SAP-IBM Partnership Accelerates Innovation with Generative AI


In a significant move aimed at empowering clients to become next-generation enterprises, SAP and IBM have announced their plans to expand their long-standing collaboration. The SAP-IBM partnership envisions leveraging generative AI capabilities and industry-specific cloud solutions to help enterprises unlock business value and drive innovation. With a shared approach to generative AI, built on an open ecosystem, trust, and purpose-built models, the two tech giants aim to optimize business outcomes for their joint customers.

SAP and IBM have a long-standing collaboration spanning over 50 years, based on deep technology, industry, and domain expertise. The partnership has evolved over the years to meet market demands and put clients first. In recent years, the focus has been on embedding IBM Watson AI technology into SAP solutions to drive intelligent business processes and decision-making.

IBM Consulting and SAP plan to support clients in accelerating their transformation journey enabled by RISE with SAP. The partnership will focus on key areas such as next-generation AI business processes, industry innovation, platform architecture, customer adoption approach, and ecosystem expansion.

Empowering Enterprises Through the Expanded SAP-IBM Partnership

Next-Generation AI Business Processes

The SAP-IBM partnership aims to explore opportunities to build new generative AI capabilities for RISE with SAP and infuse AI into SAP business processes across industry-specific cloud solutions and line of business applications. IBM plans to extend AI capabilities across SAP’s portfolio of cloud solutions and applications, underpinned by SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). This includes solutions such as RISE with SAP, GROW with SAP, financial solutions, supply chain management, human capital management, customer experience, and intelligent spend management. IBM also intends to leverage SAP Signavio and SAP Business AI solutions to help define next-generation business processes through a proof-of-concept adoption program.

Driving Industry Innovation

The partnership aims to build intelligent industry use cases, enabled by data-driven insights, into end-to-end business processes to fuel next-generation industry innovation. Initially, the focus will be on industries such as industrial manufacturing, consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail, defense, automotive, and utilities. IBM has already begun developing an extensive portfolio of over 100 AI solutions across industry, line-of-business, and product delivery. Clients will be able to access these new AI solutions through the global IBM Innovation Studios and SAP Experience Center sites.

Modernizing Platform Architecture and Customer Adoption

To support next-generation enterprises, the SAP-IBM partnership plans to provide next-generation reference architectures that enable a clean core approach. IBM intends to leverage SAP BTP, SAP Signavio, and LeanIX solutions to define standards across data, process, systems and device integration, process orchestration, and automation. IBM consultants supporting clients on SAP projects can also leverage IBM Consulting Advantage, an AI services platform, to bring more repeatability and consistency to client delivery. With IBM Consulting Advantage, consultants can transform the way they deliver SAP solutions, boosting productivity and mitigating risk by leveraging generative AI to help complete various tasks.

Expanding the Ecosystem

The SAP-IBM partnership plans to collaborate around their respective employee network groups and “next-gen” communities to increase the SAP solutions experience in the consulting workforce and develop the next generation of talent. The companies also intend to explore new ways to collaborate on social impact programs, such as training at-risk youth in the IT sector and accelerating the integration of social businesses into global supply chains.

Leveraging watsonx on the Generative AI Hub

IBM Granite Model Series are expected to be accessible for use across SAP’s portfolio of cloud solutions and applications, underpinned by the generative AI hub in SAP AI Core. The generative AI hub facilitates relevant, reliable, and responsible business AI and provides instant access to a broad range of large language models (LLMs). This expands on the existing collaboration between IBM and SAP around embedding IBM Watson AI technology into SAP solutions. IBM Consulting also plans to build extensions using the model on the generative AI hub for select customers to further highlight watsonx.ai Granite capabilities.

The expanded SAP-IBM partnership aims to help more joint customers reach new heights by innovating through the cloud, data, and business AI to grow and transform their businesses. By leveraging generative AI capabilities and industry-specific cloud solutions, the partnership seeks to empower clients to optimize business outcomes, gain a competitive advantage, and become next-generation enterprises. The collaboration builds on the companies’ long-standing relationship and demonstrates their joint commitment to evolve and meet market demands while putting clients first.

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