SAP Launches 'Enjoy' Software Version

SAP AG, the enterprise software giant based in Walldorf, Germany, recently launched its latest version of the R/3 system, called "EnjoySAP." Although more than just a fresh spin on the product by SAP marketing, the "New Dimension" software applications basically differ from other versions of R/3 in look and relative ease of use. Experts say SAP is betting on making billions of additional Deutsche marks and dollars in the months and years to come by offering software that can be used by larger numbers of "non-technical" staff at its existing customers. "The average SAP customer probably has fewer than 10% of its employees using the system now, so this is a smart move," says Jim Shepard, vice president and ERP analyst at AMR Research Inc., a Boston-based IT research firm. He adds that SAP may be able to leapfrog its competitors by offering software that is easier to use and looks better. Clearly, SAP takes the useability and cosmetics issues very seriously. "This will change the look and feel of our applications dramatically," says Hasso Plattner, co-chairman of the firm, which also has a U.S. headquarters in Wayne, Pa. "This is not just a marketing campaign. We have to look at these applications from a consumer and employee perspective." Plattner credited the immense popularity of the Internet with "showing us the way. The Internet enables people-centric solutions." To that end, the new software version enables employees to conduct much of their work-related business from their computer. Using the new multicolored SAP system with a large initial menu screen, employees can perform a variety of activities, such as checking personal benefits statements, filling out timesheets, making calendar and datebook appointments, filling out procurement forms, signing up for training, processing vendor invoices, making ad hoc queries of the system, or doing bank deposits or address changes. The software can be personalized with each employee's name and job function. "We can enable people to do all the administrative-inquiry type stuff automatically," Plattner adds.

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