03 July 2018 by Spencer Symmons
Enterprise AI is finally coming of age. No longer do we think War of The Worlds when we discuss the potential of business-class AI as new developments serve to prove the possibilities of adopting cognitive computing into everyday processes. It was only so long before artificial intelligence would find its way into the enterprise technology ecosystem.
Today, AI is beginning to transform the daily operations of early-bird organisations eager to enhance efficiency and optimise operational processes. Naturally, opportunistic software developers have responded to the demand by harnessing the potential of AI to build more holistic platforms that better automate business intelligence, supercharge analytics and maximise human potential. The dawn of a new era in ERP is upon us, but what are the latest trends and what it will mean for the skills required of ERP specialists in future?
In today’s fast-paced business environment, gaining and maintaining a competitive edge demands agility and insight; it depends on an organisation’s ability to keep a finger on the pulse of both market conditions and internal pressures to make smart decisions. Fortunately, rapid developments in machine learning are proving pivotal to the evolution of the ERP system.
In the latest release of S/4HANA Cloud, the intelligent ERP from market-leading enterprise software firm SAP offer their customers a real-time enterprise resource planning suite built on an advanced in-memory platform. Through predictive analytics, for example, HANA drastically facilitates cost forecasting to allow project managers to reduce budget overruns and make more accurate resource investment decisions.
Meanwhile, users in the retail sector can take advantage of the dynamic pricing capabilities offered by the ERP to intelligently adjust prices according to demand. Further to this, HANA is now being used by Walmart to process its high volume of transaction records (the company operates more than 11,000 stores) within seconds.
In summer 2017, Infor unveiled its new Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform. Their aim? To ‘rethink ERP’. Named in honour of physicist and mathematician Katherine Coleman Johnson, an essential figure in the United States Space Program, Coleman is a powerful artificial intelligence robot designed to assist business users by providing intuitive advice from a foundation of industry-specific data.
Despite offering an easy-to-use, conversational UX with chat, voice, and image recognition, Coleman is much more than a voice assistant. Rather, it is an independent cognitive intelligence system that helps business users make better, faster decisions using the data sitting in their existing ERP system.
SYSPRO, a global provider of industry-built ERP software has recently announced that their latest release will be able to address large amounts of structured and unstructured business and industry data by weaving machine learning technology into the fabric of the platform. From here, SYSPRO’s new release introduces ‘digital citizens’, AI-powered bots that integrate directly into the ERP to handle repetitive tasks across the organisation and supply chain. They are made available either directly through the user interface or other platforms for engagement for both internal and external stakeholders, through mediums such as social media, websites or instant messaging programs.
In a commercial landscape characterised by the data businesses demand to do better, the need for smarter, faster, more intuitive systems is undeniable. While artificial intelligence may still be in its infancy, business leaders seeking to capitalise on the benefits it can bring would be wise to invest in a next-generation ERP; one that compliments rather than replaces the skilled specialists they have hired to design, develop, deploy and maintain data processing solutions to enhance efficiency.
Professionals in this sphere need not worry about their job security - in fact, they will be crucial to the implementation of cutting-edge solutions; they will play an essential role in ensuring the smooth integration of AI into the ERP system.
As normal, an ERP specialist today requires a strong commercial mindset with a penchant for solving business problems - that said, keeping up to date with the latest developments in cognitive computing can only assist in affirming their value to any growing business.
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