Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Former Member

If I had a nickel every time someone asked me “What does SAP do?”

Working at SAP and knowing how much of the global economy our solutions help manage, I’m always surprised at how few people understand what SAP actually does. I’m at the point where I realize it’s practically an SAP job requirement to have a couple of great answers on hand to the question “What does SAP do?”

What does SAP do anyway?
What does SAP do anyway?

This question typically comes at me from family members, new neighbors and the occasional playground chat. So I’m constantly using analogies from everyday life and then transferring them to SAP.

And it works.

Here are some of my SAP analogies, which always get good reviews. By “good reviews,” I mean they create deeper discussions about SAP, as opposed to the blank stares I used to get. Here we go:

“You know how Microsoft is the software that powers your PC? Well SAP is the software that powers most companies.”

“You know how the iPod is a big memory stick, no moving parts, and turns on instantly? Well think of SAP HANA as a gigantic iPod. Nothing spins, and the whole enterprise is available instantly.”

“You know how Yahoo! offers e-mail but you never installed anything on your computer? Well that is called the ‘cloud,’ and the SAP Cloud is one of the biggest business clouds on the planet. In fact we think all business software will be run the same as Yahoo! mail in the future.”

“You know how Google predicts what you’re searching for before you actually finish typing? Well SAP analytical solutions use the same approach to help companies predict what customers want to buy.”

“You know how Quicken helps people balance their checkbooks? Well SAP software helps thousands of financial employees balance the finances of their entire corporations across the world.”

“You know how Facebook allows you to manage your personal community of friends? Well SAP Human Resource solutions allow the same thing for companies’ employment communities.”

“You know how your kids get report cards on a regular basic? Well SAP reporting solutions allows companies off all sizes to generate their own ‘report cards’ on just about anything they need to report.”

“You know how you spend more and more AND MORE time on your smartphone? Well SAP Mobility solutions make sure everything a company needs to run better works perfectly on a smartphone!”

So there you have it: my complete, unabridged collection of SAP analogies to explain to the rest of the world what we actually do. Trust me, as we pursue our goal of 1 billion users of SAP Solutions, these will come in handy for a long time to come!

Like this story? Sign up for the SAP Business Trends newsletter here.

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo James Marland
      James Marland

      Very nice, I have a similar top 10 when people ask me what Ariba does.

      Author's profile photo Riddhi Mody
      Riddhi Mody

      Can you share?


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very effective analogies... 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you for the above - now I know what to say when people ask me.. the blank stares were getting rather disheartening!

      Author's profile photo Tomiko McKenna
      Tomiko McKenna

      Shawn, have or would you publish an updated blog? I would love to hear the analogies you've used to explain things like S/4HANA, blockchain, machine learning, etc. Thanks!