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What Does SAP Understand About AI?

SAP's favorite topic is of course cloud only. However, AI is the top priority for users and the IT industry. Together with Aleph Alpha, SAP could become an AI pioneer. SAP CEO Christian Klein is focusing on the wrong things.
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine
November 23, 2023
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Signavio and Aleph Alpha are a dream team

At the German magazine Handelsblatt’s AI conference in Munich at the end of November, Aleph Alpha CEO Jonas Andrulis declared SAP's business knowledge, Signavio's process expertise, and Aleph Alpha's AI model to be the dream team in the professional ERP market. "No other company knows as much about business processes as Signavio," was his statement, pointing out the importance of the right training data for generative AI.

The dream team—SAP, Signavio, and Aleph Alpha—results in patterns for a large language model, which is then used in business process management. "These patterns are captured by the deep learning model and form a high-dimensional distribution," explains Jonas Andrulis, founder and CEO of Aleph Alpha, in the Handelsblatt special publication on the future of IT and AI (August 2023), adding: "Mapping this distribution creates a kind of map of meaning with a significant numerical neighborhood where different words and texts are given small or large distances in high-dimensional space based on similar meanings."

Jürgen Müller and the vectors

At TechEd 2023 in Bangalore, India, SAP Chief Technology Officer Jürgen Müller emphasized the importance of multidimensional vectors for clustering commonalities. According to him, the database platform will be receiving an extension to be able to calculate with vectors. As already indicated in the quote from Jonas Andrulis, the distances (e.g. Euclidean distance, see https://e3mag.com/de/euklid-und-hana/) of vectors in high-dimensional space to create similarities, i.e. clusters, and thus maps of meaning.

Even if it is difficult to imagine a vector in high-dimensional space, and it is no problem for mathematicians to calculate dimensional numbers in the three-digit range, normal imagination already fails in the fourth dimension: A cube in the fourth dimension not only has four edges that are all at 90 degrees to each other, but its shadow would be a three-dimensional cube.

Orientation with AI maps

Even if it is difficult to imagine a vector in high-dimensional space, and it is no problem for mathematicians to calculate dimensional numbers in the three-digit range, normal imagination already fails in the fourth dimension: a cube in the fourth dimension not only has four edges that are all at 90 degrees to each other, but its shadow would be a three-dimensional cube.

Many things can be seen at once on a map of meaning. It remains to be seen what SAP will make of it. SAP is sure to get help from Aleph Alpha. Currently, SAP CEO Christian Klein still favors the topic of cloud only, but very few members of the SAP community are interested in this. There is a risk that SAP's customers will quickly turn to the new AI topics and SAP will suffer a second shipwreck, as it did with Leonardo many years ago. Christian Klein should leave the topic of cloud computing to others and focus on AI alongsides Andrulis. The community is waiting for an SAP map of meaning.

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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.