SAP R/98 – The First Commercial ERP Product

SAP R/98 – The First Commercial ERP Product
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Eshna Verma

Last updated October 21, 2016


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SAP R/98 was launched in the year 1973 and this was the first commercial ERP product. This was developed to manage multiple tasks in a common system and the idea was to build a centralized data storage towards better maintenance of data. Thereafter, SAP launched various updated products for different tasks. In later years, specific SAP products for finance management, sales distribution, human resource management, materials management etc., were developed. In this article, let’s have an overview of Enterprise Resource Planning and SAP R/98.

ERP and the development of SAP R/98

Businesses deal with a lot of data from different areas and managing this data is very important. To collect, store and manage data is quite a task. Enterprise Resource Planning came as a solution to this problem. It is a business management software that helps one to manage data from an integrated system. This system collects data in real-time and thus advocates real-time data management. Through such applications or system, data can be shared across departments.  This would avoid duplicate data and help maintain standard across an organization. ERP solutions were developed with a focus to manufacturing and inventory management but later was expanded to accounting, human resources etc.

SAP is best known for its enterprise resource planning solutions. Founded by Weinheim and headquartered in Germany, SAP is a European corporation that develops software to manage business operations better. Also, there are software to improve customer relationship and resource management. Today, SAP is one of the largest software companies in the world.

SAP – Over the Years

The first commercial product on enterprise resource planning was launched in 1973 and named as SAP R/98. This was the first acceptance and realization of the importance of databases and data management. Over the years, SAP expanded its wings and various updated versions and releases took place. Initially, SAP was all about centralizing data in a common system. After few years, it expanded its capabilities towards production planning and materials and resource management. This launch in the year 1979 was named as SAP R/2. In 1992, SAP released another version SAP R/3 that focused on mainframe computing to client architectures. SAP ERP today has various products, few mentioned below:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

Besides, there is the SAP Business Suite that includes applications for managing human resources, sales, materials and more. Some of the basic characteristics of SAP or any other ERP solutions are given below:

  • A common system that works in real-time to collect and manage data
  • An integrated system to store and share data across departments
  • Consistency across modules

SAP solutions were earlier used by big companies, especially by the Fortune 500 companies. However, today SAP is used by small and medium-size companies including start-ups as well. This transition is due to the ample benefits that SAP provides, few are mentioned below:

  • Flexibility and uniformity
  • One integrated system across departments
  • Specialized modules for different roles
  • Increases cash flow
  • Reduces data calculation and analytics time
  • Increases customer satisfaction and many more.

Here was an overview of ERP solutions and the journey after SAP R/98. To know more about SAP and its modules, read more SAP articles.

About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.


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