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Sap: a Renowned Market Leader

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SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) is a renowned market leader in enterprise application in terms of software and software related service revenue. Not only is SAP at the center of today’s business and technology revolution, but SAP helps you streamline your processes and it gives you the ability to use live data in order to predict customer trends live. SAP is the third largest independent software manufacturer. SAP helps companies, small or big, to run better and more efficiently such as the office, boardroom, warehouse, storefront, etc. SAP also empowers organizations and people to work collaboratively in a efficient way as well as using business insight more effectively in order to stay ahead of its competition. Such applications and services provided by SAP enables customers to be able to operate profitably as well as adapt continuously and grow to be more sustainable.

It all started back in 1972 when five entrepreneurs in Germany had this vision for the business potential of technology. The business started off quite small with only one customer and a handful of employees. SAP was determined to transform the world of information technology as well as alter the way companies handled business. As of 2016, there are approximately 300,000 customers and continues to grow. In the year 1972, these five entrepreneurs in Germany were former IBM employees who decided to start their own company called SAP “Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung” (System Analysis and Program Development. The idea was to develop a standard software application for real time data. As nights and weekends past by during the development of the fledgling company, at the end of its first in business, SAP employed nine people and generated 620,000 in revenue, which was a success. The company established its headquarters in Weinheim, Germany and opened an office near Mannheim.

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In 1973, SAP completed its first financial accounting system, in which this system served as the cornerstone in the continuing development of other software modules of the system that would eventually become SAP R/1. More and more companies begin running SAP software including the tobacco company Rothändle and the pharmaceutical firm Knoll. During this time, SAP itself is using IBM servers and the DOS operating system. In 1974, SAP begins to become more flexible by converting it RF system from the DOS operating system to OS. Also in this year, SAP had accumulated a list of 40 reference customers. The following year, the SAP trademark had begun to emerge and the integration of the company’s applications. Material management data flows directly into financial accounting on a value basis and the invoice verification and posting could be completed all in one step. Companies were now able to handle their purchasing, inventory management, and invoice verification with SAP’s RM system.

In the year 1976, SAP and its now 25 employees were to generate 3.81 million in revenue. The limited-liability company SAP “GmbH Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverabeitung” (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) was founded as a sales and support subsidiary. After five years, the private partnership had dispersed and the rights were passed on to SAP GmbH. In 1978, John Deere, the farm equipment manufacturer, demonstrated SAP’s international viability by developing a French version of the company’s accounting software. SAP continues to branch out and completes the module Asset Accounting and a corresponding implementation project at a pilot company. A year has passed and SAP begins operations as its own server named Siemens 7738. Its employees’ development activities had been distributed across the data centers of regional customers such as ICI, Thermal, Knoll, Grünzweig+Hartmann, and Freudenberg. The first data center is still located in a leased space, but the company had already broken ground on the initial construction of its own space. SAP takes a technological shift and creates a new software SAP R/2 due to the examination of the IBM’s database and dialog control system.

As of 1980, SAP moved into its first facility on Max-Planck-Strasse in the Walldorf industrial park. Its development area now has 50 computer screens as well as unity. SAP upgrades its data-processing infrastructure by pairing its existing Siemens 7738 with IBM/370-148, which the company ends up replacing in this same year with a more powerful and efficient model that boasted 4MB of memory named IBM 4341. SAP further expands its product portfolio with RV, which is a custom development for sales and distribution.

The types of services and products that SAP offers are technology platform products to help provide a much reliable and innovative computer system which applications programs can run as well as other technologies or processes can be built. Products such as the accelerated application delivery for SAP NetWeaver enables users worldwide to access web based SAP applications at LAN speed. SAP Afaria is a mobile security application that is on premise mobile device management (MDM) for any size company. The SAP Application Interface Framework is a tool that provides an intuitive and harmonized environment to quickly develop and deploy new interfaces that empowers business users themselves to monitor and troubleshoot issues. The SAP application visualization software by iRise helps business and IT communicate better as well as share a vision for development projects. This software allows you to meet the expectations of stakeholder throughout the organization and further enhance projects.

Another product named SAP Authentication 365, protects your customers and brands and it’s an SMS based two factor authentication service. SAP Business Process Automation by Redwood connects people, applications, and software systems in order to help you manage process execution effectively. SAP Cloud Appliance Library allows you to quickly deploy pre configured SAP tests, demos, and training solutions in the cloud. SAP Cloud Applications Studio is a PaaS based software development kit which enables SAP partners to adapt and enhance the solution capabilities of SAP’s cloud solutions. SAP Cloud Identity provides authentication mechanisms, secure single sign on functionality, on premise integration and convenient self-service options.

SAP Fiori is a software that uses modern design principles and has a new role based user experience that provides personalization, responsiveness and simple experience across all lines of business, tasks, and devices. SAP Gateway is a technology that gives a simple way to connect devices, environments, and platforms to the SAP software which is based on market standards. SAP HANA Cloud Platform, API Management has the purpose of simplifying access to your systems and allowing developers to quickly and securely connect with your enterprise data and back end services while also protecting against threats. You are able to bring new products into the market faster and seamlessly scale billions of API calls. Another product offered by SAP is the UI add-on, which is a user interface add-on for SAP NetWeaver that can be used to rapidly provide new user interaction and technology without disrupting other underlying business applications that may be running. It also addresses mainstream SAP landscapes and deployment scenarios to existing customers to help improve their user interface independently of the application releases and without any major investment. Such investments can include, upgrading existing systems and challenging IT landscapes.

Other products and services that are provided by SAP include: SAP Composition Environment; SAP Decision Service Management; SAP Direct Store Delivery; SAP Dynamic Authorization Management by NextLabs; SAP Engagement 365; SAP Enterprise Threat Detection; SAP Enterprise Portal; SAP Extended Diagnostics by CA; SAP Fortify by HPE; SAP GRX 365; SAP HANA; SAP HANA Cloud Integration; SAP HANA Cloud Platform; SAP HANA Cloud Platform, mobile service for app and device management; SAP HANA Cloud Platform, portal service; SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things; SAP HANA Live; SAP HANA IoT Integrator by OSIsoft; SAP Identity Management; SAP Intelligent Notification 365; SAP IPX 365; SAP IT Infrastructure Management; SAP Java Virtual Machine; SAP Landscape Management; SAP Legal Requirements for Waste and Recycling by PROLOGA; SAP LoadRunner by HPE; SAP MMS 365; SAP MMX 365; SAP Mobile Order Management for Waste and Recycling by PROLOGA; SAP Mobile Platform; SAP NetWeaver; SAP Master Data Management; SAP NetWeaver Mobile; SAP Operational Process Intelligence; SAP Process Integration; SAP Process Object Builder; SAP Process Orchestration; SAP Productivity PAK by Ancile; SAP Quality Center by HPE; SAP Screen Personas; SAP Service Virtualization by HP; SAP Single Sign-On; SAP SMS 365; SAP SMS 365 enterprise service; SAP SMS Firewall 365; SAP Solution Manager; SAP Test Acceleration and Optimization; SAP User Experience Management by Knoa; SAP Visual Business; SAP Web IDE; Software logistics toolset.

In 2013, SAP had been announced to be named the overall market share leader in the worldwide enterprise resource planning market. SAP ranked number one with 25.5 percent share of the worldwide market, which was based on revenue from 2011 as well as reflecting growth from 2010 by 13.2 percent. “Our continued success with helping customers execute on their business strategies has enabled us to outperform the ERP market growth rate,” said Peter Maier, general manager, Line-of-Business Solutions, SAP. “Whether it’s analytics, the cloud, in-memory technology, mobile or core applications, SAP is making significant investments to bring increased value to organizations in their quests to make sounder decisions and run their core business processes more efficiently. We believe our market leadership, as recognized by Gartner, affirms this momentum” (“SAP Named Worldwide Market Share Leader for Enterprise Resource Planning”, 2012).

SAP has also ventured into other advancements for the company. SAP University Alliances is a global program with more than 2,900 member institutions in over 103 countries. This program aims to shape the future of higher education. The program intends to develop qualified graduates with critical skills to be applied to the workforce. SAP is in engaged with 95 percent of top universities around the world and there are 1,000+ events that are held each year. SAP has six University Competence center locations and four Academic Competence Centers located around the world. The mission and purpose of this program is to build the next generation talents for the digital enterprise, drive innovation from academia and next generation users to the digital enterprise, and to shape the future of higher education.

The program exposes students as well as faculty to the latest SAP technologies and allows universities and vocational schools to integrate SAP software into their teaching and building technology skills at the same time. These members have access to various resources developed together including faculty, students, and SAP partners and customers from around the world. The perks of becoming a member is that you are able to attend SAP events, conferences, and seminars as well as getting free software licenses for education and research purposes. It also leverages University Competence Centers for infrastructure and application support.

Membership allows you access to online learning resources anytime and anywhere. You can develop SAP software skills ahead of your peers and earn an industry certification in the latest versions of SAP technologies. By obtaining this advanced knowledge and level of expertise, it will give students a strong competitive edge when searching for jobs and careers in the SAP ecosystem.

When you’re learning with SAP University Alliances, you learn through a blended learning model. This includes hands on learning with the enterprise software solutions in the classroom. By using multiple channels, the students are able to connect concepts better and more equipped to compete for today’s careers in business and Information Technology. It also helps students receive more job offers at higher salaries from top employers within your area. Free and open online courses are available on the SAP HANA platform, SAP mobile Platform, design thinking, business networks, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, and many other options. Classroom resources are also available such as simulations, mobile apps, demo systems, and other downloadable software. Other ways to get engaged with the program includes such events like entrepreneurship bootcamps, techniversity events, SAP InnoJam, SAP Code Jam, hackathons, SHAPPHIRE’ NOW and SAP TechEd, and other academic conferences.

The college of Charleston School of Business is a member of this program as well. As of 2013, The College of Charleston School of Business recently joined the SAP University Alliance and planned to include the company’s software in classes starting in the spring 2014 semester. The College is one of the three institutions in South Carolina that have joint the SAP University Alliance. Specifically, ERP, which is a business software that integrates transactions in accounting, supply chain management, sale and distribution, production, human resources, logistics, and other business processes helps and enables businesses to create value. Medium to large multinational businesses tend to rely on ERP software in order to manage their integrated functions.

This membership with the SAP University Alliance provides universities to license and use its ERP, Supply Chain Management, Supplier Relationship Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Product Lifecycle Management software. One of the benefits for students in part of this membership inclines companies to hire these students due to their mastery of the software as well as the institution enhancing its business curriculum as well as becoming a more desirable place to draw potential employees from.

The School of Business hosted a faculty training session to familiarize them and prepare them for the usage of the SAP software in the spring of 2014. Professors will set up fictional companies as well as supply chain partners to enable students to coordinate various business functions using the SAP software. The software modules have been planned to be incorporated into everyday classroom curriculum. It will help students to understand individual business subjects in a realistic context. This ERP software will allow students to reinforce theoretical concepts by being able to apply them in a realistic business setting. Majors such as marketing, supply-chain management, international business, economics, accounting, business administration, finance, and hospitality and tourism management will be able to have access and benefit from the SAP software starting at the beginning of January 2014. As of currently in 2016, the program is in full effect.

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