What Exactly is SAP, anyway? A Broad Overview

Above all, ASAR Digital is an SAP Gold Partner. So this week we’ll take a step back to review the fundamentals of SAP. Therefore in this article we’ll define exactly what SAP is, what it does, and what it stands for. The enterprise application software market is saturated with hundreds of producers. Indeed making it that much more difficult for consumers to understand where SAP fits within the industry. Firstly, at a high level, we’ll learn about SAP as a company. Meaning we’ll understand what the solutions do, and finally we’ll examine various product offerings & solutions.

The History

SAP was born well before the term “startup” was even coined– but in reality it was nothing more than a startup. Back in 1972 SAP was founded by a group of friends in Germany. So these friends set out to bring their vision of a digitally connected enterprise to life. What they didn’t know at the time was that the world was undoubtedly on the precipice of a digital transformation. Eventually SAP has come to employ over 100K people from 140+ countries. What started as an idea amongst friends at last turned into a market leading enterprise application software company. 

Previously, SAP’s acronym originally stood for Systems Analysis Program Development. However, over the years as SAP has evolved into one of the largest software companies in the world. Consequently, the acronym has been updated to better represent its value proposition. As a result, it now refers to: Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing. Since 1972 it has earned its place as a market leader with groundbreaking innovations such as ERP software. Particularly, according to SAP, 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP System. In short, the reach of this software is pervasive and vast. Thus, with such an enormous reach across digital enterprises SAP has managed to positively impact over 400,000 customers in its 49 year history. 

The Ins and Outs of SAP as a Business

Without a doubt, SAP as a company has many complex business ventures and facets. So at its core, it uses integrated applications, platforms and solutions which streamline business processes across all sizes and industries. Therefore it works directly with businesses to design hyper-focused end to end solutions. The ultimate goal is to bring connectivity and synchronicity to a business so that front-end and back end functionality seamlessly communicate enabling efficiency and customer satisfaction.

SAP has expert experience serving a wide range of industries, such as Food and Beverage, High Tech, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Industrial Machinery and Components, Retail, and much more. 

SAP Portfolio (Solutions)

This brings us to our final topic of discussion. That is, what products and solutions does SAP offer? An expansive portfolio of solutions which we can generally categorize into 6 areas:

  1. ERP and Finance– which works to connect departments and their respective functions to facilitate operations. 
  2. CRM and Customer Experience– provides organizations with a deeper understanding of their customer to improve customer interactions with hyper-personalized experiences.
  3. Network and Spend Management– is designed to help organizations manage all categories of spending.
  4. Supply Chain Management (SCM)- is a global supply chain management software and tool designed to help organizations reduce their GTM (go to market) product timeline and reduce costs. 
  5. HR and People Engagement– focuses on elevating the experiences of employees, providing support, adaptability and data driven insights. 
  6. Business Technology Platform– works to synchronize intelligent enterprise applications into a single platform. 

SAP solutions

The solutions fit within each of these Portfolio Categories. So let’s take a look:

SAP’s ERP and Finance Solutions include:• S/4HANA Cloud
• Business One
• Analytics Cloud
• Profitability and Performance Management
SAP’s CRM and Customer Experience Solutions include:• Commerce Cloud
• Customer Data Platform
• Sales Cloud
• CPQ
• Service Cloud
• Marketing Cloud
SAP’s Network and Spend Management Solutions include:• Ariba Supplier Risk
• Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance
• Ariba Buying and Invoicing
• Fieldglass Services Procurement 
• Concur Expense
Supply Chain Management (SCM) Solutions include:• Integrated Business Planning
• Extended Warehouse Management
• Transportation Management
• Digital Manufacturing Cloud
• Portfolio and Project Management
SAP’s HR and People Engagement Solutions include:• Qualtrics Employee Engagement
• SuccessFactors Employee Central
• SuccessFactors Recruiting
• Workforce Analytics
SAP’s Business Technology Platform Solutions include:• HANA
• Master Data Governance
• Data Intelligence
• Integration Suite
• Data Warehouse Cloud
• Internet of Things

Further, SAP has over 300 solution offerings, which can be overwhelming to anyone trying to understand the big picture. Finally, to browse and familiarize yourself with all of the current portfolio offerings I recommend you visit SAP.com/products.  

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