SAP is a German based Enterprise Resource Planner with industry leading market experience. The ERP facilitates interdepartmental communication throughout organizations of any size to give the smoothest and most efficient digital transformation possible.

What is SAP?

SAP, an acronym for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing, is a multinational software corporation rooted in Walldorf, Germany. Renowned for its wide-ranging enterprise software solutions, SAP has become a frontrunner in optimizing business processes and driving digital transformation.

Through an ecosystem of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, SAP ERP lets organizations efficiently handle vital functions, spanning finance, procurement, human resources, manufacturing, and sales.

Beyond ERP solutions, SAP presents an array of specialized software applications designed to meet specific business requirements. For instance, SAP SuccessFactors caters to human capital management needs, while SAP Ariba facilitates procurement and supply chain management. Additionally, SAP Analytics Cloud lets users with advanced data visualization and analytics capabilities. The company’s diverse product portfolio also encompasses customer experience management, intelligent robotic process automation, data governance, and industry-specific applications.

As an industry leader, SAP remains at the forefront of innovation by embracing cutting-edge technologies. SAP Leonardo serves as a testament to this commitment, as it explores emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Through these offerings, businesses are empowered to embark on digital transformation journeys, harnessing the full potential of these technologies within their operational landscapes.

How does SAP work?

SAP uses a three tier architecture. These tiers are labeled as: Presentation, Applications and Database and work as follows:

Presentation tier:

This tier runs the GUI. It is a lightweight application that is downloaded directly onto the computer of the business user. In short, this tier is responsible for everything the end users sees and interacts with.

Application tier:

The application tier executes the business logic and processes client transactions. Functioning as the bridge between the user interface and the database, the application tier can be run on a single server or multiple servers.

Database tier:

The database tier is responsible for storing business data and SAP applications. Business data is all data generated by the end user and client requests while SAP applications refer to the programs used by SAP to control the ERP.

In addition to the core tiers, SAP’s ecosystem encompasses various entities that complement its functionalities and extend its capabilities. SAP Business Warehouse (BW) provides a comprehensive data warehousing solution for storing and analyzing large volumes of structured and unstructured data. SAP BusinessObjects offers powerful reporting and business intelligence tools, letting users extract insights from their data. SAP Cloud Platform acts as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, helping developers build, integrate, and extend SAP applications using modern cloud technologies.


Through this multi-tier architecture and a vast ecosystem of entities, SAP facilitates simplified data flow, efficient business processes, and data-driven decision-making. When combining the power of the presentation, application, and database tiers with specialized components like SAP HANA, BW, BusinessObjects, and the flexibility of SAP Cloud Platform, organizations can make use of the full potential of SAP’s software solutions to optimize their operations, improve productivity, and drive digital transformation.

Unique Features of SAP

SAP offers a diverse range of features designed to enhance business operations. Some of the notable features offered by SAP include;

SAP ERP: Business process management

A suite of integrated modules designed to simplify and automate core business processes, such as finance, procurement, manufacturing, and sales. It facilitates efficient management of business operations and enables seamless process integration.

SAP HANA: Real-time data processing and analytics

As an in-memory database platform, SAP HANA provides organizations with real-time data processing and analytics capabilities. It supports quick access to large volumes of data, facilitating timely decision-making based on valuable insights.

SAP SuccessFactors: Human Capital Management

A cloud-based suite of human capital management (HCM) solutions, covering various aspects of workforce management, including talent acquisition, performance management, learning and development, and employee engagement.

SAP Ariba: Integrated procurement and supply chain management

Providing an integrated platform for procurement and supply chain management, SAP Ariba facilitates collaboration between buyers and suppliers and optimizes procurement processes, including eSourcing, contract management, and supplier relationship management.

SAP Analytics Cloud: Advanced data visualization and business intelligence

A powerful platform for data visualization, business intelligence, and advanced analytics, allowing organizations to explore data, create interactive dashboards, and derive insights to support data-driven decision-making.

SAP Leonardo: Innovation platform for emerging technologies

SAP Leonardo is a platform that lets organizations to leverage emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). It supports digital transformation, unlocks new business models, and fosters innovation.

SAP’s unique advantages for business

Using SAP offers numerous unique advantages that can significantly benefit organizations. From simplifying operations and increasing efficiency to making informed decisions based on real-time insights, SAP helps organizations to improve customer experiences, optimize resource management, adhere to regulatory compliance, support scalability, foster collaboration, and leverage various non-technical advantages.

Business operations and efficiency

SAP allows organizations to simplify their business operations, automate processes, and improve overall efficiency. When centralizing data, integrating systems, and optimizing workflows, SAP helps businesses minimize manual tasks, improve collaboration, and achieve higher productivity levels.

Improved decision-making with real-time insights

Through real-time data processing and analytics, SAP empowers businesses to make informed decisions. With access to up-to-date information and actionable insights, decision-makers can respond swiftly to market changes, identify trends, and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Customer experience and satisfaction

SAP provides tools and solutions that support businesses in delivering exceptional customer experiences. When making use of SAP’s customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities, organizations can gain a comprehensive view of their customers, personalize interactions, and foster long-term relationships based on trust and satisfaction.

Effective resource management and optimization

With SAP’s resource management features, businesses can optimize the allocation of their resources, including workforce, materials, and finances. SAP’s integrated modules and analytics capabilities let organizations to plan and utilize resources effectively, leading to cost savings, improved productivity, and better strategic decision-making.

Regulatory compliance and risk mitigation

SAP offers functionalities and tools to help businesses adhere to regulatory requirements and mitigate risks. Integrating compliance controls into business processes and leveraging SAP’s risk management capabilities means organizations can proactively manage risks, making sure of compliance with industry standards, and protect their reputation.

Scalability and flexibility for growth

The scalable architecture and flexible solutions provide businesses with the ability to adapt and grow. Whether expanding operations, entering new markets, or accommodating changing business needs, SAP offers the scalability and flexibility required to support business growth and expansion.

Collaboration and teamwork

SAP fosters collaboration and teamwork by providing a unified platform for communication, data sharing, and project management. With features like document collaboration, team workflows, and integrated communication channels, SAP facilitates seamless collaboration among employees, departments, and external partners.

Do you have a project in mind?

Let’s discuss the future of your organization and how we can guide you on your journey to successful digital transformation.

Who uses SAP?

SAP has over 230 million cloud users globally and is employed by over 4 million businesses across approximately 180 companies. Controlling over 8% of the market share, with SAP R/3 controlling an additional 7%, SAP is one of the largest and most popular Enterprise Resource Planners

As of 2022, SAP was valued at over €110 billion ($108 billion). This is a clear indicator of the strength, popularity and longevity associated with the ERP. In short, it is not going anywhere anytime soon and the popularity is only likely to grow.

Microsoft uses SAP to manage their HR system while continually matching the growth of the organization. The streamlining available has allowed job postings and creation to take just 15 minutes, down from the previous approximately 24-72 hours.

“Accessibility is one of our top priorities, and the strong partnership between Microsoft and SAP drove continuous improvements, to the point that we had zero accessibility issues at go-live.”

– Rajamma Krishnamurthy
Senior Director, HR Technology, Microsoft Corporation

Setting realistic expectations with SAP

Complexity and implementation challenges

Implementing SAP can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially for smaller organizations with limited resources. The extensive functionality and customization options of SAP may require specialized expertise, dedicated training, and significant investment in infrastructure and personnel. Integrating SAP with existing systems and data sources can pose technical challenges and require careful planning and execution.

High costs and maintenance expenses

SAP implementations can come with substantial upfront costs, including licenses, hardware, and consulting services. The initial investment in SAP software and infrastructure can be significant, making it less accessible for smaller companies. Ongoing maintenance and support expenses, such as upgrades, patches, and system administration, can add to the overall cost of ownership.

Time-intensive upgrades and customizations

Systems often undergo regular upgrades and enhancements, which can be time-consuming and disruptive to business operations. Upgrading to newer versions or applying patches requires thorough testing and coordination with different stakeholders. Similarly, customizing SAP to align with specific business requirements may involve complex configurations and coding, leading to additional effort, costs, and potential risks.

User training and adoption challenges

The complexity of SAP can present challenges when it comes to user training and adoption. SAP’s extensive functionality and user interface may require employees to undergo comprehensive training to effectively utilize the system. Resistance to change and a learning curve associated with a new software interface can impact user adoption, productivity, and potentially increase the risk of errors or inefficiencies during the transition period.

Dependency on external support

Ongoing technical support and expertise is often required, particularly for complex modules or customizations. Organizations may need to rely on external consultants or dedicated SAP support teams to address system issues, provide guidance, and ensure optimal system performance. Dependence on external support can introduce additional costs and potential delays in issue resolution

Limited flexibility for agile processes

SAP’s strong and structured nature may pose challenges for organizations that require rapid adaptation and flexibility in their processes. The inherent complexity and rigidity of SAP’s architecture may hinder agile practices, making it harder to quickly respond to changing market dynamics or implement iterative and experimental approaches in certain scenarios.

Asked Questions.

Whether you are a newcomer eager to understand the basics or a seasoned professional looking to deepen your expertise, this section is designed to address a wide array of inquiries.

SAP is an Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP). Is it responsible for helping business departments communicate with one another, through the use of a shared database and user friendly interfaces.

For standard end users, SAP does not require any coding, and can be done by those with little to no experience. The vast majority of those using SAP will never need to perform any coding. However, the development side to SAP does require coding. This is done mainly by experienced developers and is only performed during setup and updates to the program.

The common phrase “easy to learn, hard to master” is often used when discussing SAP. The difficulty in learning entirely depends on what you want to know and what experience you already have. For everyday users, SAP is straightforward and user friendly, however for those that wish to understand the full development side of SAP, it is considered to be very difficult to learn. In an attempt to aid with this, SAP has introduced their own certifications and training that developers can access.

SAP can be used by businesses of any size in over 180 countries. Multifaceted organizations will greatly benefit from SAP and the intercommunication between departments granted by the platform. SAP can be used either on premises servers or at the cloud level, depending on the business requirements.

SAP is not a free service. While it offers a free trial, this is mainly useful for those looking to understand the possibilities with SAP, rather than actually apply it to their business. The pricing for SAP is available on request from the main website and will vary depending on the business requirements.

Do you have a project in mind?

Let’s discuss the future of your organization and how we can guide you on your journey to successful digital transformation.