SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today unveiled the SAP enhancement package 4, the latest set of innovations for SAP's flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, SAP ERP.
Enhancement package 4 represents the new advances for SAP ERP that are delivered through a unique business software delivery model that offers customers the ability to adapt new functionality without the disruption of system upgrades. As a result, customers are empowered to improve and update their enterprise software systems in a shorter timeframe and with more discrete testing cycles, driving down costs and simplifying enterprise software management significantly. The announcement was made at SAP TechEd 2008 Bangalore, being held Nov. 12-14, in Bangalore, India.
With more than 1,000 live customers and 1,800 downloads (see Feb. 25, 2008 announcement, titled "SAP Continues 'Innovation Without Disruption' with Release of Third ERP Enhancement Package"), the first three generations of SAP enhancement packages have proven the benefit of this unique delivery model. SAP enhancement package 4 includes all previous capabilities from the first three enhancement packages, in addition to hundreds of new functional enhancements and improvements for customers to choose.
"SAP enhancement packages deliver product flexibility and technology advancement at the same time," said Albert Pang, research director of enterprise applications, IDC. "Customers no longer have to wait 24 to 36 months for critical functionality. They can pick and choose which enhancements to deploy, and activate the new functionality as they see fit to continue to improve their on-premise systems. Currently, SAP plans to leverage the switch framework to provide enhancement packages for the rest of the SAP Business Suite in the future in another sign of sustained innovation from the vendor."
SAP enhancement package 4 plans to provide innovation to the following lines of business:
- Finance - exposure and hedge management for commodities and FX, correspondence monitor, central maintenance for chart accounts for master data governance.
- Human Resources - enhanced end-user experience across key talent management processes including recruiting, learning, performance management and succession management, including expanded integration with Nakisa.
- Plant and Operations - enterprise asset management and a new standard solution for recycling administration.
- Sales and Support - support for supplier and customer returns, sales order entry via customer relationship management.
- Procurement - new scenarios for service procurement.
- Product Development and Manufacturing - work order integration for outsourced manufacturing scenario.
- Industry enhancements - special capabilities for aerospace and defense, automotive, defense and security, banking, consumer products, healthcare, higher education, insurance, oil and gas, mill products, mining, public sector, retail and wholesale, utilities.
In challenging economic times, SAP customers continue to leverage the flexibility and innovation of SAP enhancement packages. Leading power and automation technology group ABB India, for instance, leverages the capabilities of SAP enhancement packages to further improve operational excellence, according to Vivek Deshpande, the chief information officer of ABB.
"SAP enhancement packages support our push to increase innovation, process improvements and efficiency, and further broaden our global sourcing, production and sales activities in a non-disruptive environment," said Deshpande. "This type of innovation delivery not only strengthens and simplifies our business processes, but it allows us to achieve a significant return on investment by having the control to activate only the enhancements we need based on our own corporate timeline."
"With SAP enhancement packages, our customers have the ability to reduce the total cost of ownership of their IT landscape while at the same time accelerating the adoption of new innovations," said Jim Hagemann Snabe, member of the Executive Board, SAP AG. "With enhancement package 4, SAP has proven a new delivery mechanism of business software combining the best of two worlds: more new functionality applied without having to upgrade."