Melissa Di Donato, SAP: On intelligent ERP and how AI can change society


When Melissa Di Donato, chief revenue officer at SAP S/4HANA Cloud, was going through the interview process at Walldorf, the company’s home town, she was asked whether she had been there before. Di Donato took the opportunity to reveal the SAP watch she was wearing, issued the better part of two decades ago, which showed she was a certified consultant through her work at PwC.

While the company had never appeared on her CV per se, starting with a dean at business school who suggested getting into ‘this SAP thing’ as it ‘may catch on’, through consultancy, to a hosting partner, to even the other side of the fence with IBM, Oracle – “as one does” – and Salesforce, SAP has been very close throughout Di Donato’s career.

Hence moving to the company towards the end of last year, to help accelerate the cloud ERP business, felt like coming home.

The message is now around ‘intelligent cloud ERP’. As this publication reported in February, SAP is looking to S/4HANA, its public cloud offering, and adding artificial intelligence (AI) to ERP, helping customers to adjust and adopt business processes based on real-time data and insight.

Earlier this month, this went up a notch with the general release of CoPilot, a ‘digital assistant for the enterprise’ as the company’s annual SAPPHIRE conference. Bernd Leukert, executive board member, summed up SAP’s roadmap for attendees. “Openness is the game-changer, driving new business value,” he said. “Openness in every part of the company allows you to reach completely new levels of business process excellence.

“You can inject data and derive insights across every layer of your company, like traffic and other data into logistics, machine learning data into your maintenance plans, and social data from your customer profiles.”

Di Donato puts it this way. “It’s a big, big release for us, and a change I think to the industry,” she tells CloudTech. “Effectively, [CoPilot] learns to become aware of business context, is able to drive efficient collaboration, quickly is able to recognise and connect to business objects, and offers in-context chatting. It’s fast learning and embeds a lot of machine learning, and a lot of new innovative technology that’s intelligent… [to] truly transform the way ERP is.”

Read teh source article at CloudTech.