IBM & SAP Expanded Partnership to Supercharge Enterprise AI

IBM and SAP are expanding their 50-year partnership to infuse generative AI across SAP’s industry cloud solutions and enterprise processes

In today’s hyper-competitive digital world, enterprises globally are racing to leverage the game-changing potential of generative AI. Now, industry giants IBM and SAP have taken a major step to help businesses capitalise on this transformative technology through an expanded collaboration.

The two leading tech companies have unveiled their vision for the ‘next era’ of their over 50-year partnership, centred around accelerating enterprise innovation and productivity through generative AI (Gen AI). Their new ‘Value Generation’ initiative aims to infuse powerful AI capabilities across SAP's portfolio of industry cloud solutions and business processes.

“IBM and SAP’s shared approach to generative AI, built on an open ecosystem, trust and purpose-built models, will help empower clients to optimise business outcomes,” comments John Granger, Senior Vice President, IBM Consulting. “Our new Value Generation partnership initiative will enable clients to accelerate the path to innovation, competitive advantage and become a next generation enterprise through Gen AI.”

SAP and IBM: Expanded partnership to help clients become next-generation enterprises

Central to the partnership is IBM’s plan to seamlessly integrate its advanced AI models, including the Watson and watsonx Granite series, into SAP’s platform and solutions like RISE with SAP, SAP Business Technology Platform, and industry clouds. This will open the door for clients to leverage generative AI within virtually any business process or application across SAP's broad technology stack.

One key area of focus is developing over 100 new “intelligent industry use cases” powered by Gen AI across sectors like manufacturing, retail, utilities, and automotive. These could enable capabilities like AI-optimised supply chains, hyper-personalised customer marketing, predictive maintenance and workflow automation. IBM and SAP also aim to co-create what they describe as “prescriptive industry value maps” to help guide enterprises on transforming processes through Gen AI.

To support rapid enterprise AI adoption, the partnership will also provide “next-generation reference architectures,” defining best practices for integrating data, processes, systems and AI across technology stacks. IBM’s AI-powered consulting platform, Consulting Advantage, will help accelerate and de-risk SAP solution deployments by automating tasks like requirements gathering, testing, training and code generation.

The collaboration extends beyond technology, with plans for joint programs to develop next-generation talent skilled in complementing SAP and AI solutions. This includes leveraging employee resource groups, university alliances and initiatives to train underrepresented communities for tech careers.

“It makes perfect sense to expand our partnership with IBM to help more customers accelerate their cloud journey leveraging RISE with SAP and realise the transformative benefits of generative AI for business in the cloud,” says Scott Russell, Chief Revenue Officer & Executive Board Member, Customer Success of SAP SE. “This expanded partnership will help more of our joint customers reach new heights by innovating through the cloud, data and business AI to grow and transform their businesses.”

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