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What is the difference between Software releases and TV Manufacturing?

We have all been there, we need to purchase a new TV but are put off because there will always be a bigger better TV around the corner with more functionality and better quality. So we look at what is available, compare the prices and you can do two things.


1 – Wait for the price to come down, wait for a new TV, wait until a TV is released that meets all of your requirements.

2 – Go and buy the one that you believe fits your current requirements, and your future needs.

One thing is for sure if not this year but in a couple of years there will be a new bit of functionality that is a must have, but that is what TV manufacturers do, they keep on enhancing the quality of their product.


The same could be said for SAP and its varied products. Within SAP’s ERP solution there have been plenty of new attractive functionality released over the recent years. Most of this has been drip feed via their Enhancement Packs. (Check the following link out for more information –


I believe there are a lot of similarities between software releases and TV manufacturing. A good TV now would be “HD ready” and maybe even “3D ready”. This means where the services are available the TV you have purchased can show HD quality TV or even 3D TV. In the UK only a handful of programmes are available on 3D, and there are a growing number of channels that are now produced in  HD. ( I can confirm there is a massive difference between HD TV and standard TV)


Within SAP, once you move to ERP6, you are in fact “HD ready”. You have the ability to switch on to “HD quality” products and functionality, or HD channels and programmes. You can simply activate the required functionality within an Enhancement Package to allow you to get the functionality you require. It is also clear that if your ERP version is an older version than that of ERP6, you cannot get “HD TV”. So a TV, or ERP system that was say 7 years old would not be HD ready. If you wanted HD TV you would need to upgrade your  TV, or your ERP system.


If I look at my main focus area, SAP FSCM – you cant really benefit from the solution unless you are on ERP6. (You could ALE link your older version of ERP to a new ERP6 system and design your SAP FSCM solution). Within the various Enhancement Packages there has been plenty of fresh new functionality released and there is plenty more planned. Some customers might be put off by the fact new functionality is planned to be released. It is like knowing there is some new functionality that might be released for a TV. However we need to come back to the first line of the blog and a key word. The key word is “need“. Does your business need SAP FSCM? Ask that internally and depending on the product knowledge you may get varying answers. However the question needs to be re-structured – “do you want to improve your cash flow and your accounts receivables processes?” The answer here would be more consistent throughout your business.


If there is a need to improve or change or enhance, then the time to do that should be now. The reason is pretty clear you can start to benefit from using the new solution, and changing your current business process providing tangible benefits sooner rather than later.  Yes there will be new functionality released, but this can be reviewed and added at a later date, the most important thing for your Organisation is to better itself, to improve processes, reduce cash flow and have a more organised Accounts Receivable team.


My message is twofold:

– if you want to be “HD Ready” and benefit from the potential that is out there in the new world, look towards upgrading or re-implementing to ERP 6.

– if you need to improve your cash flow, your Accounts Receivable process then consider the business benefits achievable within the current SAP FSCM solution.

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