What Is SAP
SAP refers to the German Multinational company that makes enterprise software for business operation management solutions coupled with customer relations. The company’s headquarters are located in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany but has offices in many countries around the world. The company has become famous based on SAP ERP, SAP BW, Sybase mobile products SAP Business Object Software among others. SAP is in top of the list of the largest software corporations in the world.
Origin And History
When Xerox, decided to end their journey in the world of computers they requested IBM to migrate to IBM technologies for all they business systems operations. Xerox compensated IBM through giving them the rights to SDS (scientific Data systems software) for an $80,000 contract credit.
Around the same time, Claus Wellenreuther, Hasso Plattner, Hans-Werner Hector, Klaus Tschira and Dietmar Hopp, all engineers at IBM were busy developing an enterprise-wide system using SDS. Unfortunately they were informed that their work would no longer be used. Instead of discontinuing their work, they went a head and quit working for IBM to start their own company.
In 19 72 the five engineers founded the System Analysis and Program development company which was registered under private partnership. The name later changed to ‘systems, applications and products in data processing’. An Imperial Chemical industries branch was the company’s first client where it took the role of developing the mainframe programs used in accounting and payrolls. Instead of handling the data using punch cards like IBM, the company stored the data locally. This led to the company referring to their software as real-time system. This was as result of eliminating the need for punch cards processing. The software was a standalone version that could also be availed to other parties in need of the service.
In the year 1973, the company launched its first commercial product which was dubbed SAP R/1. The product enabled clients to use a common system to handle different tasks simultaneously. This improved data maintenance through the use of centralized data storage. This created the necessity of a database from a technical view.
Sap GmbH was established in 1976 and its headquarters were moved to Walldorf in 1977. SAP AG became the company’s official name in 2005 after an AGM meeting.
In 1979, the company launched its second commercial product named SAP R/2 which was basically an expansion of the first edition to different areas such as production plans and management of materials. There was a redesigned product added to the market in 1981 though the actual improvement on SAP R/2 which happened between 1985 and 1990.
In 1992, SAP launched the new SAP R/3 and the following years up to 1995, the company released a number of versions of this product. From 1995, SAP abandoned the mainframe computing in favor of client/server technology which was trending at the time. With the use of the internet, SAP developed a strategy, mySAP.com, which went ahead to redefine business processes concepts using the internet.
Public trading started in 1988 with SAP’s shares being listed on the Stuttgart and Frankfurt stock exchanges. Due to great success in both in the products marketed during this period, the company was included in DAX, Germany’s stock index in 1995 and in 2003; it was listed in STOXX 50, Dow Jones.
SAP remains the biggest business software corporation and in terms of revenue, it is the 3rd largest independent software company. The company has major markets in 4 major geographical regions which are APJ standing for Asia Pacific and Japan, LAC standing for Latin America and Caribbean, America representing USA and Canada, and EMEA which stands for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company runs 115 subsidiaries around the world has research and development labs in more than a dozen countries.
SAP has a clear focus on 25 industries and 6 industrial sectors which are public services, financial services, service industries, consumer industries, discrete industries and process industries. The products offered by SAP are geared towards providing solutions for large corporations, medium size companies as well as small businesses.
SAP’s products are mainly focused on ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning which explains the company’s main product SAP ERP. ERP 6.0. Which is the newest version of the product and is an important part of the larger Business Suite by SAP. ERP is simply one of the main products in the Suite which contains 4 other applications which are SRM (Supplier Relation Management) which enhances a company’s procurement processes, SCM (Supply chain Management), which assists in the resources for manufacturing processes and service provision, PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) assists manufacturer with information related to products, and CRM (customer Relation Management) which helps a company in the acquiring and maintenance of customers. Together all the 5 application make the suite which is a great benefit to any business.
The company has other products such as GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance), RFID, performance Management Software and NetWeaver. The company also offers web service in relation to its products under the name SOA. Initially, SAP’s products were aimed at giving solutions to the fortune 500 companies but things changed. Today, small and medium enterprises can benefit from a range of applications that are aimed at improving and redefining the way business management is handled.
SAP partners with a number of companies with the aim of improving their services. Global Services Partners are among SAP’s major partners based on the consulting capabilities that SAP gets from them. Global Technology Partners provide clients with products that are geared towards the support of SAP’s technology. There are also other minor companies that have partnered with SAP and their work is to complement the company’s products by providing functionality and support. Whatever is provided by these companies is certified and tested for quality then provided to the clients and supported directly by SAP.
SAP has organizations all around the world but its products are delivered to clients through a network of partners. SAP and HCL Technologies singed a Global service partnership in 2008 and is in another partnership with ENFOS Inc for EcoHub development and sustainability. The distribution partnership allows independent vendors to profitably market, sell, develop and deliver products from SAP and reach a wider market globally.
SCN or SAP community Network is a meeting place for SAP’s partners, employees, customers and other stakeholders in capacities such as integrators, business analysts, developers, and consultant among others. The reason for the existence of the community is to provide a place where the mentioned parties can exchange ideas that can help in improving applications. The community has over 2.5 active members from different industries and from different nations.
SAP has split its functional units across distinct organizational structures or units for research and development needs, customer supports and field processes. The products development process is handled by SAP labs and the field activities such as consulting, marketing and sales are handled by the organizations spread across different countries. The Head office handles overall management and crucial engineering processes such as Development of products. SAP has a customer support service referred to as AGS or Active Global Service which handles any customer issues around the world.
A SAP Lab is an organization within the company that is responsible for research and development. The company has a number of labs located in different regions around the world with the development lab in India being the largest in terms of employees. Each of the labs has specific focus areas such as research and innovation or development of certain applications.
Though SAP is one of the largest companies in its line of business, it gets a fair share of competition especially in Enterprise Resource Planning. The major competitor in this field is Oracle Corporation, a company SAP has had court battles with on matters related to intellectual property. In order to get an edge over the competitors in the industry, SAP has continuously acquired major companies and this has led to the increase in both the customer base and profit margins.
Giving Back To The Community
SAP became a partner of the RED campaign in 2012 alongside other major brands like Converse, American Express, Nike Inc among others. This is a campaign with a mission to prevent HIV transmission to children from their mothers by the year 2015. SAP also funds a project that assesses and educates Autistic children. In addition, there is an initiative to employ people with Asperger syndrome and autism citing their attention to details and high intelligence levels in the IT department.
SAP is a Major Software corporation that was founded by 5 engineers from IBM. The company has grown to be one of the largest in the field of enterprise software development. It has organizations and labs located all over the world while its headquarters are in Walldorf, Germany. SAP provides a number of applications which are geared towards simplifying the management of businesses and its target customers are large, medium and small businesses. The company employs more than 65,000 people and serves more than quarter a million customers across 188 countries.