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SAP | An Introduction

Last Updated : 23 Jan, 2024
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SAP stands for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing. It’s a German multinational software corporation that provides enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to manage business operations and customer relations. SAP software helps companies manage their financials, logistics, supply chain, human resources, and other business functions. The SAP ERP system integrates all data and processes of an organization into a unified system.

SAP | An Introduction

SAP | An Introduction

Before getting into any technicalities of what SAP is all about; why enterprises are keen on getting SAP installed; how SAP is handling massive organizations; Let’s discuss the below scenario before the advent of SAP: Earlier enterprises used to work with data dispersed across departments thereby working in a decentralized system. Look at the below diagram to understand what difficulty was faced by the early enterprises, just imagine yourself having a company – Imagine that you are a customer and are to set up a small office and is in urgent need of 20 wooden chairs. Now the situation is under control if the desired quantity is available in the Inventory but what if you need something in bulk and it is not available as shown below:

Customer ----> Sales ------> XX Inventory XX

((Not Available)) You will most probably not buy from this company and would opt for another brand that would fulfill your order on time. In this scenario, the customer loses time till the sales department actually comes up with the availability and this, in turn, degrades the brand name as you will return dissatisfied and disappointed. Even if you buy from them this time, you will definitely not buy from them in the future, let alone recommending them to someone. As a company, wouldn’t it be great for you to thus have a centralized system that would help different departments in maintaining relevant, updated and timely data thereby giving them an upper hand to focus on the product manufacturing, its quality and delivery rather than worrying about the availability and quantity.

The Solution

When there was a need of such solution, SAP (System Application Product) a leading Enterprise Resource Planning Software came as a savior for the enterprises; it was started then as a company in 1972 by a handful of engineers from IBM who set up a vision to bring out the potential to provide such a centralized solution to this growing problem in the form of a software application. After considerable years, SAP came up with an application software named SAP R/3 software where R meaning Real Time Data Processing and 3 denotes the 3 tier architecture which we normally use that is Presentation, Application and Database Layers. It grew itself incorporating different functionalities naming a few like Business Intelligence, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management, Payroll, Finance, Human Resources and a lot more. This is where SAP grew as a prominent player in the software market.

Need for Centralized System – SAP being the Solution

In today’s world, due to the volumes of information (data) generation and their many sources, there is a need for a centralized system handling the entire data and giving the results at a faster pace. SAP has helped the enterprises plan, manage, analyze and deliver the accurate results. SAP that was earlier giving out solutions for businesses like Manufacturing has gone beyond that and has stepped into Cloud Computing as well where it has developed SAP HANA (High-Performance Analytics Appliance) that has an in-memory database and helps to process data and get back the results to the application layer. With this technique, it is possible to reduce the time to fetch the data from the database and then process it at the application layer. You can see SAP venturing not only into Operations and customer relations but also in technical fields like BigData, Cloud, and IoT.

How to make a career and grow in SAP do take a look at the below :

SAP has its own language which is used for development and is called ABAP. You can change business processes using this language. When and if you are planning about a career with SAP – Functional, ABAP and Basis are the three areas. So what will be your responsibilities if you get into any of these modules?

  1. ABAP – Develop and change business processes.
  2. Functional – Know about different modules of the standard business processes and understand business nuances.
  3. Basis – Monitor performance of the system, create and manage user and their authorizations, backup, transport changes from the development system to other systems and so on.

In Short – Why opt for SAP :

SAP has grown since many years and is still growing to cater to the needs of its customers, that is, making it as a one-stop-shop for different types of organizations. This is a company that is building new and interesting features for their customers and also innovating new products, ensuring to grab eyeballs of new customers and at the same time also satisfying their current customers, thus maintaining their prominence in the world of operations.

Advantages Or Disadvantages:


  1. Integration: SAP integrates all business processes into a single system, leading to improved data accuracy and efficiency.
  2. Scalability: SAP can grow with a company and accommodate changing business needs.
  3. Customization: SAP offers a wide range of customization options to meet specific business requirements.
  4. Global Support: SAP has a strong global presence with a large customer base and a comprehensive support network.


  1. Complexity: SAP can be complex and difficult to implement, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.
  2. Cost: SAP can be expensive to purchase and maintain, including licensing fees and the cost of hiring SAP-certified professionals.
  3. Change Management: Implementing SAP requires a significant change in the way a company operates, which can be challenging for some organizations.
  4. Upgrade Cycle: SAP has a regular upgrade cycle, which can be time-consuming and disruptive to business operations.

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