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SAP is creating what it calls an intelligent business network. The software giant made the announcement this week at Sapphire Now, the virtual version of its major conference.

The network will collect information from participants connected to all members of their ecosystems that can be used system wide. SAP will build the network by starting with business partners across the supply chain “in research and development, engineering, planning, sourcing, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, and asset operations, including the design-to-operate and source-to-pay life cycles”. That was the description from Chris Haydon, president of SAP Procurement Solutions, and Paige Cox, SVP and head of Digital Supply Chain Business Networks at SAP. SAP will also increase investment across the supply chain through the Industry 4.Now initiative, which it said encompasses “more than 100 new innovations SAP plans to deliver in 2020”. These include capabilities in the areas of intelligent product, factories and assets. For example, features deliver to intelligent factories include distributed edge computing for the SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud; digital supply-to-line processes for production logistics; intelligent factory innovations, such as factory insights Visual inspection and quality management based on AI. The company said it will also empower workers through data-driven shop floor operations and ad-hoc decision support to respond to unforeseen changes.

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