SAP Definition and Brief History

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SAP was founded by a break away group of 5 IBM founding engineers in the early 1970s, namely, Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, Klaus E. Tschira, and Claus Wellenreuther. The five ex-IBMers actually acquired the technology from which they based their software platform from IBM itself which got it from Xerox as a swap deal for a contract Xerox had with IBM. It was called the SDS/SAPE software then and IBM gave the software rights to the five engineers in another swap deal, now, for the five’s stock ownership of about 8%.

In 1972, The five engineers then came up with Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing or SAP in Mannheim, Germany. After short while they came out with the very first financial accounting software which will be the seed from which other components will be developed from to create the system known as the SAP R/1 system where “R” means real time. Thus came to fruition the founding engineer’s vision of developing the standard software systems for real time business data processing.

Their very first client was a company called Imperial Chemical Industries.

In the 1980s, SAP moved to Walldorf, Germany and there they released SAP R/2 which boasted of a better stability compared to its predecessors. It also started becoming multilingual and has become multi-currency to accommodate the needs of their international customers.

The 1990s saw vast improvements in the SAP platform as they moved from the mainframe platform to a client/server tiered architecture composed of relational databases, software applications and a common graphical user interfaces (GUI). This incarnation was referred to as the R/3 until the first decade of the 21st century when the R/version format was changed to an ERP Central Component version format.

The latest version is known as the ECC 6.0.

Current SAP products include:

Current products include:
SAP NetWeaver – this provides the base or foundation for other SAP software packages and is a service-oriented platform that integrates data from the different aspects of a business.
SAP Business Suite – basically a software package aimed at large businesses. It contains the necessary platform to support important business operations such as supply chain or distribution management, warehouse management, sales, finance, customer relationship, human resource and other functions.
SAP Business All-in-One solutions, SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business One – software products that aims to meet the requirements of small and medium sized enterprises.

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SAP Primer: An Introduction to ERP Modules Softwares

A business is usually composed of more than one aspect. For example, if you are in the manufacturing business then some of those aspects would most probably include such departments or divisions that are in charge with finance, human resources, supply or distribution chain, marketing, sales, research, etc.

Now, each of these divisions functions as a part of the whole business. In the traditional model, to do its functions, each of the division is armed with different tools (in today’s age, that would mean hardware and software) to enable it to perform its functions. However, the softwares used in each of the division are separate entities such that data from one division is not easily or readily accessible to the other division. A good example of these is the supply and demand information that will help supply chain in its job.

What if you can provide each division data from other aspects of your business in real time? What if you can provide your supply chain division how much it currently needs to distribute via real time data feed from market forecasts or from the sales department? Wouldn’t this speed things up a great deal?

ERP, which stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, softwares are an example of solutions that does this. Basically, ERP softwares are modular applications systems that provide software solutions to different aspects of a business but it is also a part of bigger system that integrates and processes each individual data so it can provide complete and quick information to the decision-makers.

ERP modules are basically software much like other software that are targeted for specific functions but one major advantage of such software is that it is aware of the other modules and can communicate with them— providing each other real time, two-way data such that each division of the business is aware of what’s happening to the others at any given time.

SAP is the biggest ERP software in the world with the biggest market share. Other companies that provide ERP solutions include Oracle and Microsoft.

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