​IBM Watson meets SAP Leonardo for cognitive procurement

The intelligent systems from both technology giants have joined forces to aid enterprise-wide procurement.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor
Image: SAP

SAP Ariba has announced a partnership with IBM that will see the pair deliver cognitive procurement solutions using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

SAP Leonardo, the enterprise software giant's digital innovation play; IBM's Watson AI capabilities; and the company's business-to-business marketplace SAP Ariba, will be combining to bring intelligence from procurement data together with predictive insights from unstructured data, in a bid to aid customers with enterprise-wide procurement.

"We've built a cognitive procurement platform trained specifically to understand procurement transactions and unstructured data such as weather, non-standard part numbers in contracts, and complex pricing structures," Jesus Mantas, general manager for Cognitive Process Transformation at IBM Global Business Services, said.

IBM Global Business Services will provide consulting and services to build, implement, and operate the new offerings, SAP explained, with IBM also expected to work with SAP Ariba to bring IBM customers over to its platform.

The partnership, announced on day two of Sapphire Now in Orlando, will also see the launch of a Cognitive Procurement hub aimed at furthering the development of intelligent procurement solutions and services, including emerging technologies like blockchain, which SAP envisions will enhance multiple industries and lines of business.

As Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time, SAP expects contracting will be become smarter and more comprehensive, as applications automatically identify relevant terms and conditions matched to legal library and taxonomy, locate similar contract terms, and recommend pricing.

SAP Ariba and IBM will also explore automating the extraction of contract terms and summaries to help with compliance, SAP explained.

Big Blue announced IBM Watson Marketing Insights last month, designed to allow marketers to tap into behavioural analytics to increase the success of targeted, personalised campaigns.

By examining their interaction with an enterprise player and assessing email communications, digital and social media, as well as stored information, the cloud-based service extracts business predictors and ways to improve the success of targeted marketing campaigns.

Disclosure: Asha Barbaschow travelled to Sapphire Now as a guest of SAP.

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