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German enterprise software giant SAP is putting its skin in the AI game.
The company announced today has invested directly in three AI startups: Cohere, Anthropic (creator of the Claude 2 LLM service) and Aleph Alpha.
While the company did not specify the dollar amount of its investments, a spokesperson told VentureBeat that “they are a signal of SAP’s commitment to deliver valuable generative AI scenarios integrated into our portfolio of business applications, which are used every day by world leaders
Brands. As we continue to innovate, we are committed to using the best and responsible AI technology and tools on the market.”
The news follows a more specific dollar investment by SAP-backed Sapphire Ventures, which announced a staggering $1 Billion Commitment to Generation AI Startups last week.
Why SAP must be a leader in enterprise AI
SAP is the third largest software company in the world in terms of annual revenue, behind only Microsoft and Oracle, and the largest outside the U.S. Its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software — the stack that unites a company’s supply chain and operational applications – And used by such major brands such as oil megacorp ExxonMobil and drugmaker Novartis. One of its most recognizable apps is its travel and business expense archiving software I agree.
SAP says it already has 26,000 customers worldwide using its existing SAP Business AI, leading up to the investment announcement, showing appetite for these types of services.
Thus, the application of generative AI could have a huge impact for companies and their customers around the world. Indeed, while VentureBeat does not offer investment advice, Bank of America analyst Frederic Boulan named SAP one of the top 10 stocks to invest in for generative AI gainsciting the fact that “massive amounts of data about a company’s operations are held within a company’s ERP system, which makes the software vital in any AI generative integration.”
In other words: SAP already has a treasure trove of data from all of its many global customers, and if SAP decides to offer gen AI services to those customers together with or through existing SAP offerings, it stands to reason that SAP could make a huge impact. both on the customer’s side and on your own profits.
SAP customers start AI pilots “immediately”.
“Pilots and proof of concepts (PoCs) are underway with customers so that any interested customer can get started with SAP immediately,” the SAP spokesperson told VentureBeat in an emailed statement.
As for why SAP chose these three generation AI startups to invest in over any other: “All three companies – Aleph Alpha (Germany), Anthropic (US) and Cohere (Canada) are recognized for industry leadership, innovation, and a unique vision to advance artificial intelligence and the potential to transform industries.And with our comprehensive approach to fostering an open Business AI ecosystem, we believe SAP should offer customers the choice and we are proud to invest in each of them”.
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