CEO Christian Klein, which also means standardization and little scope for modifications. But SAP Build, Joule, Copilot and ChatGPT-like offerings for Citizen Developers would bring about exactly the opposite of conformity. A public cloud with numerous modifications is difficult to imagine and probably does not make sense. Public cloud standards or agile and individual composable ERP? Where will SAP be heading in the coming years?

SAP made every developer at SAP TechEd 2023 a developer for generative AI for the time being. "Today's technology landscape and business world are very dynamic. This means that every developer must increasingly be an AI developer," said Jürgen Müller, Chief Technology Officer and member of the SAP Executive Board. "At SAP TechEd, we are showcasing numerous innovations - from AI-powered pro-code tools to a centralized location for developing extensions and applications on the SAP Business Technology Platform that use generative AI. Developers playing a central role in the AI revolution will have the resources they need to transform the way businesses work."

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Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine

Peter M. Färbinger, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief E3 Magazine DE, US and ES (e3mag.com), B4Bmedia.net AG, Freilassing (DE), E-Mail: pmf@b4bmedia.net and Tel. +49(0)8654/77130-21


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Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024

Venue

Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT

Venue

Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024

Tickets

Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house B4Bmedia.net AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.