SAP GenAI gets boost with AWS cloud and chips

Ahead of its Sapphire 2024 conference in Orlando, SAP has announced an expanded, strategic collaboration with AWS to change modern cloud ERP experiences and help end users drive new capabilities and efficiencies with SAP GenAI (generative artificial intelligence). The move is the biggest announcement yet during the tenure of new AWS CEO Matt Garman, and a further potential selling point in the SAP cloud journey for customers.

The move from AWS and SAP is aimed at making it easier for customers to adopt the RISE with SAP solution on AWS, to improve the performance and efficiency of SAP workloads running in the cloud, and embed SAP gene into an enterprise’s portfolio of business-critical applications.

“AWS was the first cloud provider certified to support the SAP portfolio and today, thousands of enterprise companies run SAP solutions on AWS to get the most out of their mission-critical applications,” said Garman, incoming CEO at AWS. “Now, AWS and SAP are making it faster and easier for companies to apply generative AI to their core business data to become more efficient, responsive, and sustainable.”

“Partnerships like this collaboration with AWS are critical as we embed generative AI solutions across our ERP applications so that customers can drive innovation at an accelerated pace,” said Christian Klein, CEO, SAP SE. “In addition to delivering modern cloud ERP to our joint customers, we are excited to support Amazon on their own transformation journey as they adopt RISE with SAP for pioneering areas such as Project Kuiper, Amazon’s satellite initiative intended to increase global broadband access.”

The generative AI hub in SAP AI Core infrastructure provides customers with secure access to a broad range of large language models (LLMs) that can be integrated into SAP business applications with more ease. With the integration of GenAI models from Amazon Bedrock such as the Anthropic Claude 3 model family and Amazon Titan, SAP customers will be able to access high-performing LLMs and other foundation models (FMs) to build applications customized with their own data.

With this integration, SAP customers may accelerate the adoption of GenAI and modernize key business processes built on SAP solutions. These innovations can be used in embedded use cases within RISE with SAP and the intelligent scenario lifecycle management functionality as an integration component or side-by-side directly on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).

SAP and AWS plan to expand the use of Bedrock capabilities in the generative AI hub to further enable embedded AI functionality within SAP’s portfolio of cloud solutions and applications. This includes additional use cases across finance and product lifecycle management.

SAP GenAI and Graviton

SAP currently uses AWS Graviton3 chips to support SAP HANA Cloud. Also announced in the partnership is a collaboration between the two vendors on the next generation of Graviton4 for SAP HANA Cloud and additional SAP applications to continue to improve performance and efficiency. SAP plans to use AWS Graviton to support SAP solutions and applications such as SAP BTP, SAP Datasphere, SAP Analytics Cloud, and the SAP Cloud ALM solution.

SAP plans to use AWS Trainium and AWS Inferentia chips, purpose built for AI and machine learning (ML) workloads, for training and deploying future SAP Business AI offerings. By leveraging Trainium’s specialized architecture designed for efficient ML model training, the development process of SAP GenAI can theoretically be accelerated while maintaining high levels of accuracy and reliability. Using Trainium and Inferentia2-based instances in a proof of concept, SAP engineers are said to have trained and fine-tuned generative AI LLMs in two days versus 23 days with comparable Amazon EC2 instances.

Looking further under the hood, AWS has increased its memory database with Amazon EC2 High Memory U7i, which offers up to 32TiB of memory in a single instance and provide customers the memory and flexibility they need to support expanding SAP HANA database requirements. Amazon EC2 High Memory U7i instances are said to be the first DDR5 memory-based 8-socket offering by a leading cloud provider to improve the performance of memory-intensive applications such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud as part of RISE with SAP.