SAP unveils new generative AI assistant Joule

Joule purple logo with a diamond | SAP unveils new generative AI assistant Joule

SAP has announced its new generative AI assistant, Joule, operating as a natural-language, AI copilot that will transform the way businesses run. Embedded throughout SAP’s cloud enterprise portfolio, Joule will deliver proactive and contextualized insights from across SAP solutions and third-party sources to “know what you mean, not just what you say”.

Joule will be available with SAP SuccessFactors solutions and SAP Start later this year, and with SAP S/4HANA Cloud public edition early next year, with the ability to quickly sort through and contextualize data from multiple systems to garner smarter insights. In a secure and compliant manner, the new AI companion is aimed at helping workers get work done faster and businesses drive better business outcomes.

Joule will be embedded into SAP Business Technology Platform as well as SAP applications from HR to finance, supply chain, procurement and customer experience. In an effort to transform the SAP user experience, SAP describes Joule as working like “tapping your smartest colleague on the shoulder”.

Christian Klein, CEO and member of the executive board of SAP SE, said: “With almost 300 million enterprise users around the world working regularly with SAP cloud solutions, Joule has the power to redefine the way businesses – and the people who power them – work.

Joule draws on SAP’s unique position at the nexus of business and technology and builds on our relevant, reliable, responsible approach to Business AI. Joule will know what you mean, not just what you say.”

Discussing the security of the new AI addition, Julia White, executive board member and chief marketing and solutions officer of SAP, said during the launch call:

“Our business AI is delivered with responsibility. We have the highest levels of concern for security, privacy, compliance and ethics. Protecting customer data is of our utmost importance and for GenAI, we ensure that no large language model will use our customers’ data to learn or improve on their foundational models.”

Drawing from the wealth of business data across the SAP portfolio and third-party sources, employees will need only ask a question or frame a problem in plain language to receive intelligent answers.

SAP has provided an example of how Joule will operate; imagine a manufacturer asking Joule for help to better understand sales performances, Joule will identify underperforming regions, link to other data sets that reveal a supply chain issue and automatically connect to the supply chain system to offer potential fixes for the manufacturer’s review.

Joule will continuously deliver new scenarios for all SAP solutions, even allowing HR to help write unbiased job descriptions and generate relevant interview questions.

White also explained that SAP has already applied AI in finance with a key customer Accenture, whose accounts receivable department is using AI to automatically match incoming payments to their corresponding invoices and client accounts.

“And through the use of our AI they’ve almost doubled their invoice payment to invoice match rate going from 30 percent to 54 percent and significantly reducing that peak time processing for those critical month-end, quarter-end and year-end closing moments,” she added.

In addition, Deloitte has announced that it using GenAI to extend the value of SAP applications by building on top of SAP Business Technology Platform.

SAP’s new generative AI assistant builds on existing SAP Business AI offerings. With over 26,000 SAP cloud customers with access to SAP Business AI, SAP’s AI strategy relies on direct investments. SAP backed, Sapphire Ventures LLC, dedicated over $1bn to fund AI-powered enterprise technology and investments from Aleph Alpha, Anthropic and Cohere, as well as third-party partnerships with MicrosoftGoogle Cloud and IBM, have propelled forward SAP’s ambitions for an ‘enterprise AI ecosystem of the future.

Phil Carter, group vice president, worldwide thought leadership research, IDC, said: “As generative AI moves on from the initial hype, the work to ensure measurable return on investment begins.

“SAP understands that generative AI will eventually become part of the fabric of everyday life and work, and is taking the time to build a business copilot that focuses on generating responses based on real-world scenarios – and to put in place the necessary guardrails to ensure it’s also responsible.”

Additional reporting by Yoana Cholteeva