2012 marks the 40th anniversary of SAP. In a climate where longevity and brand loyalty are often seen as things of the past, SAP has consistently evolved to meet market needs and set industry standards. In this week’s blog, we take a look at how SAP became the world’s favourite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and what the next 40 years might hold for this global leader.
When 5 former IBM employees set out to change the world of business operations, they did it from the inside out. They went into companies, performed research, monitored staff activity and analysed how systems and processes could be streamlined and automated. They took the time to understand the business; a method which has been adopted and repeated again and again by SAP partners all over the world.
Today, SAP is the go-to software provider for over 183,000 global customers including three quarters of the Forbes 500 companies, 80% of the companies on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and 85% of the top 11 most valued brands in the world.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, SAP developed several versions of their mainframe-based business application software which was popular amongst multinationals with European operations (due to their need for multi currency and multi language capabilities). When SAP launched the updated version, R/3 in 1992, it was deemed revolutionary for the time and propelled SAP to new heights. R/3 (later renamed SAP ERP and then Enterprise Core Component) revolutionised business operations and dominated the large business applications market for the next decade.
Always a company to forge the latest business trends, SAP recognised the need for integration between SAP and non-SAP software and, in 2004, released SAP Netweaver; an integrated platform which remains the foundation for the SAP Business Suite.
Between 2002 and 2006, SAP acquired several software development and technology firms and began integrating the various capabilities into their own software solution. The result as we know it today is SAP Business One – a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Developed by SAP and delivered by a network of worldwide business partners, SAP assists companies by streamlining and automating the majority of their daily activities from sales support, customer service, inventory and warehouse management, operations, financials and human resources. With over 30,000 customers throughout 130 countries, SAP is considered the market leader for enterprise software. Read our recent blog post about getting back to basics with SAP Business One.
So what is SAP’s secret for success?
Apart from developing customisable, affordable and cutting edge solutions, SAP has always gone a step further to meet (and exceed) the needs of their diverse customer base. From the early days, they believed that the only way of providing the best solution and maintaining clients is to work with them, understand their daily challenges, their needs and vision for the company – and then assist them with a solution to help them grow. Read a recent case study from Blue Ocean Systems about how SAP has helped a local leader revolutionise their business processes.
What do the next 40 years hold for SAP?
Web 2.0, Big Data, and social media are all driving elements for the future of any software company and SAP doesn’t just follow trends; it invents them. SAP is constantly evolving their technology to provide clients with cutting edge solutions, such as SAP HANA (read our blog post here) as well as remaining at the forefront of data messaging and mobile intelligence (read blog post here).
SAP knows that to remain relevant, it needs to be the industry leader for companies who want to grow and leverage the best software and systems available; by becoming a platform for evolution, the future looks bright for this middle-aged industry leader.
Contact Blue Ocean Systems today to learn more about how SAP Business One can benefit your business operations and processes.