March 9, 2017

SAP beefs up its integrated business planning suite

Cloud-based software tool adds machine learning and predictive analytics.

By DC Velocity Staff

German business software vendor SAP SE today announced increased automation capabilities for SAP Integrated Business Planning, its cloud-based solution for inventory and supply optimization; exception-driven response management; sales and operations planning; and demand sensing and forecasting.

The enhancements also include more accurate omnichannel replenishment and product segmentation capabilities, using machine learning intelligence to help customers achieve greater visibility, shorter planning cycles, and more accurate response to changes in supply and demand, SAP said.

SAP Integrated Business Planning is a supply chain planning tool for industries in a range of segments, including automotive, chemicals, consumer products, distribution/retail, high tech, manufacturing, mill products and mining, pharmaceuticals, and services, the company said. Users in all verticals use the tool to unite disconnected data sources and processes; eliminate reliance on ad hoc collaboration over email and Microsoft Excel; and deliver cross-functional decision making with the benefit of "what-if" scenario analysis, according to SAP.

"With customer expectations and market conditions changing constantly, companies increasingly require collaborative planning with powerful analytical capabilities to ensure accurate and agile execution," SAP's Hans Thalbauer said in a release. Thalbauer is senior vice president, digital supply chain and IoT, SAP. "Our integrated planning solution allows our customers to align business objectives with operations to achieve top-line growth and higher profits, while significantly improving customer service, order fulfillment, and end-user engagement," he said.

SAP has been investing heavily in its catalog of software platforms using "big data" analytics that allow users to predict problems and deploy solutions automatically. In 2016, the company said it would spend $2.2 billion over five years to improve its Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities for companies in the supply chain, logistics, and manufacturing sectors.

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