What Does the Acronym SAP Stand For in Business Terms?

SAP stands for “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing.”

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What SAP is
  • The history of SAP’s name
  • What SAP does
  • Lots more

So if you want to understand the acronym SAP in business terms, this article is for you.

Let’s begin!

Super Simple: SAP in a Nutshell

SAP is a HUGE European business software manufacturer.

The company was founded by five former IBM employees in Germany in 1972.

Today, SAP provides the world’s leading business software applications that manage the various processes within companies and across company boundaries.

The SAP definition is:

SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) SE (Societas Europaea) is a European worldwide operating software company that makes software for the management of business processes suitable for organizations of any size and industry.

SAP’s flagship products are applications to manage processes for ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

ERP can be divided into many subcategories such as SCM (Supply Chain Management), PLM (Product Line Mangement), and CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

Among all the ERP software categories, CRM is the largest in terms of market size and the fastest growing.

Let’s take a look at ERP and CRM:

SAP Makes ERP Software

An ERP application intertwines, manages, tracks, and analyzes what a company does in order to achieve its objective.

77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system.


SAP offers ERP applications that are highly customizable for large and medium-sized companies as well as less-customizable standard solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

Additionally, SAP provides industry-specific ERP applications to support core business processes in a wide variety of industries.

SAP provides out-of-the-box ERP modules for industries like:

  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Automotive
  • Banking
  • Chemicals
  • Consumer Products
  • Defense and Security
  • Engineering, Construction & Operations
  • Healthcare
  • High Tech
  • Higher Education and Research
  • Industrial Machinery & Components
  • Insurance
  • Life Sciences
  • Media
  • Mill Products
  • Mining
  • Oil and Gas
  • Professional Services
  • Public Sector
  • Retail
  • Sports and Entertainment
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Utilities
  • Wholesale Distribution

All SAP industry solutions and SAP ERP modules are in this complete SAP ERP modules list.

SAP’s flagship product is the SAP ERP Business Suite, an integrated suite of business applications that covers almost any business process, including controlling, asset management, and human resources.

The latest version of SAP’s ERP Business Suite is SAP S/4HANA (SAP Business Suite 4 High-Performance Analytical Appliance).

The ERP software market is expected to top 96.74 billion U.S. dollars worldwide by 2023:

In comparison, global entertainment has around $100 billion in revenue.

SAP is #1 in the ERP software market worldwide.

As the name implies, SAP S/4HANA is built on top of SAP HANA (SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance) database technology developed by SAP.

HANA’s main feature is that data is no longer stored on the hard disk, but in memory, so it is available more quickly.

SAP Makes CRM Software Too

SAP has been investing heavily in the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) market lately.

SAP is #2 in CRM, behind Salesforce, but is eager to become #1.

Worldwide Market Share of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software Vendors in 2017 and 2018

As the SAP CEO, Bill McDermott, said in 2018: “We’re going to turn up the jets, and we’re going after CRM with everything we have.”


hrough acquisitions, SAP now offers CRM cloud applications for:

  • Commerce (SAP Commerce Cloud)
  • Customer data protection (SAP Customer Data Cloud)
  • Customer service (SAP Service Cloud)
  • Marketing (SAP Marketing Cloud)
  • Sales (SAP Sales Cloud)

The CRM software market is predicted to generate $40.26 billion worldwide by 2023:

In addition to its CRM cloud applications, SAP offers an on-premise CRM application with SAP S/4HANA for customer management.

Plus, there are still running a lot of SAP CRM 7.0 versions. SAP CRM 7.0 is SAP’s predecessor to SAP S/4HANA for customer management. It runs on-premise.

Further on the evolution of SAP’s name:

The Odd Naming History of SAP

When SAP was founded in Germany in 1972, SAP stood for “Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung.” That translates to “System Analysis and Program Development” in English.

When SAP was founded, it took the form of a private partnership (GbR) under the German Civil Code.

In 1976, SAP founded a limited liability company (GmbH) in accordance with German laws as a sales and support subsidiary to SAP’s private partnership.

This limited liability company was called SAP as well, but in this case, SAP stood for “Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung” or in English, “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing.”

When SAP turned into a stock company (AG) in 1988, SAP continued to stand for “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing.”

And it stuck with the same name when it transformed from a stock company to the European SE (Societas Europea) in 2014, and that has continued to the present day.

Thus, SAP originally stood for “Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung” in German, or “System Analysis and Program Development” in English.

Now, SAP stands for “Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung” in German or in English: “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing.”

That Is What Sap Stands for in Business Terms

What does SAP stand for in business terms? It depends.

If you just mean the acronym, SAP stands for “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing”.”

But if you want to know what SAP actually is, then SAP stands for a HUGE corporation that makes business software.

SAP is the third largest software and programming company in the world:

And, if you want to know what SAP does, then SAP stands for a manufacturer of software to manage the various processes in a company.

Applications used by companies to intertwine, manage, track, and analyze business activities to achieve their business goals and relate to their partners and customers.

More Acronyms in the SAP Universe

Never want to search for SAP acronyms in the deepest depths of the internet again?

Here is THE SAP acronyms list:

The list has over 1000 SAP acronyms and is constantly growing.

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