SAP has delivered the first in a planned series of regular enhancements to the current version of its ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, as the vendor embarks on a new way to deliver ERP applications.
Previously, the company came out with a complete refresh of its ERP software every 12 to 18 months, including hundreds of product enhancements. Then, in September at its TechEd developer conference in Las Vegas, SAP announced plans to adopt a different tack in response to customer demand.
The current release of its ERP software, mySAP ERP 2005, which debuted in May, will remain in place through 2010 and act as a backbone on top of which users can choose to run any or all of a stream of optional enhancement packages issued by SAP and its partners.
Released Monday, the first SAP enhancement package for mySAP ERP 2005 is centered around delivering new general-purpose human capital management (HCM) and financials features and specific functionality for the retail and manufacturing industries.
On the HCM side, SAP is offering new capabilities to monitor service level agreements, while on the financials front, the vendor has beefed up its credit and collection management reporting and analytics. For retailers, SAP has drawn on its 2005 purchases of retail software vendors Triversity and Khimetrics to integrate their respective point-of-sale and pricing optimization technologies into mySAP ERP 2005. On the manufacturing front, the company is bringing manufacturing execution systems and work instructions along with quality management into its ERP software.
The enhancements package is available to SAP customers already running mySAP ERP 2005 as part of their license and maintenance agreement.
SAP plans to debut two to three enhancement packages per year, each with its own primary focus.
New talent management and financial collaboration functionality, which the vendor positioned in September as likely to appear in the first package, is now scheduled to debut at a later date. Also on the cards for a future enhancement package are user interface simplifications related to Project Muse, a new GUI (graphical user interface) for mySAP applications developed through a partnership with Adobe Systems' Macromedia business unit.