Announced at the end of 2006, SAP’s enhancement package strategy provides customers a more economical and less disruptive way of adopting and managing software releases. Customers can selectively implement software innovations from SAP and activate selected functionalities and enhancements as driven by business demand. This unique delivery and deployment method for enterprise software, enabled by the flexibility of enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA), allows customers to get new capabilities while meeting a key customer requirement to leave core ERP functionality stable. As a result, customers can isolate the impact of software updates and quickly bring new functionality online through shortened testing cycles without impeding core business processes.
Second enhancement package for SAP ERP delivers solid business benefits
All innovations in the second enhancement package for SAP ERP are available to customers for rapid deployment and include horizontal and industry-specific functional enhancements, process and user-interface (UI) simplification, and targeted new enterprise services. The second enhancement package for SAP ERP delivers highly targeted business benefits, including:
Improved flexibility and ability to innovate core processes
- The enterprise service bundles in the second enhancement package offer customers the ability to simplify order-to-cash processes by improving access to customer and sales order information, streamlining invoices and payments, and improving visibility for accounts-receivable representatives and cash managers.
In addition, each of the core applications within SAP ERP are improved with the second enhancement package:
Innovations in SAP ERP Financials
- Innovations in SAP ERP Financials streamline planning and forecasting, financial consolidations, billing, credit, collections and dispute management. The new SAP Bank Relationship Management application increases efficiency, lowers costs and streamlines communications processes across multiple banks through integration with SWIFTNet, the financial messaging network built by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (see October 9, 2006 press release titled, “SAP and SWIFT to Drive Simplicity and Insight in Corporate Banking”).
Innovations in SAP ERP Human Capital Management
- Innovations in SAP ERP Human Capital Management include the availability of SAP Enterprise Learning environment, which was formally announced at SAPPHIRE ’07 Atlanta (see April 23, 2007 press release titled, “SAP and Adobe Join Forces for Virtual Learning”). The environment includes the SAP Learning Solution and virtual classrooms powered by Adobe Connect. SAP Learning Solution has received SCORM2004 (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) 3rd Edition certification on July 17, 2007 from the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative.
Innovations in SAP ERP Operations
- Innovations in SAP ERP Operations include new roles and work centers for internal sales representatives to access customer information, and simplification of sales order management processes that allow for easy searches of sale and billing documents. In addition, manufacturing companies will receive innovations that support the control and monitoring of Kanban processes and facilitate smooth production in repetitive manufacturing steps according to the Heijunka method.
Innovations in SAP ERP Corporate Services
- SAP Travel Management offers a new intuitive user interface and tools to increase the simplicity and flexibility of the solution, help speed user adoption and implementation time and enable integration with partner applications leveraging enterprise services.
- SAP Real Estate Management supports additional corporate real estate scenarios such as simplified management of space, rooms, moves and service charge settlements, as well as improved support for global operations through enhanced lease management in multiple currencies.
- SAP Enterprise Asset Management provides end users with simplified and flexible access to maintenance planning and scheduling business processes.
Specific industry innovations
- Specific industry innovations include enhanced end-to-end business processes such as customer billing and collections. The second enhancement package for SAP ERP delivers specific innovations for the following industries:
- Trading Industries: enhanced retail functionality support including master data management, buying and store management, agency business and commodity management; improved integration with specialized point-solutions such as SAP GRC Global Trade Services and SAP Forecasting and Replenishment.
- Telecommunications: added functionality for convergent invoicing, management and billing of rated events such as flat-rate scenarios.
- Utilities: enhanced deregulation infrastructure, improved customer sales and service processes, credit and collections management, integration of advanced meter infrastructure technologies and compatible units.
- Media: new press distribution business scenario, improved forecasting, copy management, purchasing, delivery and returns handling.
Adoption of Latest Version of SAP ERP Remains Strong
GISA GmbH, a German-based services provider for the utilities industry and other lines, leveraged the enterprise services shipped with the first enhancement package for SAP ERP to optimize the company’s electronic billing and payment processes. This streamlined framework enabled GISA to improve its cash flows, increase customer satisfaction levels, and improve auditing and compliance capabilities while reducing process times.
“Utilizing an enterprise service-oriented architecture, we effectively extended our SAP ERP implementation with innovative capabilities that addressed the needs of our growing customer base without affecting our day-to-day operations,” said Michael Krueger, CIO, GISA GmbH. “The innovative enhancement package from SAP helped us to significantly reduce errors while implementing the new business processes. We expect to save 12 to 15 percent of current costs incurred in the billing and payment processes as a result of this project.”
More than 2,800 customers are live on the latest version of SAP ERP, and SAP continues to experience strong adoption of its ERP applications. Customers continue to be drawn by the strength of SAP’s core applications, along with the prospects of installing a stable, long-term platform that will support process innovation and business growth. Recent analyst reports confirm SAP’s leadership of the ERP market.
“Enhancement packages are designed to deliver frequent innovation while altering the economics and speed of software enhancement delivery,” said Tobias Dosch, senior vice president, SAP ERP application solution management. “By leveraging our methodology for software development and deployment, SAP ERP customers can obtain new and vital functionalities without the potential disruptions of a full-scale platform upgrade.”
Further information on SAP ERP can be found at: www.sap.com/solutions/business-suite/erp