The multinational software corporation SAP recently launched a $35 million startup fund for early stage software startups which utilise its data, platforms, or APIs. The investment fund, known as SAP.iO, is aiming to encourage new startups to expand the software and technology ecosystem, and SAP CEO Bill McDermott announced in a statement: “We have a message for entrepreneurs: ‘If you have a bold dream to solve one of the world’s most significant challenges, join us and let’s chase your dream together.’”

SAP is used to keep track of every aspect of a business through one system, which can benefit businesses of all sizes. Startups can benefit from the program, and even use it to help grow and develop.

SAP allows businesses to manage processes through a unified system

For those who haven’t heard of SAP, it is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, and consists of a number of fully integrated modules, which cover virtually every aspect of the business management. For example, it can be used to keep track of goods and products in stock for a business, and involves the entire business process, including ordering raw materials and manufacturing goods, right through to delivering to the customer or store.

While the system itself is helpful, it does require planning for a successful SAP implementation, which Eursap has highlighted in its blog. It describes SAP as a program to change your business, and anticipate any problems and always stay a step ahead.

SAP lets businesses focus more on project planning and execution

Startups can benefit from implementing SAP, as it lets business owners stay on top of projects and planning, rather than falling behind schedule. For example, if a product is running out of stock, the different departments will be able to notice this in order to get more stock. In

In centralised systems, or ERP, data is kept in a central location which is accessed by the different departments in the business. This way, each department or business unit can clearly communicate with each other about what needs to be done, without any worry of miscommunication.

The different departments will be able to see exactly what needs to be done and will be able to execute the projects quickly and efficiently. This reduces any time wasting and allows the project to be completed smoothly.

However, with the addition of SAP in the workplace, businesses will need to decide whether they want to keep it in-house, by hiring SAP-trained staff or training current staff in using the system. The other option is to outsource SAP to a specialized company.

In-house SAP teams will have a better understanding of the business

As SAP can be applied to all business models and plans, it could be more beneficial to have an in-house SAP team, rather than outsource to a specialist company. An in-house team will have full working knowledge of the business, as well as its working processes, and will be able to efficiently keep track of the program. An in-house team are also easily accessible, which means that reports will be able to be created quickly, rather than having to get in touch with an outsourced company.

However, staff will need to be trained in using the program, which requires an investment of both time and money. Businesses also have the option of hiring a trained staff member, however this also requires a longer-term financial investment. In-house teams may also have limited knowledge and expertise, especially if they’ve been trained specifically for the role. Therefore, they may not be able to effectively develop the business, or even meet business needs.

Businesses will be able to take advantage of the expertise an outsourced SAP specialist can offer. It’s also in an outsourced SAP team’s interest to keep on top of the latest technologies, which they can then implement for clients looking for SAP services, which can massively benefit a business.

Choosing whether or not to implement SAP into your business is dependent on your financial projections. It may be that you can’t afford to include it at the moment, but is something that could be used to benefit your business in the future, and help it grow.