SAP Sapphire 2024: Joule across the enterprise

June 26, 2024
Written by Danielle Larocca

Senior Vice-President of HCM Solutions Danielle Larocca has worked in the SAP HCM space for over 20 years. An SAP Mentor and featured speaker at numerous conferences, Danielle has authored four best-selling books on SAP, is the Technical Editor for the SAP Professional Journal, and often the Voice of the Expert on SAPInsider’s Ask the Expert series for HR.

Joule with SAP consulting

The recent annual SAP Sapphire 2024 in Orlando had its largest post-pandemic attendance to date, with approximately 10,500 people attending. Danielle Larocca had the pleasure of attending as part of the SAP Mentors program, and participating in several of the exciting announcements about innovations, including those about SAP Joule and AI throughout the enterprise cloud portfolio. Read the blog to find out more.

Christian Klein shared some exciting news. There were several key announcements made at the event, which are available via the SAP Sapphire News Guide 2024 although my favorites were the ones focused on AI.

Sapphire 2024 announces SAP infuses Business AI throughout its enterprise cloud portfolio


The recent annual SAP Sapphire 2024 in Orlando had its largest post-pandemic attendance to date, with approximately 10,500 people. Before the pandemic, the event attracted 20,000 people.

Joule with SAP consulting
© Danielle Larocca

I had the pleasure of attending as part of the SAP Mentors program and participating in several of the exciting announcements about innovations, including the two below.

Christian Klein shared some exciting news. There were several key announcements made at the event, which are available via the SAP Sapphire News Guide 2024 although my favorites were the ones focused on AI.

Announcement: Joule across the cloud business

Joule graphic 1_V2© SAP 2024


In one of those announcements, SAP unveiled generative AI innovations and partnerships that showcase how the company is taking business to the next level in the era of AI. Not only does the announcement include that Joule, previously only available to SAP SuccessFactors customers, is now embedded in SAP S/4HANA Cloud solutions, as well as SAP Build and SAP Integration Suite; by the end of the year, Joule will also be integrated into SAP Ariba and SAP Analytics Cloud solutions for any customer in the cloud.


Even more compelling is that the SAP’s estimate that 80% of the most used tasks will be infused with Joule by end of calendar year 2024, see samples below.


Joule graphic 2_V2© SAP 2024


As SAP integrates Business AI throughout its enterprise solutions, it provides users with valuable insights, enabling them to achieve superior outcomes and enhance the creative problem-solving that humans excel at. For instance, AI-generated reports in SAP SuccessFactors offer people managers responsibly-sourced insights for compensation discussions, while forecasting capabilities in SAP Sales Cloud predict the most effective salesperson and product combinations for driving sales. Additionally, the SAP Business Technology Platform is incorporating large language models from Amazon Web Services, Meta, and Mistral AI into its generative AI hub. This integration within the SAP AI Core infrastructure simplifies the development of generative AI use cases for SAP applications.

Artificial Intelligence in Human Capital Management (HCM)

Those of us who work in the HCM space have had the unique opportunity to be the first ones using SAP’s digital assistant Joule as it was first launched for use for SAP SuccessFactors clients. Starting from the 2H 2023 release, Joule was performing basic HR tasks, in both employee and manager self-services in a conversational context enabled by supported transactional use cases, including SAP Start, and on all pages in the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite.


At last year's SAPPHIRE 2023 I had the pleasure of speaking as part of the keynote session BTP Fireside chat on the topic of “Critical platform capabilities to future-proof your business.” During that session, I shared one of our AI solutions called Employee Retention Analytics (ERA) which used SuccessFactors Employee Central data and DataRobot to scientifically predict which employees might leave an organization and why.


Here at EPI-USE Labs, the software-focused organisation of the EPI-USE companies, we jumped right in and began working with conversation artificial intelligence in the context of payroll. Payroll is the group's sweet spot; we have been in the SAP payroll space since 1988 where we have helped thousands of clients around the world with their payroll implementations and successful execution and reconciliation of payroll. Not only do we serve as a leader in payroll implementations, including migrating to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (PCE), and SAP HCM for SAP S/4HANA (H4S4), we have also developed over 40 Payroll Country versions in partnership with SAP.


We are likely most notable in the payroll community for our unique ability to access and share live payroll results from either SAP ECC On-premises Payroll or from SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll via our Query Manager solution as described in the SAP Community Blog titled Reporting in SAP HCM & Payroll and SuccessFactors. In addition to having access to live payroll data, we also have a solution called Variance Monitor that allows users to compare HR and Payroll data between systems and across periods. And because it’s automated, it eliminates manual comparisons, speeds up client processes and enables managers and test teams to be much more productive.


We work every day with our clients and understand how much time and resources it takes to support a payroll, and that includes the element of employees who continually have questions about their paychecks.


Payroll data accessed via a digital assistant

LLM_Image_Trusted cloud partner CTA copy 10


One of our artificial intelligence developments was based on this concept. We created a large language model agent that interprets an employee inquiry typed into a conversational chatbot, researches the answer via the same engine that powers our SAP reporting solution Query Manager solution mentioned above, and responds accordingly.


In this example, we consider an employee who asks a question. It's easy to think about all the questions that employees ask about their payroll, such as: why is my paycheck different to last month? is my overtime included? how days of vacation do I have left? what percent of my paycheck was for a premium hourly rate? etc.

Real-time access to SuccessFactors payroll information

Our app, which we built via BTP, offers real-time access to SuccessFactors payroll information while maintaining native SuccessFactors permissions. The solution delivers information, consolidated data, and concise statistics – empowering employees to make informed decisions with ease through their interaction, without exposing enterprise data see sample above. It's exciting to think about AI in the context of HR and Payroll. Keep an eye on what we’ll continue to deliver in this space!


To learn more about the latest innovations around AI and Joule for SAP cloud customers, visit the SAP News article SAP Infuses Business AI Throughout Its Enterprise Cloud Portfolio and Partners with Cutting-Edge AI Leaders to Bring Out Customers’ Best.


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