SAP intros new customer experience features in C/4HANA

The company also rolled out a series of updates to S/4HANA focused on artificial intelligence, robotics, and customized apps.

SAP: A look at its challenges, opportunities ZDNet's Larry Dignan caught up with Vinnie Mirchandani, author of SAP Nation 3.0, to talk about the enterprise software landscape and the evolution of one of enterprise software's largest vendors.

SAP on Monday announced a bevy of new features for its SAP C/4HANA suite. The software and services vendor -- which is holding its annual Sapphire Now conference in Orlando this week -- said the new cloud features are meant to improve training for sales and customer-relations teams, and bolster communications between employees and partners.

Introduced last June, C/4HANA is the company's effort to reinvent CRM and compete more effectively with Salesforce. A key aspect of the C/4 HANA plan is using integration with S/4HANA and AI to provide unique enterprise features. 

One of the new features is C/4HANA Foundation, which helps system administrators and developers implement cloud services from SAP. The company is also adding a training cloud for SAP Litmos to its customer experience portfolio. The service offers targeted, continuous learning and includes a built-in library of course content focused on sales and customer service.

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Meanwhile, SAP is also rolling out series of updates to S/4HANA designed to make it easier to add artificial intelligence and robotics, and to customize apps. The aim is to help companies improve business results, automate processes and make more accurate predictions, SAP said. The updates align with SAP's push into robotics process automation, which is designed to remove repetitive tasks from back office jobs like data entry, accounting, human resources and supply-chain management. 

Overall, there are more than 100 out-of-the-box AI and robotic process automation capabilities in the 1905 release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud. New AI additions include tools for intelligent accruals management and defect code proposal. There's also a new tool that automates the collection, extraction and validation of financial journal data from emails, and then mass uploads the data into S/4HANA.

Also: SAP unveils C/4HANA, aims to revamp CRM, leverage its ERP base | SAP embraces Robotic Process Automation as part of new AI and cloud push | With latest SAP S/4HANA cloud release, SAP begins automation process march

SAP also noted that the S/4HANA Cloud will run on Google Cloud Platform in the third quarter of 2019. In Q4, SAP plans expand its reach to China via the Alibaba Cloud. Implementations on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are both planned for 2020.

Finally, SAP announced that it's offering 12-month free access for partners to test and demo systems on S/4HANA and C/4HANA. The offer will be available starting in the third quarter of 2019, with partner registration remaining open until September 30.