SAP Stands for sap full form
SAP stands for Systems, Applications, Products in data processing. According to German language SAP stands for Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in Der Datenverarbeitung. –> SAP is the fourth largest enterprise software company in the world.
What is SAP software used for?SAP is an enterprise ?
application software (EAS) suite that can be used to manage Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) – this means that it helps organizations integrate different business units and partners. SAP offers businesses a unified platform to handle diverse databases.
How is SAP software used?
Actually, this is the 21st Answer to this question. Loads of relevant information is available on SAP official web-site. Plus, just google-up. You’ll find many PPTs on this subject.
I am trying to keep it short, simple, yet insightful. More specifically for freshers. Many contemplating SAP as a possible career choice [or an added qualification]. But have near-zero business-exposure.
SAP is an ERP.
Enterprise Resource Planning Software.
Prima facie, like every other ERPs, it is a simple business-transaction automation software.
It is a relational data-base management system [RDBMS] with pre-configured business rules and reports.
These business rules are called as ‘features’ or ‘functionality’.
And the bouquet of reports is called as MIS.
These features and the reports are clubbed together based on the User Functions…. and are called as Modules.
SAP has many Modules.
The prime feature of every ERP is a central and real-time data-base. Shared across the organisation… irrespective of their Department or Location.
This transaction-data keeps getting continuously updated… as-n-when any staff… anywhere in the organisation… operating the ERP…. keys in a fresh transaction.
Say, for example, a Sales Order
or a Delivery Challan,
or Stock Transfer Note
or Goods receipt.
Or, a requisition for material,
or seeking reimbursement of expenses,
or releasing a payment.
Whatever you typically do in a normal day-to-activities…. in ANY business.
And, this up-to-minute updated data is available to everyone else… who-so-ever has access to it.
No two people have to enter the same data.
It is available at your finger-tip.
So, no more waiting. No chasing [other Departments or your colleagues]
You don’t need any “extra” verification of this input data.
Everyone can use that data as “their” input and ACT on it without any hesitation.
This makes the OPERATIONS swift and productive.
Besides the software allows you to define specific people… who can view what data, and which staff can enter / change specific data.
That way, the data is secured and safe.
Commonly and repeatedly used data is called Master-data’, and it is saved in special data-tables and indexed.
So, whenever you wish to enter a fresh business transaction…. the relevant data like the Customer details, Vendor details, Product details are automatically filled in.
Just like the Auto-fill features on Google or any eCom portal.
This not only saves repeated data-entry, but also ensures that there are least number of data-errors. This is the transaction-automation boon any ERP offers.
ERP software has many business-rules written in the form CODE.
Some of those business-rules are universal, some are country-specific, some are Industry-specific and some CAN BE Company specific.
These business rules ensure that successive business-processes are AUTOMATICALLY triggered as soon as relevant INPUT DATA is keyed in by relevant Staff.
This gives an unhindered smooth FLOW to the business activities.
This is called Business Processes.
Every Organisation has two distinct business activities.
They buy materials [or services]…. and then sell them with a ‘value addition’. Right?
The movement of Goods [or services] from the INPUT to OUTPUT is called a Supply Chain.
When the Goods move in from the Vendors to our Organisation, it creates a financial liability. This liability is actually synchronous to goods movement. But in conventional Organisation it is handled by two different departments [Purchase & Finance].
Same way, when the Goods are sold, Invoices are issued. They are booked as receivables in our Books of Accounts. Goods leave your premises with the Tax Invoice, but monies come in only later. So, when the monies come in… the Sale is complete. Selling is handled by Sales Dept, Deliveries by Stores Department and Collections are by Finance Department.
Sometimes, MFG is also involved. In the MFG operation COSTS are incurred [labour, machine, electricity, steam, other utilities]. As a result the FG Inventories reach different VALUATION. Materials & Resources used in MFG are accounted for by the Production Department. Whereas Costing Department tracks the Costs.
In the ERP, all such synchronous activities are bundled together as cycles.
ERP / SAP uses RDBMS Technology [Relational Data-base Management System] and a Client-Server Architecture. These are a little technical descriptors. So, let me avoid further details. But, if you are interested pl google them up.
I will now use a few pictures to elaborate how the real-world business-activities are mapped in the ERP codes. [First round is in-built by the ERP Vendor, and the on-site round is carried out by the Implementation Team].
Integration across Functions and Locations:
ERP Systems have elaborate ’query’ and ‘reports’ feature which not only provide a pre-configured standard MIS, but also a great decision support system…. to the Executives.
So, while the Operating staff can enjoy the transaction automation, and real-time data… the senior managers can view the real-time ledgers, trends, outstanding approvals, to-date-business performance…. and all performance metrics.
Majority of design complexity and business requirements are already captured in the off-the-shelf software. For decades n decades the SAP Company employed thousands of domain experts to capture all possible business requirements. And then, thousands of Coders to capture them in the RDBMS [plus the Application Server]. So, SAP requires very little Customer-specific coding [unless, off-course, for some specific Reports or Data-entry Screens].
As a result, SAP Consultancy is not like any other Software development profession. SAP Consultants ought to have extensive and diverse hands-on business experience…. first, to comprehend various business rules written in the Software…. and their nuances. And, then to pick the most appropriate ones to offer to their specific client. These are called FUNCTIONAL CONSULTANTS. These experienced guys are then trained on the SAP.
Typically, the depth and complexity of each Modules is such…. that vary rarely you will see any Consultant who has mastery in more than ONE Module. Even after 20+ years of practice in SAP. This specialisation can be compared to Medical profession. Like a Gynac and a Heart Surgeon and an Anaesthetist and a Radiologist and a Pathologist. They would definitely know something about the other Module. But, enough to know that they should leave it to the ‘real’ specialists.
SAP Institutes cannot pick freshers and train them on Functional experience [like Purchase, Sales, Finance, Supply Chain].
A fresher would lack ANY kind of Functional judgment… and hence will never qualify as a billable Functional Consultant. So, even if you were to spend some 3L for SAP Certification, no SAP Consulting Firm is going to hire you. You could, at best, be put to some master-data-housekeeping at 15kpm.
So, when an unemployed fresher joins some road-side SAP Training Institute in the hope of some ‘smart’ break or a career…. he is sheer ill-informed.
No Authorised SAP Training Institute admits candidates WITHOUT MINIMUM 2 years of Functional experience. And, that has a reason.
There are two TECHNICAL JOBs in SAP, though.
One is called BASIS…. which is about the System Administration [Data-base Server & Application Server, Authorisations, Back-up, etc.].
The other one is ABAP. ABAP is a proprietary language to write code in SAP. Just like Java or C++. If you want to be a SAP Coder [writing enhancements] then you need to learn ABAP, gather 1 year of hands-on experience in ABAP coding.
ABAP & BASIS do not require functional experience.
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