WALLDORF, Germany, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Furthering its commitment to deliver business value via innovation, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today unveiled its road map for the SAP(R) Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM) application, which will help companies successfully address two dominant business trends -- the accelerated speed of change and the need to differentiate through innovation within their business network. Over the next three years, the extended application will build on existing SAP PLM capabilities to provide an end-to-end solution that helps companies accelerate and simplify the "business of products" as well as effectively collaborate with their business networks. With this road map, SAP will help customers successively drive PLM beyond the engineering department and into all relevant business areas throughout the company and beyond, enabling them to tap into the full business potential of PLM.
WALLDORF, Germany, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Furthering its commitment to deliver business value via innovation, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today unveiled its road map for the SAP(R) Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM) application, which will help companies successfully address two dominant business trends — the accelerated speed of change and the need to differentiate through innovation within their business network. Over the next three years, the extended application will build on existing SAP PLM capabilities to provide an end-to-end solution that helps companies accelerate and simplify the "business of products" as well as effectively collaborate with their business networks. With this road map, SAP will help customers successively drive PLM beyond the engineering department and into all relevant business areas throughout the company and beyond, enabling them to tap into the full business potential of PLM.
"PLM has evolved from a technology used mainly by engineers to one that enterprise heads know they need to adopt across their manufacturing operations to remain competitive," said Marc Halpern, research director, Gartner, Inc. "A growing number of manufacturers are adopting PLM to help them to drive business through greater product and process innovation and improved execution, driving new products to market successfully in an environment of shortening product life cycles and small windows of high margin."
Based on SAP(R) ERP, new releases of SAP PLM will leverage enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA). As a flexible, service-enabled application, SAP PLM will help companies collaborate with their business networks of suppliers, customers and partners across disparate IT systems to bring innovative offerings quickly and efficiently to market. The application will evolve through enhancements to core PLM capabilities that will begin this year with the first in a series of quickly deployable composite applications.
Greater innovation and efficiency in designing, developing and quickly delivering new products to market are helping organizations to differentiate from competitors. With the increasing complexity of global business, organizations require an open, end-to-end PLM system that also covers the development and delivery of the services that take a greater portion of the revenue mix. Customers benefit from the deep integration between all applications of the SAP(R) Business Suite, enabling seamless data and process flow between SAP PLM and other applications such as SAP ERP, SAP(R) Customer Relationship Management, SAP(R) Supplier Relationship Management and SAP(R) Supply Chain Management. SAP PLM will be designed to support product lifecycle management processes across industries, including the engineering-driven discrete industry as well as the consumer products and process industries that focus more strongly on product and portfolio management.
"At Kongsberg Automotive, we successfully work with SAP PLM on a daily basis to continuously optimize our product lifecycle management processes and are convinced that the upcoming new functionalities will enable us to remain at the forefront of our business," said Per Hogberg, business system senior project manager, Kongsberg Automotive. "As a manufacturing company, our future success depends on innovative products and solutions. We firmly believe that SAP PLM provides us with the relevant processes to successfully grow and compete in the modern day business world."
The Road Ahead for SAP PLM
Enhancements to the core capabilities of SAP PLM will begin at the end of this year with new processes for portfolio planning that will reduce time to market for new products. Capabilities such as idea and portfolio management as well as resource and project management will improve the steering of the complete innovation process.
In 2008, SAP will focus on further simplifying the PLM user interface with an intelligent role-based offering of information. Users will be able to easily adopt the solution with less training and fewer manual activities for higher efficiency and productivity. Additionally, a set of new and extended capabilities will facilitate worldwide collaboration amongst all stakeholders and help organizations strategically align their networks of talent.
With a new PLM enhancement package in 2009, SAP will enable customers to drive business acceleration through improved integration of all relevant processes into product development. New capabilities will allow the management of all product-specific information such as ideas, design, requirements, variant configuration and maintenance structure in one integrated system and will optimize data consistency as well as process flow from the design and engineering departments to manufacturing, sales and service.
A further PLM enhancement package, planned for 2010, will allow the assimilation of real-world information. This enhancement will enable the design, simulation and tracking of digital design and manufacturing processes, supported through the integration with digital manufacturing tools. Worldwide product information can then be linked via radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, bar codes or sensors with data from the product development process to enable greater visibility, accountability and accuracy in areas such as regulatory compliance and manufacturing.
"Kimberly-Clark is committed to meeting the unmet, or under met, needs of our retail and business-to-business customers and consumers by constantly delivering to market new product innovations," said Sue Dodsworth, VP of Enterprise Innovation Capabilities and Services, Kimberly-Clark. "To ensure we deliver on this commitment, it is critical we have the right set of business and technological tools in place that will work in tandem with our product development decision processes. We chose the SAP PLM application because we believe it has the functionality needed to support this process, while at the same time helping enhance the strategic management of the entire life cycle of our product solutions."
As part of its strategy of co-innovation, SAP collaborates closely with communities of partners to solve industry-wide issues, yielding tremendous benefits for customers. For example, SAP works with third-party software vendors, such as all major computer-aided design (CAD) vendors, to develop applications that extend and add value to SAP solutions across a variety of industries and business processes, as well as with services partners that help SAP customers implement and integrate SAP solutions.
"At SAP, we believe that the true vision and greatest value of PLM lies in its ability to drive the entire 'business of products' — from the very first idea through to design, manufacturing and product services," said Harald Stuckert, senior vice president and general manager of PLM, SCM and Manufacturing at SAP AG. "With Hans Thalbauer, the new head of Solution Management PLM, SAP is on course to deliver on its road map, helping customers drive profitability of products and business growth with an end-to-end PLM solution."
About SAP PLM
With its SAP Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM) application, SAP aims to deliver the best integrated end-to-end process support to customers along the product life cycle, driving profitability and growth through innovation. SAP PLM helps companies to address challenges such as efficiency, environmental concerns, shorter product life spans as well as globally distributed sites and project teams.
The solution provides a single source of all product-related information needed for collaborating with business partners and supports strategic product planning, product development and compliance with regulations. SAP PLM is part of the SAP Business Suite family of business applications, allowing the seamless integration of all relevant business information into the product development process.
SAP is the world's leading provider of business software*. Today, more than 41,200 customers in more than 120 countries run SAP(R) applications — from distinct solutions addressing the needs of small businesses and midsize companies to suite offerings for global organizations. Powered by the SAP NetWeaver(R) platform to drive innovation and enable business change, SAP software helps enterprises of all sizes around the world improve customer relationships, enhance partner collaboration and create efficiencies across their supply chains and business operations. SAP solution portfolios support the unique business processes of more than 25 industries, including high tech, retail, financial services, healthcare and the public sector. With subsidiaries in more than 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol "SAP." (Additional information at http://www.sap.com)
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications such as supply chain management, customer relationship management, product life-cycle management and supplier relationship management.
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