If you look through the SCN Community blog zone, you will find over 100 different blogs written about enhancement packages. However, I was not able to find one that discussed enhancement packages from the perspective of SAP Education.
Let’s start with the general information about enhancement packages and then conclude with SAP Education-related information.
What are Enhancement Packages?
Enhancement packages are optionally installed software innovations. The SAP enhancement packages available for the SAP ERP application have been designed for SAP ERP 6.0. Packages include functional enhancements, industry-specific functionality, and simplifications such as user-interface simplifications. With enhancement packages, you can adopt ongoing SAP software innovations at a lower cost than full upgrade projects. In addition, enterprise services are delivered with enhancement packages.
Why is SAP offering enhancement packages?
Enhancement packages allow you to get key innovations more frequently and with minimized disruption to your running enterprise resource planning business processes. They are more convenient for you, because you can flexibly choose which part of an enhancement package to install and subsequently activate. For example, you can choose which functionality to upgrade to best meet your business needs.
What distinguishes an enhancement package from a standard upgrade?
With an enhancement package, you have the option to update only specific subsets of software components related to specific business functions. Afterward, you select and activate business functions; the system behavior will change only where a business function has been activated. This targeted update process is key within the delivery methodology of enhancement packages. Contrary to this, release upgrades required that all software components be upgraded in an SAP software system, regardless of your specific business needs. In the past, new functionality was directly active, which led to increased project costs. SAP recommends that you apply support packages (SPs) and enhancement packages as part of your regular system maintenance.
Before the activation of business functions, the installation of an enhancement package has no impact on existing standard business processes or user interfaces supported by SAP software. In the past, customers who upgraded often experienced a change in system behavior that required end-user training, even when no new functionality was added. Although this situation has improved greatly over the past few years, customers upgrading from release 4.6c or higher of SAP R/3 software must still perform upgrade customization in order to continue to use current functionality.
With the switch framework in enhancement packages, you can select specific business functions. When you activate a switch, the changes and their impact become effective without any unplanned side effects in other areas of your running business processes.
To summarize: in terms of effort, SAP enhancement packages are smaller than upgrades. You can install them unnoticeably as a normal maintenance activity, together with support packages.
How does this impact support packages?
Support packages – which typically include corrections and legal changes to the software – are delivered as before. The procedure to implement support packages is also unchanged. Moreover, support packages for enhancement packages are chronologically synchronized with the support packages for the software. Thus, for an SP stack for SAP ERP 6.0, you can always find a corresponding SP stack for your enhancement package.
Are enhancement packages cumulative?
Yes. Each enhancement package includes all the functionality and technology enhancements of previous packages as well as all the new enhancements contained in the current package.
How is the SAP Education curriculum affected by enhancement packages?
The SAP Education standard curriculum is affected by enhancement packages several different ways:
- Online Knowledge Products (OKPs)
- Curriculum Maps and Course Descriptions
- Course Index Search
SAP Online Knowledge Products (http://www.sap.com/usa/services/education/catalog/elearning/index.epx) provide role-specific Learning Maps that give you timely, firsthand information on architecture and scenarios-processes-functionalities, supplemented by implementation and operation guides of the newest SAP Solutions with the beginning of the SAP Solution Ramp-up. Whether you are working as an implementation consultant (on the technical, application, or development side), a support consultant, or an IT team member, the relevant Online Knowledge Products will update your knowledge to the latest product release level. OKPs are an excellent form of online learning and provide various options of learning delivery in the forms of presentations, documents, and simulations.
From the perspective of Curriculum Maps and Course Descriptions, you will find various examples of enhancement package information found within the curriculum structure and descriptions that provide the content. Several examples of this include:
- Curriculum maps specifically dedicated to OKPs as demonstrated in the Financial Accounting Delta map: (http://www.sap.com/usa/services/education/catalog/financials/curriculum.epx?context=%5b%5bFIN_05_FI_SOL_D_NA%5d%5d%7c).
- Within the standard curriculum maps, you can find the enhancement packages within the descriptions of our courses. For example, the AC010 course defined as collection 92 includes content from enhancement packages 1-4 (http://www.sap.com/usa/services/education/tabbedcourse.epx?context=%5b%5bFIN_FA_NA%7cAC010%7c%7c%7c%7cUS%7c%5d%5d%7c).
Another way to find the valuable enhancement package content from the perspective of OKPs, use our Course Index Search. Within the index, look for the courses beginning with the letter “O” (http://www.sap.com/usa/services/education/catalog/courseindex.epx?context=%5b%5bO%7c%5d%5d%7c). These courses will point you back to the latest OKP content described above.
And as always, when in doubt, call our Education Customer Interaction Center at 1-888-777-1727 for questions relating to OKPs or standard courses affected by enhancement packages.
ENHANCEMENT PACKAGES RESOURCE CENTER
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- SAP Education OKP Catalog (includes references to Enhancement Packages
- SAP Online Training Catalog (includes references to Enhancement Packages via the course descriptions)
- SAP Enhancement Packages for SAP ERP as provided by SAP Service Marketplace
- SDN Community Enhancement Packages weblog
- SDN Community SAP Education weblog
- http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1856570 for various topics affecting SAP Education in North America
- The SAP Enhancement Package for SAP ERP solution brief
- Adopting SAP Business Suite 7 and Enhancement Packages solution brief
- Implementing the SAP Enhancement Package for SAP ERP solution brief