The name "Leonardo" is most commonly associated with the multi-talented Leonardo da Vinci, who 600 years ago used his wide range of skills to develop pioneering inventions and make groundbreaking discoveries[i].
But what is SAP Leonardo and what does it do? SAP Leonardo is an umbrella term for a group of future-oriented technologies that run on the SAP Cloud platform. Dr. Hasso Plattner, Co-Founder and Chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board, defines SAP Leonardo as a "framework that brings together a number of items", a "collection of tools that can be used to build a system that then uses machine learning algorithms to acquire knowledge, which we can then attach to transactions in SAP environments[ii]."
The following pioneering technologies are part of the SAP Cloud platform[iii]:
The Internet of Things
At the SAPPHIRE NOW conference in May 2019, SAP presented "Industry Innovation Kits" that can be integrated into SAP Leonardo. These kits are not entirely new – they were previously known as Industry Accelerators. The key difference between the Accelerators and the Industry Innovation Kits is that the Accelerators were prototype projects, whereas the Industry Innovation kits are the templates that resulted from these customer projects[iv].
The Industry Innovation Kits are defined as "tools and materials for specific industries and business functions that can be tailored to suit each customer as part of a short-term activation process. The Industry Innovation Kits are pre-integrated functions that are intended to speed up the resolution of key industry problems."
SAP currently offers 23 Industry Innovation Kits covering 12 industry sectors, including consumer goods, life sciences, logistics, manufacturing, automotive, energy, oil and gas, and sports and entertainment. New Industry Innovation Kits are created when companies who have identified potential areas for optimization begin working together with SAP. SAP integrates the companies into its Design Thinking Strategy, which has proven to be key for SAP Leonardo according to Jayne Landry, Global VP for Solution Management[v].
Chemical company BASF[vi] is a perfect example of how SAP Leonardo can be used in conjunction with the Industry Innovation Kits. In this instance, machine learning was used to improve customer service processes by automatically categorizing and sending answers to customer enquiries. Virtual colleague "CuRT" represents a significant development in this area, as 'he' automatically redirects incoming e-mails to the correct employee, therefore ensuring BASF customers receive better service. The virtual customer service employee uses artificial intelligence to determine the type, industry, and application in question for each customer enquiry. He then uses this information to forward the enquiry to the appropriate colleague. The human customer service employees at BASF provide their feedback so that "CuRT" can continually improve his evaluations through machine learning.
One of the SAP Leonardo Industry Innovation Kits is the Logistics option. Nowadays, companies must ensure that they keep to the agreed delivery times. This means that real-time monitoring of the delivery status and the transport device (e.g., truck) is required. The Kit makes it possible to react to any deviations and implement alternative measures straight away.
With its pioneering technology and the Industry Innovation Kits, SAP Leonardo offers users huge potential for optimizing processes, allowing them to gain a crucial advantage over the competition.
Author: Scheller Frank, SAP Product Development, SSI Schäfer IT Solutions GmbH
Frank Scheller got his degree as Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science. He focuses on the development of standardized SAP solutions for SSI Schaefer’s proprietary products.