What is SAP?

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What is SAP?
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What is SAP? Let’s get a clear understanding about what people can mean when using this word. The SAP acronym can mean two things:

1. SAP is a software system that integrates internal and external management information across an entire organization. It embraces finance, manufacturing, sales and service, CRM, etc. SAP automates these activities with an integrated software application. Purpose of SAP is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders.

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2. SAP is a German company that actually developed this software system.

What is SAP? An ERP System

When people talk about SAP, they usually mean the software system called SAP ERP. SAP ERP consists of several parts, which are called “modules”. Some common modules, such as finance and accounting, are adopted by nearly all users of SAP. Others such as human resource management are not. For example, a service company probably has no need for a manufacturing module. Other companies already have a system that they believe to be adequate. Generally speaking, the greater the number of modules selected, the greater the integration benefits, but also the greater the costs, risks and changes involved. There are following modules:

  • Finance/Accounting (FI). It helps to manage accounting operations of a company (General ledger, payables, cash management, fixed assets, receivables, budgeting, consolidation).
  • Human resources (HR). It helps to manage human resources of a company (Payroll, training, benefits, 401K, recruiting, diversity management).
  • Manufacturing (PP). It helps to manage manufacturing processes of a company (Engineering, bill of materials, work orders, scheduling, capacity, workflow management, quality control, cost management, manufacturing process, manufacturing projects, manufacturing flow, activity based costing, product life cycle management).
  • Supply chain management (SCM). It helps to manage logistics processes of a company (Order to cash, inventory, order entry, purchasing, product configuration, supply chain planning, supplier scheduling, inspection of goods, claim processing, commissions).
  • Project management (PM). It helps to manage projects within a company (Costing, billing, time and expense, performance units, activity management).
  • Customer relationship management (CRM). It helps to manage relations with customers of a company (Sales and marketing, commissions, service, customer contact, call center support).
  • Data services. Various “self–service” interfaces for customers, suppliers and/or employees.
  • Access control. Management of user privileges for various processes.

SAP scope usually implies significant changes to staff work processes and practices. Generally, three types of services are available to help implement such changes — consulting, customization, and support. Implementation time depends on business size, number of modules, customization, the scope of process changes, and the readiness of the customer to take ownership for the project. The typical project for a large enterprise consumes about 14 months and requires around 150 consultants. Small projects can require months; multinational and other large implementations can take years. Customization can substantially increase implementation times.

The fundamental advantage of SAP is that integrating the myriad processes by which businesses operate saves time and expense. Decisions can be made more quickly and with fewer errors. Data becomes visible across the organization. Tasks that benefit from this integration include:

  • Sales forecasting, which allows inventory optimization
  • Order tracking, from acceptance through fulfillment
  • Revenue tracking, from invoice through cash receipt
  • Matching purchase orders (what was ordered), inventory receipts (what arrived), and costing (what the vendor invoiced)

SAP centralizes business data, bringing the following benefits:

  • It eliminates the need to synchronize changes between multiple systems—consolidation of finance, marketing and sales, human resource, and manufacturing applications
  • It enables standard product naming/coding.
  • It provides a comprehensive enterprise view (no “islands of information”). They make real–time information available to management anywhere, any time to make proper decisions.
  • It protects sensitive data by consolidating multiple security systems into a single structure.

I hope that you have a better understanding of what is SAP and why people use it. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

43 thoughts on “What is SAP?”

  1. Hi. …I am Jobin.. …I have completed my BBA in finance. ….n I want to do sap course. ….it’s beneficial for my field. ..

  2. Hi there

    I can see anything free in here, I need to know if this a genuine Web site to offer this free trainining as per their web site.

    1. All our training courses are developed by SAP consultants working in “ERP Certifications”. We own the complete copyright for these SAP courses and publish some of them on the website as free previews of our full training courses. You’re welcome to benefit from these free training tutorials.

  3. For someone in a Business Analyst/Project Management role, which SAP Modules would you find most beneficial to master (outside of the obvious Project Management Module)?

  4. Hi guys want to do SAP I’m at mpumalanga want to which centre I register with it and or get information about SAP

  5. hi,
    I looked at the ‘what is SAP” tutorial you sent.
    I am not clear on what is next.
    I would like to be employable in FICO tasks at least to start.
    How do i access your courses that teach: invoicing, AR,AP, GL etc. ?
    thanks

  6. I have been using ERP systems for over 25 years. I have significant functional (user centric) Super User experience with 5 ERP systems. Among them I have 9 years of Super User Experience with Oracle E-Business Suite, and 5 years of Super User experience with Movex (Now Lawson M3). How do you propose to help me become a SAP Super User (for FREE)? I am not an amateur by any stretch of the imagination.

  7. Hi, thanks for the lesson. I think, it is of great use for me. We use Prism at work. What is the difference between SAP and Prism?
    Thanks in advance

  8. Hi,
    The info is good. But I am already SAP FI certified & working as FI consultant since 3 yrs. So request you to please provide me lessons directly from CO part i .e Module 1 or Module 2.

  9. After MBA in 2011 with Various Experience I am Invoiced with the Manufacturing of Packaged Drinking Water Unit and Looking After Production, Operation,Logistics, Sales Etc Since 3 Years.

    Still I have a Strong interest to Learn SAP then How could I be able to Learn and Apply my Knowledge in Practical Field ?

    Your Reply is Awaited with Eager.

  10. I am 33 years old. I did MBA in 2008 and that time I was working. I have 2 years work experience. But now I am not working. I am a home maker. so by doing SAP course can I get a good salary job at this age. I want to be successful in my life. Pls find me some solution.

  11. Can I learn each and everything about SAP HR from here ? And can I get certification myself by giving exam only after learning from your notes ?

  12. Hi Cleo, got a new job and will start next week and they are using SAP in that company.
    The job is on the job training so basically I will get the training with one of the colleagues however I would like to know the basic so at least I will grasp some info before I will start next week.
    I will work as Custerer Service Officer and the works includes creating order.
    Which training you think I should try SAP Basis or SAP SD?

    Thank you in advance and appreciate your immediate support.

  13. Hi Cleo. First of all I must say thanks to you and your partners for providing this free service. My background is in Production and Inventory management with more emphasis on the Inventory side having worked for the past 5 years as a inventory coordinator. I have had only some very basic experience using SAP and wanted to expand my knowledge from an end user perspective in MM. Will this free course allow me to do that and in what time frame. You also mentioned the introduction of Statements of Accomplishment and Verified Certificates. is there a fee for these and if so how much and are they recognized by employers

  14. first of all thanks a lot Cleo Isco & other consultants, i would like to learn more about SAP HR/HCM as i would like to become a SAP HR consultant, please guide me so i learn the right module.

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