The business intelligence behemoth that just keeps getting better
The German company Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing is better known to the world as SAP. In the 40 years since its inception, the business has become synonymous with data processing and data management. When businesses need to make sense of high volumes of data generated by their business, SAP is often their supplier of choice.
While the company’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) tech is perhaps its best-known product line, it also offers analytics, in-memory and mobile technologies. Taken together, their products impact a wide range of industries, including retail, banking, HR, healthcare, engineering, and telecommunications.
Signature Product: SAP S/4HANA
SAP S/4HANA is the newest version of the SAP Business Suite. Since launching in 2015, it has become a market-leading data management solution. With cloud-based, local (server) or hybrid delivery, customers can choose how best to leverage the tools offered. Better yet, the platform offers fast access to vital data, as well as improved reporting and analytics.
Like other recent SAP products, SAP S/4HANA is a fully customizable modular system. That means users can run it as lean as they like, and incorporate any combination of options. These include modules for CRM, HR, supply chain management, QA, distribution and project management.
As a standalone solution, SAP S/4HANA’s sophistication makes it a popular choice for fleets that form part of a larger supply chain. Businesses conducting mass and specialty transportation, shipping and logistics, waste management, and other supply chain-based activities, typically use SAP S/4HANA.
For the right business, SAP’s fleet management application can provide a host of benefits. While the initial install can be a challenge, once the system is up and running, it’s very user-friendly.
Data management can be as general (full fleet) or as granular (individual components) as needed. Its ability to account for differences of language, exchange rates, and even culture make it a good choice for businesses with a global presence.
Analyses can be run quickly and easily. Several options exist to dissect and analyze large amounts of data, showing areas of opportunity or cost control. Perhaps most importantly, the system has very low downtime, so it’s always on-call when it’s needed.
SAP works with other technology and software companies to maximize the value of its service for customers. Partners include Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Prometheus Group, OpenText, Meridian Global Services and SmartOps. That partner network has also grown over time via targeted acquisitions of other companies.
In cases where SAP integrates with partner software, that partner is typically responsible for technical support. If a company adds SAP fleet management into its existing suite of solutions, support begins before implementation to ensure a smooth transition. Phone, email, and SCN (the SAP Community Network) support are covered once the applications are up and running.
What SAP Customers Are Saying
Best-selling Korean makeup brand, MEMEBOX, uses SAP S/4HANA to streamline and scale IT operations. The result has been a 300% increase in revenue. Watch the video below to watch how SAP S/4HANA has made such impressive growth possible for MEMEBOX.
Video courtesy of SAP:
ARI Fleet Management
Automotive Resources International (ARI) isn’t a newcomer to fleet management. The company has existed since 1948, and has been quick to take advantage of opportunities offered by new technology.
When ARI’s in-house IT solution started to struggle with the demands placed on it by ARI’s full-lifecycle fleet management customers, the company knew it was time for a change. Having dealt with SAP in the past, they sensed a natural fit. They presented SAP with a detailed list of requirements. SAP, in turn, enlisted Hewlett-Packard for additional hardware support, and got to work on a solution.
Soon enough, ARI was the proud owner of a pair of HP ProLiant DL580 Servers. The servers ran SAP HANA and a suite of applications that included data and business intelligence services. The result of this three-way collaboration among ARI, SAP and HP? Reports that had taken up to a day to run on the old system were now complete in a matter of minutes.
The entire process of lifecycle management — which can include thousands of data points for each vehicle — was simplified without sacrificing quality. In fact, SAP enabled ARI to analyze data in new and interesting ways to improve ROI for customers. Best of all, the system’s speed enabled productivity to increase without having to add more personnel.
SAP is not the first, or only, ERP company to impact fleet management. Microsoft and Oracle both have significant fleet management presences as well. However, SAP stands out for its ease of integration with fleet management solutions.
The power, complexity and cost of SAP fleet management solutions put them out of reach for some businesses. Indeed, for mid-sized fleets with simple needs and functions, SAP solutions may be a questionable choice. However, SAP can be an excellent fit for larger fleets. That’s especially true when fleet management is only one cog in a large manufacturing or logistics-heavy business.