SAP solutions for portfolio, project management help turn ideas into reality

JohannesburgCompanies are constantly under pressure to make smarter, more focused investments and cannot afford to waste resources on ideas that may not come to fruition, especially when studies show that roughly 75% of all new products fail to achieve their expected results.1

Making the right decision when investing in products, initiatives and services is critical. To help companies have the early insight they need, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) introduced three new additions to the SAP Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM) family, including the SAP Portfolio and Project Management 5.0 and SAP Enterprise Project Connection applications, and code name “Edison”.

The software provides a clear view of overall project performance from idea to execution, helping companies deliver products and services on time and on budget. This announcement was made at the SAP Insider PLM 2010 event, held from 21-23 April, in Milan, Italy.

Ongoing innovation, global price pressure and product liability are some of the challenges many businesses must overcome in order to grow, compete and perform in line with shareholder and consumer expectations. Open innovation is helping many companies tackle these issues; however, keeping track of the relevant information and processes can be difficult. SAP Portfolio and Project Management, SAP Enterprise Project Connection and “Edison” can be used separately to address specific issues, or together as an end-to-end solution linking ideas and strategy with the necessary project data, workflows and business processes, enabling portfolios and project management to run smoothly from start to finish.

According to an independent Forrester Research report, ‘It’s time to revisit PPM for product development’: “Across the product life cycle, few processes have as much impact on a company’s product innovation efforts and financial performance as managing the R&D project pipeline and resulting new products. A recent stream of Forrester inquiries on this indicates, however, that product development executives face persistent challenges prioritising their R&D investments.”2

This same principle applies to all portfolio and project management streams, including capital and IT projects. Prioritising and selecting the most sound investments is always a critical and essential exercise in ensuring prolonged and sustainable success and growth.

Collect, manage ideas to address customer and organisational wants, needs

Understanding what the market wants when it comes to products and services is the key to success. Currently in early adoption phase, “Edison” offers companies the ability to harness the innovation potential inside and outside an organisation by providing an open environment for contribution and participation.

The solution manages the life cycle of ideas by integrating with a company’s portfolio and product management system, allowing transparency and consistency of the idea management processes while boosting creativity for new innovative products.

Comprehensive enterprise PPM improves profitability

The new SAP Portfolio and Project Management application helps companies make the right decisions on innovation opportunities early in the development process by aligning activities, resources and budgets associated with new projects and portfolios.

As The Forrester Wave: Project Portfolio Management, Q4 2009 report noted in December 2009, the Collaboration Projects (cProject) application and SAP Resource and Portfolio Management (SAP RPM) application version 4.5 are a leader in the project portfolio management space. The new release of the application builds on those capabilities, providing a comprehensive solution that can be purchased and implemented as a standalone solution, or integrated into SAP Business Suite software or a company’s existing IT platform. The solution helps companies consolidate and manage information so departments can work collaboratively on projects, making better design and production decisions and helping bring new products, assets and innovations to fruition quicker.

Real-time information access increases visibility, eliminates risk

SAP Enterprise Project Connection helps companies better manage time-sensitive project information across their project and portfolio management applications. The solution connects third-party applications and delivers templates that manage critical information, data and workflows within a company’s portfolio and project management solution, helping companies to reduce the cost and timeline associated with the deployment of new products and services.

“From a capital project management perspective, South African SAP customers are already recognised as world leaders,” said Frederick Malherbe, Market Unit Head of Solutions. “We have seen a dramatic growth in the adoption of the SAP PPM solution on the back of the huge capital investment cycle that SA is currently in.”

(1) IRI Times & Trends, “2008 New Product Pacesetters: The Role of Innovation in a Down Economy,” March 2009

(2) Forrester Research, Inc., “It’s Time To Revisit PPM For Product Development,” December, 2009

Next major event: SAPPHIRE NOW Conference.

With SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP marks the next evolution of its SAPPHIRE customer conference and networking events, offering SAP customers, partners and prospects even more opportunities to engage in dialogue with peers, participants and thought leaders around the globe. Being held simultaneously in Orlando, Florida, and Frankfurt, Germany, 17-19 May 2010, this enhanced, real-time event will connect attendees on site with global participants through state-of-the-art broadcast studios and a newly designed online experience that incorporates the latest social media and community functionality. Whether onsite or online, participants can gain insight on how innovative business solutions from SAP are enabling long-term, profitable business growth. For more information about the Orlando show, visit http://www.sapandasug.com; for the Frankfurt event, visit http://www.sap.com/sapphire/emea. Join the conversation via Twitter at @SAPPHIRENOW.


SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 97 000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol “SAP”. For more information, visit http://www.sap.com.

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