The SAP Leonardo FAQ

17 May 2017

John Appleby

John Appleby

Global Head of Sales

In 2010, SAP changed the database management market with SAP HANA, and they followed this in 2014 with a fourth-generation ERP, S/4HANA. Around this, business is adapting – processes are being transformed with automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Chatbots are becoming mainstream, and the market is moving fast.

This is my first draft of a SAP Leonardo FAQ. It’s early days, and the information and messaging is still forthcoming, so as always, expect a few iterations of this over the coming weeks.

What is SAP Leonardo?

SAP Leonardo is a set of tools to build new applications – a platform for digital innovation – based on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things. The tools include Design Thinking to help create ideas, prototype and create business cases, a set of software based on the SAP Cloud Platform, and the services to implement the applications. SAP Leonardo is capable of being embedded into SAP S/4HANA, meaning that intelligence can be embedded directly into your enterprise data – making decisions based on your customer sales orders or supply chain, for example, in real time.

What are the use cases for SAP Leonardo?

SAP have focused on four distinct industries for SAP Leonardo out the box: Retail, Consumer Products, Discrete Manufacturing and Sports & Entertainment. Initial use cases include invoice matching and brand recognition – the latter, using the power of GPUs to do real-time analysis of television. The full list:
  • SAP Service Ticketing – Classification of customer service tickets
  • SAP Customer Retention – Mining customer demographic data to help with customer retention
  • SAP Cash Application – Matching bank statements to invoices
  • SAP Brand Impact – Recognizing brand images in real-time video
  • SAP Resume Matching – Scoring incoming candidate resumes based on skills
  • SAP Job Standardization – Guiding recruiters to create accurate and unbiased job descriptions
  • SAP Copilot – An automated digital assistant with natural language capabilities
 This is just the start!

Wasn’t SAP Leonardo an Internet of Things product?

Yes – previously, SAP Leonardo referred just to SAP’s Internet of Things offering . Now, Leonardo includes the whole innovation portfolio around Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Big Data, Blockchain and Analytics.

Why is SAP Leonardo important?

Machine learning is already heavily embedded in our lives. Facebook’s facial recognition software embedded into photographs you upload, for example. Google’s smart inbox software which puts the emails you need to read most urgently at the top. Tesla’s autopilot software learns from the millions of miles driven by all drivers of their cars.
In the Enterprise, however, we have limited benefits of this exciting new technology. My finance team spend a lot of time matching invoices, when they could be spending time analyzing the business, finding insights, and making suggestions on how to capture lost revenue or improving profitability. If we work responsibly, we can ensure that we use automation to elevate our business partners so they can move out of day-day activities and add much more value to the organization.

Is Leonardo actual software or just a concept?

Leonardo is a set of tools and packaged solutions which are designed to fit around 80% of a business processes. SAP found during the development of Leonardo that the sorts of problems that it solves are different both by industry, and for the specific customer scenario, so implementation services are required for the final 20% fit.

How should I get started?

The first steps in the Leonardo journey are to get in contact with SAP or your SAP partner (we’d be happy to help!) - and run a Design Thinking workshop to identify, prototype and build the business case for your use cases.
View comments


  • Muthu Ramasamy - 19 May 2017, 13:32:51
    Thank you. It also had a blockchain service offering ..!!

About the author

John Appleby

Global Head of Sales

I've always been passionate about new technology. I cut my teeth helping global financial services and consumer goods companies build data warehouses to manage their business - especially when they wanted to run faster.

These days, I travel weekly across continents, helping clients differentiate themselves using analytics technologies. This then involved building a team to design the solution, make it work and lead it through to successful completion.

I believe that in-memory computing is radically changing the face of business so you can ask me about SAP HANA, or about any other data platform like DB2 BLU, Hadoop or MongoDB for that matter.

I'm passionate that giving back to the community reaps long-term rewards and this has shaped the last few years of my career - being a contributor to knowledge sharing websites as an SAP Mentor; and a sometime advisor to Wall Street investors on emerging technologies and those companies bringing to market new innovations.

When I'm not busy designing in-memory apps, you may find me pounding the pavement to the beat of music in the hilly suburbs of Philadelphia, or traveling the world to meet new people and new cultures.

Bluefin and SAP S/4HANA - welcome to the one horse race

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