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When CAI and iRPA Create Magic

When Charles Babbage invented the first mechanical computer, little did he know that computers would be running the world one day or that Multinational conglomerates would rely on Enterprise software to conduct their businesses. Taking this journey one step further, Enterprise software has evolved into Intelligent Enterprise software. These intelligent software use data to bring insights to automate further or improve business processes. SAP CAI and SAP iRPA are two such solutions provided by SAP. These solutions form one of the four pillars – ‘Intelligent Technologies’ of SAP BTP. This article briefly touches upon each of these two topics.


What comes to mind when you think of SAP Conversational AI or SAP CAI? Probably something related to ‘conversation.’ Indeed, SAP Conversational AI uses a subset of Artificial Intelligence, also known as Natural Language Processing, to create software applications that interact with humans by recognizing language patterns, commonly known as chatbots. 

Now we come to the question –  How does SAP Conversational AI make a difference in how enterprises conduct business? It is just interacting with humans like any other human agent. So what is the big deal? Why is there so much buzz around the chatbots? The answer is that a chatbot does not get tired like a human being and does not need a coffee break. Interaction with the human agent may result in long waits or inaccurate information leading to a bad experience and customer dissatisfaction. Also, as the number of callers or customers increases, increasing the number of customer care executives is not a practical solution. This is where Conversation AI comes into the picture. Zero-wait-time, 24X7 support, real-time responses, and personalized experiences on the gadget of your choice are a few of the lucrative benefits of Conversational AI, making it so popular. 

Conversational AI helps businesses by reducing dependency on human resources, thereby increasing revenues. Chatbots can also be engaged in lead generation, upselling, and cross-selling products. The technical aspects of SAP conversational AI provide an end-to-end low-code chatbot-building platform with embedded Natural Language Processing to build chatbots. This platform gives the capabilities of training, creating, connecting, and analyzing chatbots. Also, the platform enables integration with SAP iRPA or APIs to cater to end-to-end process chains. For example, these chatbots can be integrated with slack or Twitter, or various other social media platforms.

 Use cases for chatbots include all the scenarios where a human representative can be replaced. For example, a Virtual HR Representative who can answer queries related to HR policies or a Virtual Customer Care Agent who can give the details of a particular Sales Order. Other use cases include Purchase Order Tracking, Approval of Purchase requisitions, Triaging inquiries, Intelligent Ticketing, etc.  When to use chatbots, chatbots can always be used to reduce the need for human agents. This helps to increase customer retention and productivity, ultimately leading to profits and more revenue. Creating these chatbots requires low-code skills, including design, configuration, UI, and API integration.


In the fall of 2018, SAP introduced intelligent robotic process automation in SAP TechEd in Las Vegas with the vision to turn its customers into intelligent Enterprises. Since then, SAP iRPA has been gaining popularity, and we can find automation happening in every line of business across the enterprise. RPA is a technology to build, deploy and manage software applications or Bots that imitate human interactions with software applications. These Bots can do repetitive and routine tasks like reading and understanding text on screen, filling online forms, navigating through screens, etc. But Bots have the edge over humans since they can do these tasks faster and more consistently without the need to take a break. 

SAP iRPA is a fusion of RPA and Artificial Intelligence and presents massive opportunities for enterprises worldwide. Powered with AI skills like machine learning, Natural Language Processing, and Character and Image recognition, the cognitive abilities of these boats are greatly enhanced. SAP iRPA 2.0, released in 2020, comprises three components: first, Cloud Studio for designing the automation process, next Cloud Factory for orchestrating the automation process, and last but not least, Desktop Agent for the execution of the automation.

SAP ERP Cloud Studio allows integration with third-party Technologies. The Process Automation programming model supports script based as well as workflow-based modeling. SAP ERP offers connectivity with SAP and non-SAP Technologies via connectors and APIs. SAP iRPA supports expert Bot builders and medium or low-code people. Pre-built Bots are available in the SAP iRPA store to kickstart the journey of Intelligent Automation for an Enterprise. Bot builders can create Attended Bots requiring minimal human intervention or create Unattended Bots automating end-to-end processes with zero human intervention. 

Use cases for SAP iRPA include Smart Invoicing, where the Bots receive invoices in various formats like a scanned document or a PDF, which are processed and Accounts Payable updated in the backend. Another use case is Smart Attachment upload, a combination of two Bots – one to download an attachment from Outlook using OCR and another to attach the correct document to the respective Sales Order in SAP. Other notable use cases are Automatic Payment Reconciliation, Sales Order Automation, and Automation of daily email activities. Apart from these, there are numerous other use cases as well. SAP iRPA can automate processes across several lines of business—for example, Procurement, Retail, Finance, Travel, Expense, Human Resources, and Operations. Essential skills required for SAP iRPA Bot building are JavaScript, UI automation, and API integration. 

SAP CAI and SAP iRPA have immense potential to add value to an organization by freeing up precious human resources so they can contribute towards more sophisticated issues. Simplified Bot development and integration options with other SAP and non-SAP systems make these a great addition to an Enterprise. With data explosion happening all around us, humans can’t comprehend and operate effectively. And it becomes imperative to embrace Intelligent technologies like CAI and iRPA.

Also, this reminds me of the famous lines from Alice in Wonderland –

Alice: “Would you please tell me which way I should go from here?” 

The Cheshire Cat: “That depends greatly on where you want to get to.”

It depends a good deal on the Enterprises. It depends on how they want to utilize the Intelligent Suite capabilities in SAP to transform themselves into profitable Intelligent Enterprises.


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Juhi Kulshreshtha is an SAP Senior Technical Architect Manager in Mindset Consulting, Bengaluru. She is a key part of Mindset Consulting in India managing technical delivery leads, working with other developers, project architects and subject matter experts, creating remarkable experiences for the clients.
A few of her core areas of specialization include Ariba Integration with S/4 HANA, Ariba Procurement, ABAP for HANA customizations, SAP Concur Integration with S/4 HANA FI, SAP FSCD Integration with third-party software for Insurance, HANA DB Upgrade and ABAP remediation, Integration of ABAP-PI Interfaces and Agile Project Delivery.
Juhi lives in Bengaluru with her husband, an 11-year-old mischievous daughter and a playful 2 yrs old golden retriever. In her leisure time, she likes to read bestseller books and watch acclaimed movies.

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