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Picture: SUPPLIED/SAP
Picture: SUPPLIED/SAP

Myths and perceptions can be notoriously hard to change, and can often stand in the way of great partnerships and a bright future.

For a company that has been around for as long as SAP, and in an industry that changes as fast as IT does, there are a few old SAP myths that need to be debunked.

Should you have any questions, visit asksap.co.za.

Myth #1: SAP is only for large enterprises

Some people still believe that SAP products are only relevant for large enterprises. While it is true that many of the world’s largest companies and globally recognised brands rely on SAP for their success, more than 80% of SAP’s customers around the world are SMEs.

Today, across the African continent there are more than 3,500 small, medium and large organisations using SAP software to run their businesses effectively and efficiently so that they can compete and grow on the global stage. Some of these companies have less than a dozen users on their SAP system – dispelling the myth that SAP is only for large organisations.

In Ghana, for example, Esoko uses a simple text-messaging system and the power of SAP Business One on HANA to bridge the information gap faced by farmers across Africa. Esoko enables impoverished farmers to get access to crop tips, weather information, credit, and fair market price of their crops via their mobile phones so they don’t get cheated by middlemen.

This also assures the Ghanaian government that the right people are getting subsidies. This information flow improves farmers’ credibility and increases their productivity and profitability.

Myth #2: SAP implementations are long and costly

Another lingering perception is that SAP implementations are lengthy and costly. This stems from the early 1990s when SAP implementations were often conflated with complex, change-intensive business re-engineering projects.  

It’s also fair to say that in the early days of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, the software itself had not yet matured to the point where it offered all the required functionality. Therefore many projects had a significant software development component to them.

Today, customers benefit from SAP’s massive investments in tools, content methods and accelerators that enable implementations to be as fast as eight to 12 weeks for an ERP implementation. It’s all about providing value quickly and continually innovating so you can stay ahead of the pack with SAP’s assistance.

SAP’s portfolio of cloud products include the world’s leading digital core (the next generation of ERP – architected for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s demands for a market-of-one and a lot-size-of-one with zero latency) and the SAP Model Company, and enable companies to adopt best-in-class capabilities in days and weeks rather than in months and years.

Even large companies are benefiting from these innovative approaches. For example, Hunter Douglas, a world leader in architectural products and an innovator in solar heating solutions and high-end window coverings, employs 22,750 people across 132 companies in 100 countries and generates $3.2bn revenue.

Seeing rapid growth through mergers and acquisitions, Hunter Douglas was looking for a single platform that would enable it to keep growing with increasing complexities and costs. Even in this complex business they were able to go live in under a year while realising many valuable benefits as depicted below.

Achieving real business value quickly

Picture: SUPPLIED/SAP
Picture: SUPPLIED/SAP

Myth #3: SAP only does ERP

The unrivalled success of SAP R/3 certainly means that SAP leads the ERP market. However, ERP is only a single part of SAP’s offerings for the Intelligent Enterprise.

In the digital economy, the real challenge for organisations is to ensure that they can keep the existing business as lean and efficient as possible while simultaneously innovating and even disrupting themselves and their industry.

This requires Mode 1 and Mode 2 behaviours in each area of the business, while avoiding duplication, complexity, and costs by underpinning each mode and line-of-business with a diverse set of technical capabilities, systems, and data.  

A platform approach enables you to do Mode 1 and Mode 2 with a high degree of efficiency and re-use, so that today’s disruption can be easily embedded in the fabric of your business to become tomorrow’s “new normal”.

This is exactly what SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise Framework helps you to do. The applications within SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise Framework address business operations, finances, spending, people, manufacturing, supply chains, and customer engagement and experience with an integrated suite of best-of-breed solutions.

It enables you to start wherever is right for your business and build your unique roadmap to the future on a single platform.  

The SAP Intelligent Enterprise Framework

Picture: SUPPLIED/SAP
Picture: SUPPLIED/SAP

Myth #4: SAP software is difficult to use

Another false perception is that SAP software is difficult to use and requires a lot of training. Twenty years ago, that was true – SAP tended to focus on functions and integration rather than usability.

Today, however, usability is a breeze thanks to the SAP Fiori User Interface. SAP Fiori applies modern design principles for a reimagined user experience and is the new face of SAP to business users in all lines of business across devices. It provides a personalised, responsive, and simple experience on any device.

To find out more, visit the asksap.co.za  

This article was paid for by SAP Africa.