What does SAP stand for?

Blog updated on 10th January 2022 by Tye Howitt

The question "what does SAP stand for?" is something that we come across from time to time. The short answer is quite simple; SAP stands for System Analysis Program Development, with the German translation being System Analyse Programmentwicklung. However, when I thought more about this, I realised there was a more interesting answer.

What is SAP?

SAP was founded in 1972, by five former IBM engineers. Sometime after the inception of the company, the decision to change the name of the company to the acronym SAP was finalised. The decision to fully commit to the acronym makes perfect sense, as it provided SAP with a concise name in place of the original.

In the decades that have passed since, SAP has grown from a 5-person enterprise to a multi-national business with over 100,000 employees worldwide and 400,000 customers. Today, it is arguably the most advanced ERP system available, boasting quicker financial payback and shorter implementation times than its competitors.

SAP set the global standard for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software after the introduction of its original software, SAP R/2 with SAP R/3 following shortly after. SAP S/4HANA has now taken SAP to another level in their own words via “the power of in-memory computing to process vast amounts of data", in addition to supporting advanced technologies that include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

What is SAP used for?

Before SAP, the market was dominated by departmental solutions meaning companies might have had different business management systems in each department. This is what you would call decentralised data management. SAP, however, took a different approach. They championed the idea of ERP. ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, which is a system that helps automate and manage processes across the whole business including finance, manufacturing, retail, supply chain, human resources, and operations. ERP is built on a principle of centralised data management, which empowers employees from different functions to access data and real-time insights from right across the business. In their words, they provide "multiple business functions with a single view of the truth".

SAP offers a range of ERP solutions to fit different business sizes and industry sectors. Common to all of them, they provide comprehensive business management. Some of the modules on offer include Sales and Distribution, Financial Accounting, Production Planning and Human Resources amongst many others.

Why should you choose SAP?

"The best business software meets today's needs and allows for future growth - without costly integration. SAP software is recognised a Leader across its portfolio, so you don't have to compromise" (SAP.com)

According to SAP.com, these are the key benefits of choosing SAP:

  1. The only truly integrated software system
    With intelligence embedded in their technologies, processes and applications, SAP provides whatever you need to run an intelligent enterprise.
  2. Suitable for any size of business
    There is an SAP solution for any size of company. Some of the largest companies in the world use SAP, however it may surprise you to learn that eighty percent of SAP's customer base are small to mid-size businesses. SAP focuses on transforming your business into an intelligent enterprise, no matter the size.
  3. Top tier data security
    Regarding security, the SAP team are experts. SAP is one of the first companies in the world to receive a global certification from the British Standards institute.
  4. Innovative technology
    SAP has remained a market leader for over 40 years. One way it does this is by leveraging the latest "future-proof Cloud ERP solutions that will power the next generation of business" in addition to ensuring that your business remains as efficient and productive as it can be.
  5. Top tier partnerships
    SAP has chosen a collaborative, multi-cloud strategy by partnering with companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and IBM.

Plans for the future

Whilst this article has focused on the "traditional ERP solution", it is worth mentioning that SAP is so much more than that. SAP is continually innovating to automate and streamline processes, with billions being spent on AI, machine learning and blockchain.

Covid-19 has highlighted how vulnerable companies can be. Digital transformation has been propelled to the top of the priority list for almost every business in the world. Working practices have been disrupted and the need to act fast has become more imperative than ever before.

SAP is determined, in its own words, to "reinvent how businesses run again. We will offer industry cloud solutions so that companies, big or small, can run their business seamlessly. We will build the world's largest business network, allowing businesses to quickly react to fast changing environments and connecting demand to supply across company boundaries. And we will introduce solutions for sustainability management for organizations to understand and minimize their carbon footprint."

How can we help you?

We have been implementing systems for over 30 years. We leverage that experience to help you get the most out of your investment in SAP Business One. The following customer comments are an indication of the service you should expect from LAKE:

"We were blown away. In fact, it's fair to say we chose LAKE, actually, much more than we chose a software product." (Holyrood Distillery)

"When LAKE came to pitch for the business, they just hit it bang on. They were very honest and very candid with us and you could tell they knew more about our sector. It was clear they had researched our business and invested in trying to understand what we do." (H Walton Ltd)

If you would like to find out more about LAKE and SAP Business One, please register for one our regular SAP webinars, or call me now on 0113 273 7788.

Tye Howitt

by Tye Howitt

Blog Contributor.

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