GenAI at Microsoft, SAP, Salesforce and OpenText

Apr 30, 2024
  • Microsoft
  • OpenText
  • SAP

To say that generative AI (genAI) evolves rapidly is an understatement. Keeping track of everything that’s happening can be overwhelming and time consuming. At the same time, you need to have a basic idea of what’s out there, or you risk falling behind. Luckily, our AI experts Wouter Labeeuw and Pieterjan De Schrijver did the heavy lifting for you.

In this non-exhaustive overview, Wouter and Pieterjan discuss what genAI solutions major enterprise application providers Microsoft, SAP, Salesforce and OpenText are offering. In addition, they look at some of the key considerations for businesses who find themselves caught in the middle of the genAI arms race. 

Microsoft: Open(ing) AI for all enterprises

What's on offer

Microsoft's efforts in genAI span multiple sectors and demonstrate the broad application of AI technology. The most visible example is, of course Copilot for Microsoft 365. This well-known ‘smart assistant’ can generate documents, create reports, summarize emails and meetings, draft presentations, and more.  


At the end of 2023, Microsoft introduced the low-code conversational AI platform Copilot Studio. It allows users to extend and customize Copilot for Microsoft 365 with plugins. In this way, they can connect their CRM, ERPHRM, and external data sourcesgreatly extending the tool’s range and capabilities

What you should know 

For businesses eager to start experimenting with genAI, Microsoft is the best option. Azure OpenAI Service provides access to OpenAI’s powerful models, while Microsoft Azure AI, built on top of Microsoft Azure, offers flexible scalability, robust data governance, and other enterprise featuresIt’s the perfect setup for large companies with a growing need for AI capabilities.  


Microsoft Azure AI Studio lets you choose from a variety of models, including GPT-4LLaMA 2, and Mistral. Considering that different LLMs score higher or lower on different tasks, this comes in quite handy. Plus, you don’t have to manage multiple subscriptions.  


What the future brings 

In March 2024, Microsoft also announced a collaboration with Adobe to integrate Adobe Experience Cloud and Microsoft Copilot. Aimed at marketeers, the venture will assist in developing creative briefs, creating content, managing content approvals, and much more in Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Word.  


OverallMicrosoft's genAI initiatives reflect a strategic approach to leveraging AI technology across various domains, emphasizing innovation, efficiency, and the transformative potential of AI in addressing complex challenges.

Zoom out: GenAI and the future of coding 

Soon, nearly every application will be developed with the helping hand of genAI. The technology is already embedded in almost all development environments in order to increase developer efficiency, whether it’s by writing code, debugging, or handling testing. In the field of citizen development, i.e. low-code and no-code, genAI plays a crucial role as well.

SAP: GenAI-driven business operations

SAP Joule 

SAP’s AI strategy focuses on embedding its genAI assistant SAP Joule in every line-of-business (LOB) application. In this way, intelligence is infused directly into business processes. At SAP, AI is thus viewed as an integrated part of its business applications instead of a standalone technology. Today, SAP Joule can already  

  • generate summaries of help content based on natural-language user inquiries (Informational Pattern); 

  • help users execute business process more efficiently by recommending relevant applications and facilitating seamless navigation (Navigational Pattern); 

  • offer insights about business objects without having to open the corresponding application. 


Going forward, Joule will also summarize these insights, offer improvement proposals, analyze reports, and highlight dependencies (Intelligent Insights). Another feature on SAP’s roadmap for Joule is ‘Guided Processes’. Here, SAP’s genAI assistant will help users navigate business processes while suggesting and providing resolutions for smooth operations. This will make the configuration of complex processes like tax configuration in the US much easier and more efficient. 


Also worth mentioning is SAP Just Ask: aNLP- and AI-driven query feature that lets users ask questions in plain English. The tool also generates reports on demand and provides valuable insights directly from the SAP Analytics Cloud home page or via the main toolbar.  



Joule also functions as a genAI assistant on the SAP Business Technology Platform. Here, the tool offers development support – and soon integration support as well. This is in addition to the numerous AI-based services that are already available on SAP BTP, like Document Information Extraction (which now uses an LLM as its backbone, instead of optical character recognition or OCR).  


SAP BTP also features a dedicated playground (AI Core and AI Launchpad), where users can experiment with prompt engineering. In this way, they can test and evaluate different prompt and LLM combinations, and figure out which model offers the best result for each specific task or use case. 


What you should know 

Overall, by integrating genAI into its existing business applications, SAP empowers businesses to optimize their operations, enhance decision-making processes, and improve overall efficiency. One of the main advantages here is that SAP collects a lot of data throughout the company’s value chain. This is a key enabler in opening a brand-new world of genAI capabilities that bring immediate business value. 

SAP offers a range of genAI solutions aimed at various aspects of business operations. Organizations that are already deep into the SAP ecosystem have a leg up on the competition. They will be the first to benefit from SAP’s highly integrated genAI solutions. 


Salesforce: deeper customer connections through AI

GenAI at Salesforce is about creating new content or data based on existing data, such as text, images, or code. Central to this is Salesforce Einstein Copilot, which integrates applications that cover sales, service, marketing, ecommerce, analytics, and industry solutions. By fusing genAI with data management, customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities, and trusted systems, businesses can boost their productivity and forge deeper customer relationships.

The playground and developer studio in Einstein 1 is called Einstein 1 Studio. This collection of low-code conversational AI tools is designed to maximize efficiency and improve customer experiences. Other AI capabilities in the Einstein 1 Platform are:  

  • Copilot Builder, which enables users to create custom AI actions for specific assignments. 
  • Prompt Builder, for creating, managing, and enriching prompts with dynamic CRM data. 
  • Model Builder, for integrating predictive and generative AI-models from leading machine-learning and LLM platforms.  

What the future brings 

Through Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce’s global investment arm, the company has been promoting the development of genAI. It recently launched a new $250 million fund to invest in promising startups and accelerate the development of responsible and trusted technologies. Just like SAP, Salesforce focuses on integrating genAI capabilities into its existing enterprise software offerings, instead of building its own foundational model.  

OpenText: harnessing AI for business operations

What's on offer

With Aviator, OpenText leverages large language models (LLMs) integrated with private datasets to tailor solutions across various domains including IT operations, content creation and data analytics. OpenText Aviator is structured into specific modules to address distinct needs within an organization:

  • OpenText IT Operations Aviator: optimizes IT management through automated operations.
  • OpenText Experience Aviator: enhances customer and user experience by leveraging AI-driven insights.
  • OpenText Business Network Aviator: facilitates smoother and smarter business interactions and transactions.
  • OpenText DevOps Aviator: streamlines development processes with AI-enhanced tools.
  • OpenText Content Aviator: manages and automates content through intelligent workspaces, enabling faster content retrieval, multi-language translations, and generation of new content from existing data.

What you should know

Aviator distinguishes itself by integrating seamlessly with existing digital infrastructures, enhancing productivity and decision-making without the need for overhauling current systems. OpenText's emphasis on data quality is evident, as the efficacy of Aviator’s AI capabilities heavily relies on the integrity and structure of the underlying data.

Conclusion: start from where you are

Whether they’re developing their own foundational models or not, all major enterprise software providers are going all in on genAI, offering a range of compelling functionalities and promising features. What’s more, all of them seem to be working hard to make AI safety, reliability, and ethics a priority as well, from SAP’s 3 R’s (relevance, reliability, and responsibility) to Salesforce’s slogan ‘Your data is not our product’.  

In every one of the ecosystems we discussed, genAI capabilities are evolving at breakneck speed, and the barriers for entry are getting lower by the day. As such, the best place to start for your company is likely right where you are now – while keeping a close eye on developments across the broader field. 

need help setting up your genAI playground in your ecosystem of choice?

Wouter Labeeuw

Senior manager Data & AI
Connect with Wouter on LinkedIn

Pieterjan De Schrijver

Connect with Pieterjan on LinkedIn

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