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SAP on Google Cloud

Google Cloud and SAP: Faster outcomes, more value from data

May 15, 2023
Snehanshu Shah

Managing Director, SAP

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Last week, we announced an extensive expansion of our partnership with SAP, jointly offering customers an open data solution that puts data and analytics at the heart of business transformation based on SAP Datasphere and Google Cloud Cortex Framework on BigQuery.

Co-engineering this groundbreaking solution has strengthened our partnership, and it will help our customers get beyond many of the hurdles preventing them from using data and analytics as effectively as they could.

What's changing is that customers will now be able to bring together all of their SAP system data and their non-SAP enterprise data on Google Cloud with SAP Datasphere, so that all data from virtually any data source is together on one end-to-end data cloud and viewable in real time. And they can enrich the value of that data with Google BigQuery and Google Vertex AI and Machine Learning, all in a safe and scalable architecture that easily maintains the context of applications and workflows.

Previously, combining siloed data could be a problem because of the resources required and potential costs and risks associated with normalizing the data across platforms. Now, customers can do this with reduced risk and while minimizing the TCO of their data platform investment across people, process, and technology. 

Consider what this means for customers choosing Google Cloud for RISE with SAP.  They will be able to accelerate ROI from their SAP S/4HANA adoption because they’ll have access to a complete data platform fully managed by SAP and supported by Google Cloud’s global leadership in cloud infrastructure, security, intelligence, and innovation.

Wipro, a leading global information technology, consulting, and business process services company, chose RISE with SAP on Google Cloud to transform its foundational technology. The company runs its core business domains on SAP – customer lifecycle, project lifecycle, talent supply chain, employee lifecycle, and financial management – and needed to ensure it was operating scalably, flexibly, and securely in the cloud to support the company’s rapid growth. After choosing RISE with SAP on Google Cloud, many of Wipro’s SAP systems are running on Google Cloud, giving the business unprecedented visibility into its data enterprise-wide and creating a foundation for deriving the most value possible from that data.

TELUS is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with more than $18 billion in annual revenue and 18 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. Powered by their social purpose, TELUS leverages their global-leading technology and national 5G network to enable remarkable human outcomes. 

TELUS is running mission-critical SAP workloads on Google Cloud and is embracing RISE with SAP on Google Cloud. Team members throughout the business were often challenged with time-consuming efforts to run queries and now it takes minutes for TELUS to gain insights. They can combine data from many sources and get a complete view of all data  in real time. TELUS ran the project to bring SAP transactional data into BigQuery using Google's BigQuery Connector for SAP and Cortex Framework, allowing them to jumpstart bringing SAP analytical reporting to their business users.

Data drives incremental value and new capabilities

Data is the currency of business. It can be used to create powerful insights that touch and improve every corner of an organization. With the new capabilities that Google Cloud and SAP announced last week, everyone can now safely and efficiently build and use data strategies that combine their RISE with SAP, SAP, and non-SAP data into a powerful analytics and decision-making solution, with consistent data context across platforms. 

Think about how teams can drive efficiencies, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and other crucial KPIs. Here’s an example of what’s possible: An electric utility company is using SAP for their customer relationship management and billing functions and a non-SAP solution for outage management. During a major weather event, the electric utility wants to have a 360-degree view of their customer impact. To do so, they need to connect master customer CRM and billing data from SAP,  data from their outage-management system, as well as weather or other contextual data from Google BigQuery datasets.

Google’s leadership in providing secure, powerful cloud infrastructure and analytics capabilities is a common reason why SAP customers choose Google Cloud. Vodafone accelerated their path to innovation by choosing Google Cloud. Ignacio Garcia, Global Director of Data and Analytics and CIO of Vodafone Italy, said that moving the company’s data ecosystem to Google Cloud is unlocking a lot of value in processes and analysis, helping the business understand process bottlenecks and streamlining how they operate. For instance, Vodafone can now provision hardware for a new business in minutes instead of six months, its former cycle, because employees can simply do things faster.

“It’s all about connecting people and things in an ecosystem together," said Garcia. "We are very proud of what we have achieved so far with Google Cloud, but I am super excited about all of the opportunities we are discussing for the future.”

Enabling New Insights with SAP Datasphere and Google Cloud Cortex Framework

Our goal is to make your data more accessible and easier to use. To achieve this, SAP Datasphere enables replication and/or federation of data from SAP sources to BigQuery and Google Cloud Cortex Framework. This helps customers define and manage a common semantic layer for their SAP data, which can then be enriched, de-duplicated, normalized, and accessed across stacks. By providing consistent business context for data, this interconnectivity frees up business users, data scientists, and engineers to focus on innovating with data instead of managing it.

You also can bring data from sources like Google Analytics, Google Ads, industry datasets, weather and traffic patterns, and more into BigQuery, and use Google Cloud Cortex Framework to gather insights from this data through packaged content and reference architectures for common business scenarios.

Customers are looking for options to unlock their SAP data and multiply its value across the enterprise. Powered by SAP Datasphere and Google Cloud Cortex Framework on BigQuery, this is now possible.

Enrichment by AI drives new value and possibilities

In addition to these on-demand capabilities, our customers get a solution that inherently scales to incorporate new and emerging technologies because it’s backed by Google Cloud. Once customers have accurate, actionable data in a secure model, they can leverage pre-delivered content via machine learning and artificial intelligence to render meaningful data insights and make decisions quickly and with high confidence. This is a significant advantage as Generative AI becomes more common and requires secure, cost-effective, and protected models to simplify the business.  

For example, Generative AI is opening new possibilities that are changing how companies manage their supply chains.

Generative AI’s ability to extract salient information from documents, and summarize key points is allowing buyers and supply chain managers to easily ask natural language questions about products and suppliers and get salient responses.

Google Gen App Builder Info\bots can now allow buyers to reorder frequently ordered products, use multi-turn conversations to refine searches, highlight opportunities to change suppliers for a better deal, and even finalize orders.

Customers are starting to use Generative AI in supplier risk assessment. Together with existing AI approaches, a model can analyze various factors, including financial health, current news events, past performance, and delivery timelines to generate each vendor's risk score. This enables the company to make informed decisions about its procurement strategy, resulting in a reduction of supply chain disruptions and procurement costs. 

Generative AI is also transforming creation and utility of documents throughout the supply chain process. For example, Google Gen App Builder eases the extraction of key contract terms, searching for relevant product data, and answering questions about products. Extractive prompting in large language models (LLMs) can extract structured product information from unstructured written product documentation removing tedious manual steps entering new products into a supply chain management system.

Using embeddings, Generative AI can uncover unexpected correlations in case reports from shipping and receiving agents and customers, uncovering previously invisible clusters of correlated events hindering smooth delivery of products.

Beyond the supply chain, these same capabilities can be applied across other business verticals such as HR, Commerce, Procurement, Finance and Manufacturing. Infobots can be quickly built to assist employees understanding and applying company policy, or to provide instant and accurate responses to consumer inquiries. LLMs can provide deeply personalized product recommendations by modifying marketing language based on analysis of a customer's interactions with an enterprise.

Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize industries by increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and optimizing workflows with fewer human interactions. As AI technology continues to advance, we can anticipate an increase in the number of innovative applications of Generative AI in a variety of industries.

Google Cloud’s continuous investment in optimizing for SAP

Quickly leveraging data for transformative outcomes is a high-value benefit of RISE with SAP, but we’re also continuing to invest in ways to optimize your SAP experience on Google Cloud. Google Cloud now has 37 regions, and all new regions support SAP workloads upon launch. We also have new certification supporting the largest and most demanding S/4HANA workloads on M3 VMs. And, as of Q4 2022, SAP RISE customers are seeing significant benefits from our new Hyperdisk Extreme solution, with the highest throughput in the market. 

Google Cloud recently released an ABAP SDK, providing bi-directional, real-time integration between SAP and Google Cloud services. Developers can easily leverage this SDK to integrate their SAP applications with Google Cloud services such as Vertex AI, Document AI, Translation AI, Pub/Sub, and more. With the ABAP SDK, customers can accelerate their digital transformation and achieve business goals faster.

Further advancing our automation capabilities for SAP, we recently announced the general availability of Workload Manager for SAP solutions, which provides continuous analysis of your workload configurations to identify issues, detect misconfigurations, and improve system reliability. 

Today's announcement and our continuing innovation with SAP is an exciting opportunity for everyone. Now more than ever, enterprises need reliable and accurate data to navigate through volatile times. With a fully defined data foundation powered by SAP Datasphere and Google BigQuery, companies can be ready for the next step in future-proofing their businesses: Having the power to train AI and ML solutions and quickly adopt new Generative AI solutions, so they can be infused into operations and decision making. We're looking forward to deepening our partnership even further and innovating together even more in the future around this transformative technology.   

To learn more, visit SAP on Google Cloud.

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