SAP is the acronym for Systems, Applications, Products. It is an ERP system that provides users with a soft real-time business application. It was founded in 1972 by five former IBM employees in Mannheim, Germany and now a market and technology leader in supply chain and procurement software.
SAP grew the fastest of the top five vendors, achieving 19.9% growth from 2013 to 2014
It provides comprehensive solutions for companies of all sizes and all industry sectors. SAP is number-one vendor of standard business-application software and the third largest software supplier in the world. SAP delivers scalable solutions that enable its customers to further advance industry best practices. SAP is constantly developing new products that allow their customers to respond to dynamic market conditions and help them maintain competitive advantage.
In 1979, SAP released its mainframe product called R/2, Materials Management was a core module of this release. SAP dominated the German market, and in the 1980s SAP developed a broader market in the rest of Europe. In 1992, SAP developed the client/server application that we all know now as R/3. This allowed SAP to bring the software to the US market and within few years SAP become the gold standard for ERP software.
When business choose SAP as their enterprise application software, they identified the integration of the modules as a key advantage. Many other software companies used a best-of-breed approach and developed highly complex interfaces to integrate the separate software packages. Supporting and maintaining just one system rather than several systems with different hardware platforms has yielded a significant cost saving for companies.