SAP recently announced Joule, its native generational AI chatbot for SAP SuccessFactors® users. This article covers what it is, what it will do, and how much it will cost.

If it’s not trying to fill open positions, it’s staying compliant with labor laws. Or it’s making sure employees are fairly compensated and well-trained. Or it’s managing the HR system and ensuring the data is accurate.

Such is a partial snapshot of life as an HR employee these days.

Benefits of AI for HR Professionals

The workplace is buzzing with talk of AI. How can it help HR folks work – and sleep – easier?

A recent episode of the Rizing Evolution podcast focused on AI. Experts on the podcast included Martin Stenzig, CTO of Rizing, a Wipro company, Aaron Green, Chief Marketing & Solutions Officer of SAP SuccessFactors, Charles Wilson, Thought Leader of Analytics for Wipro, and Josh Cavalier, Founder of JoshCavalier.ai.

At a high level, the discussion covered several ways generative AI tools can benefit the HR workplace:

Martin Stenizig mentioned increased operational efficiency:

“We typically find new technology benefits businesses in the realm of 3-5%. Technologies like generative AI are ramping us up into the 25-30% factor, and that’s really game-changing.”

Josh Cavalier sees AI enhancing workforce development.

“Generative AI will enable individuals to show up differently and show up better in their roles.”

Aaron Green thinks AI can improve recruitment and diversity through more equitable hiring processes:

“Democratized access to data creates not just equity inside of an organization but social equity as well.”

Hello, Joule

To enable businesses to see those benefits and more, SAP introduced Joule, a transformative natural-language, generative AI chatbot.

But what exactly is Joule, and how does it work? Let’s break down Joule’s capabilities and explain how it will help HR employees be more efficient and effective.

Let’s look at:

  • What is Joule?
  • What are some use cases?
  • How will customers use Joule?
  • What applications is Joule available on?
  • How will Joule be priced?
  • What languages will Joule speak?
  • Will customers be able to customize Joule?

What is SAP Joule?

Joule is a generative AI copilot that will help employees navigate and use SAP products. SAP plans to embed Joule throughout its cloud enterprise portfolio. The goal is to deliver proactive and contextualized help from both SAP solutions and (to be named) third-party sources.

Joule will help people get work done faster and better while staying secure and compliant.

SAP announced Joule at the TechEd conference in September 2023.

Joule Use Cases

Joule supports three conversational patterns:

Navigational Pattern

Helping users find system functionality.

For example, John is a well-versed manager with a stable team headcount for the last couple of years. Recent sales growth means John can add staff, but he can’t remember how to start the recruitment process. John can now just ask Joule where the specific function in the system is.

Joule knows that John already has a few direct reports. Joule asks an initial question and then suggests the following steps, including the use of an existing employee as the basis for a new requisition. Once John selects an example person, Joule creates the basic requisition, which John can then modify and send for approval.

Joule recommends relevant applications and facilitates seamless navigation to help users complete tasks.

Transactional Pattern

Assisting users in the efficient completion of their tasks.

Sometimes, users know a feature exists in the software but aren’t sure how to use it. For example, Jane is a manager with lots of experience evaluating her direct reports as part of the annual performance review process. However, her company has released a new feature – continuance performance. Jane doesn’t know how to provide and request feedback in continuance performance. Jane asks Joule where to start.

Joule is currently limited to a few use cases. However, it can pull answers from business objects, meaning Jane doesn’t have to open the corresponding application to get that information.

Informational Pattern

Helping users retrieve information from existing documents.

The third case is a more basic system interaction where an infrequent user wants to retrieve information stored in the system but is unsure where to find it.

Joule provides summaries of help content to address user inquiries expressed in natural language.

How will customers use SAP Joule?

SAP will embed Joule into its cloud-enterprise portfolio. Employees will ask Joule questions or frame a problem in plain language. Joule will respond with intelligent answers drawn from the wealth of business data across the SAP portfolio and third-party sources, retaining context.

What applications will Joule be available in?

Joule is currently available in SAP SuccessFactors  and SAP Start. In early 2024, SAP plans to offer Joule in the SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud edition.

How will Joule be priced?

SAP is basing Joule pricing around the idea of a “message.” A message is a round-trip interaction with Joule. For example, the end user asking a question and getting an answer from Joule counts as one message.

SAP customers will get a number of free Joule messages per year based on their number of licensed users. After customers use the free messages, SAP will begin charging AI units for additional messages.

Please refer to SAP’s AI Services List for further details.

What languages will Joule be available in?

English, with more languages following later.

Is Joule Customizable?

Extensibility and advanced customization features are not currently available but are planned in the future.

How Do I Get Started with SAP Joule?

Contact Rizing if you need help implementing SAP Joule inside SuccessFactors. Joule promises to be a key way companies will help their HR staff stay current, productive, and contributing to the business bottom line.