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SAP Enterprise Resource Planning

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SAP Enterprise Resource Planning

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a software for managing businesses which facilitates organizations to manage their business by automating several back office tasks using various integrated applications. These tasks include the entire operation modules, such as manufacturing, development, human resources, financial management, and sales and marketing, among others.

The main objective of an ERP is to have one central source of information that would be shared by all the departments in order to streamline the data flow within a company. 

SAP draws its name from the German-based manufacturer SAP, which stands for Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung, which is Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing in German language. The company, which was founded 1972, launched its first product named R/1, a real time data processing process, that performed financial accounting tasks. R/1 was without a database or presentation layers. 

The late 1970s saw R/2 being released with two layers. These layers were presentation layer and distributed as database + application.

In the late 1990s, SAP released R/3, whose design was revamped, paving way for three layers of application, database, and presentation. The new design allowed different operating systems, database, and different platforms to be incorporated. 

R/3 was upgraded to different versions, beginning from R/3 3.1l to R/3 4.6D in 2001. They were all based on BASIS. Then came R/3 4.7, which for the first time used a technology platform named Web AS, with the inclusion of Business Server Pages (BSP) Applications. It was also incorporated with Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Engine. 

This was followed by a product named My SAP ERP 2004. The company then added Netweaver in 2004. My SAP ERP 2004 included enterprise core component (ECC) 5.0. 

Now, SAP ERP 6.0., or with ECC 6.0.at is core, is the present version of the ERP. For this ERP, companies gradually introduce various other modules, including quality management, product costing, warehouse management, plant maintenance, etc. 

The SAP ERP 6.0. offers the ability to oversee personnel, plants, finance, asset, production operations, etc. Many platforms support the SAP ERP, as the current version makes use of the client/server model. A computing device at the user's end is the client, which can be a PC/tablet/or a personal digital assistant (PDA), while the computer that provides services is a server. 

SAP ERP are the applications included in SAP Business Suite /SAP Business All-In-One software. They comprise three major modules of SAP ERP Human Capital Management, SAP ERP Financials, and SAP ERP Operations. All of these have various sub-modules under them. Financials has FI and CO under it, while OM and PM are included in Human Resources.

The SAP ERP uses the fourth generation programming language of Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP).

With this ERP, you can witness actual events in the business driving transactions. Events in sales and production automatically trigger accounting to take place. You can calculate almost accurately as to when delivery of products will happen, apart from sales drive schedules for production. 

The various stages of SAP implementation, from the initial to the ending stage are project preparation, business blueprint, realization, final preparation, and go-live and support. 

Minimum hardware for implementation of a SAP ERP program is one large computing server for the R/3 database, two medium sized application servers, processors to display the R/3 applications on the computing device of each user along with SAP graphical user interface (GUI), and a dedicated local area network (LAN) for the user where all the computing devices are interconnected.

Adequate care should be taken by companies while transitioning to ERP, including proper training and testing. When the SAP ERP is implemented properly, an organization will see its business processes getting streamlined. It will also be able to reduce both inventory and lead time. This will automatically accrue in cost benefits for the organization.

When SAP ERP is implemented properly, it reduces the burden of global integration as boundaries between language, culture, and currency exchange rates are all blurred. It then needs to be updated only once to be deployed across the organization. Once implemented, real-time date is provided, which will vastly decrease redundancy errors. 

On the flip side, all of the ERP packages may not be suited to a business model of an organization, resulting in customization costs to shoot up drastically. In certain instances, it might take a long time for the return on investment (RoI) to become profitable.

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