Let me introduce my guest
My today’s caller lives in the Netherlands. As he says about himself, is an SAP technologist with a strong focus on Intelligent Enterprise. Thanks to his contribution to the SAP community, he was in the SAP Hall of Fame in 2019. His current goal is to help everyone in the digital transformation to make their Enterprise more intelligent. Moreover, he is co-author of a book regarding Blockchain.
About Intelligent Enterprises, SAP Conversational AI, blockchain technology in the SAP world and the hardships of working during the COVID-19 pandemic – Sudip Ghosh is interviewed by Jarosław JZ Ziółkowski.
Reading time: 8 minutes
1. While preparing for the interview, I noticed that on LinkedIn, you wrote the following sentence: “I help companies to become intelligent”. I am curious – what exactly do you do?
Well, throughout my career, I have worked in a transformation project which focuses on different Intelligent Technology. I have grown up with SAP Cloud Platform, and over the last three years I was a part of the SAP Solution Experience team, where I have worked closely with the core team to design different Intelligent Enterprise Scenarios like Total Workforce Management, Source to Pay, Design to Operate, Lead to Cash using Intelligent Technologies like SAP Conversational AI, Machine learning, Blockchain, IoT and Integration suite. Even my last year’s SAP Teched presentation speech was on Intelligent Enterprise Total Workforce Management.
Currently, I am part of Aarini Consulting B.V a Dutch technology consulting company. Exactly, I’m a member of Innovation Factory where I, along with other colleagues, try to help different clients on their innovative journey to solve their business problems by automating and simplifying most of their business processes using various intelligent technologies.
2. I have noticed you work directly with the management. Are you some kind of technical advisor to them?
Yes, I directly work with management, and yes, my current role involves advisory, includes Presales, offering and GTM Plan.
3. These must be very demanding tasks. So, tell me, how do your activities help to improve the work of businesses and introduce them to the 21st century standards?
I believe that technology is meant for making things simpler. On 21st Century technology has evolved so much, and generally speaking, it is still growing. I see it happening in the Enterprise Software world which transforms and empowers an Organization for better shape in the future.
In my opinion, the latest technologies like AI, ML, RPA, Blockchain, IoT are not only making customer Enterprises super smart and bug-free. Additionally, the technologies I mentioned earlier allow us to reduce, and automate low-value tasks, so that employees in the organization could focus on the only high-Value task. These, of course, bring value to the organization and Intelligence Enterprise is all about that.
4. Continuing the topic of new technologies, SAP has been investing a lot in their cloud solutions in the last few years . Based on your experience as Cloud Architect, what are the biggest strengths of SAP in that area, and where do you still see some room for improvement?
Right, SAP has been investing lots into cloud solutions and as well as they are shaping up SAP Cloud Platform to make it the best innovation platform for Enterprise. In my view, if you ask about Cloud Line of Business Solution, then I will say some Line of business Cloud solutions is really in good shape. I mean such solutions like SuccessFactors and CX related Solutions And the best part is that SAP offers pre-packaged Integration content to customers and partners for hassle-free integration with Core Business Suite.
In the Cloud Platform Area, they did a great job, and it’s still evolving, they learned from some Past mistakes, and Now they are in really great shape, Gartner’s result itself says that. It was a great decision indeed to go with Hyper scalar and Cloud Foundry. Still, I see many improvement points, especially in the area of Enterprise AI Offering Mainly into Vision AI Offering and Integration Vision AI with Conversational AI, Where Azure and Google Cloud is doing a great job. I firmly believe they should focus on offering custom Vision AI service, which could empower the Enterprise in the area of Asset Management, Aviation Industry, Finance, Fashion and Apparel Industry.
5. We are going to get back to the technical questions, but now on another subject. You work in Amsterdam. Thus, I’d like to know what today’s market for SAP projects in the Benelux countries is from your perspective?
Well though I am currently based out of Amsterdam – we have customers across the globe, but most of them are Netherlands Based. The Netherlands is suitable for the SAP market; that’s what I heard here. It’s a new place for me, and I am still learning about the Benelux market. It would be too early for me to make concrete comments on this from my perspective. Currently, because of the COVID-19, the situation is not up to the mark.
6. When it comes to COVID-19 – I’d like to know, how did the pandemic impact your work? Do you notice any downtime?
Well, I could write a book on this. This pandemic had and still has a significant impact on my work, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. If you look at the gap between my last job and the current job, you will find a two months gap. And that is due to COVID-19. 20th March 2020 was my last working day in my previous organization, and on 1st April, I was supposed to start working in Aarini Consulting at Amsterdam. However, due to flight cancellation and lockdown in general, I couldn’t join on 1st April. So, I had two months downtime. We can also call it a stressful time off. But now, I am really thankful to My Current Organization and the excellent Leadership team who were not only ready to accept my late joining but also, they were very supportive during the whole time of the lockdown.
7. As we speak of support in the broad sense, let’s focus on you. You co-wrote the book titled:” Enterprise Blockchain Development with Hyperledger Fabric and Composer”. I’m wondering, do you plan to publish more? Maybe it’s time for an SAP Press Book?
For now, I want to focus on my blogs in SAP Community and Live Streaming. To be honest, writing a book is not an easy job. I have big respect for all SAP Press Authors. Well, Someday definitely, I would love to publish a book under SAP Press, but for now, I want to focus more on SAP Community Blogs and Live Streaming.
8. Speaking of blogs, in the SAP Community, most of your blogs are related to SAP Conversational AI. Could you tell me, what differences SAP Conversational AI bring in SAP Ecosystem in terms of additional value?
Thanks for asking this, SAP Conversational AI is one of the topics I am very passionate about. As I said earlier, Technology is meant for making things simple. In my opinion, SAP Conversational AI is the next-generation UX, where you could execute business transactions just by talking or chatting in a standard language we speak. We all know how to speak and how to send a message and introducing SAP Conversational AI not only automates processes or makes things simpler, but also it empowers us. That’s where the most significant value is added.
9. Let’s talk a little bit about the future. Since this is such a forward-looking topic – tell us, how do you see SAP Conversational AI in five years’ time?
By observing the way SAP Conversational AI is scaling up with new features, I can say it’s no doubt the best Enterprise Chatbot platform. Not only developer experience-wise but also feature-wise. There are certain things I would like to see in the next five years regarding Product features. For instance, I believe generating the whole chatbot based on the API, is on the roadmap for sure. Moreover, advanced language support for all the languages we speak all over the world, Standard hassle-free Authentication Service or SSO for third party channels like Facebook Messenger, Slack, WhatsApp, etc., Inbuilt Speech-to-text and easy Standard Integration with AR, and VR.
10. You are also an expert in blockchain technology. How do you think SAP and it’s solutions fit into that? Do you have any project experience with SAP Blockchain that you could share?
It’s worth to mention that blockchain is not only limited to Bitcoin, Crypto- Currency or Banking sector, but it also has a lot to do with the Enterprise Software world. How? It brings transparency, security between the business partners and eliminates third party’s involvement in the Business. Integrating SAP Solution with Blockchain not only brings transparency and tamper proof in Business Transaction, additionally it empowers the whole enterprise. Blockchain is the area I have worked extensively on 2017 and 2018, and one of the projects was Hyperledger Fabric-based Auction Platform which is integrated with SAP S/4HANA. This is an extension Solution which is deployed on SAP Cloud Platform apart from this many MVP.
11. That sounds interesting, so I have to ask what technical skills are needed to work with Blockchain in SAP? And what SAP tools are used in such work?
Well SAP doesn’t have any proprietary Blockchain Technology. Preferably SAP offers different Blockchain Platforms like Hyperledger, Multichain, etc. As a service in SAP Cloud Platform, the benefit is the customer doesn’t have to look for setting up Infrastructure like setting up Blockchain Business Network, Scalability, etc. which is the most challenging part in Blockchain. Instead, they can focus on ChainCode,smart contract development,business logic development and Integration With SAP S/4HANA or Any Business Suite as per their business use cases. So if anyone wants to work in SAP Blockchain, they should know the business process and Different Blockchain Technologies like Hyperledger Fabric, Multichain, etc. for writing the chaincode or smart contract. From the Programming point of view GoLang, Node.js will help to get into these technologies very quickly.
12. Today I would like to finish off with a question about SAP integration. You have a “Black Belt” in SAP integration! Does it mean that like karate masters in the dojo you are already a champion in the Integration field?
Hahaha, you are funny! Integration Black Belt is a Very Well Articulated Course designed by Integration Champions of SAP for Partner and SAP Integration Consultant or Architect. During the course you get a 360-degree Idea of why Intelligent Enterprise is an Integrated Enterprise and you acquire a Deep insight on Integration Suite and finally, after attending the course, you have to take the assessment to achieve Integration BlackBelt.
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