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Deciphering and mySAP: A Quick Lesson in SAP Branding Practices

by Ian Kimbell | SAPinsider

October 1, 2001

by Ian Kimbell, Director, Marketing SAPinsider - 2001 (Volume 2), October (Issue 4)

SAP recently produced a marketing and positioning "Quick Guide" called "Success in E-Business" to help customers and partners properly understand and distinguish among the brands SAP,, and mySAP. We spoke to Ian Kimbell, Director of Marketing, to discuss SAP's branding hierarchy.

Q. Can you give us a quick lesson on SAP's branding practices?

"SAP" is our original master brand. Over the last couple of years, we've focused a great deal on - SAP's product offerings and their many benefits. But at the end of the day, our fundamental strength, and the one that everybody recognizes, is SAP. The quality and commitment that the "SAP" name evokes is what we stand for, and that is why it's at the highest level of our branding hierarchy.

     Under SAP, then, the overall descriptor for the entire array of SAP's e-business solutions and services is called "" is:

A family of software and services that empowers customers, partners, and employees to collaborate successfully - anywhere, anytime.

     These few words capture some of the industry's most pressing challenges - namely, that to be successful in the New Economy, you need business processes enabling you to:

  1. Collaborate - You need to make sure that your company and your employees work with all of your customers, suppliers, and business partners as seamlessly as if they were one organization.

  2. Integrate - When you're collaborating, you obviously need integrated processes, so that all the people, data, and procedures within your organization will run efficiently and along industry standards.

  3. Empower - You need to make sure that all of your employees are empowered to work at their best by providing a personalized work experience, such as the mySAP Workplace enterprise portal.

     That's what a good branding initiative is meant to do - link a strong brand with a strong customer value proposition.

     And how do we make good on all these promises? How do we actually help customers collaborate, integrate, and empower? We do that by offering the customer solutions. To make these solutions easy to understand, we have grouped them into three specific categories:

  • Cross-Industry Solutions
  • Industry Solutions
  • Infrastructure and Services Solutions

     Each of the solution offerings we sell in each of these categories bears the mySAP prefix. In other words, industry solutions include mySAP Chemicals or mySAP Public Sector. Likewise, cross-industry solutions include mySAP Financials or mySAP Supply Chain Management.

     The functionality of each of these solutions is delivered through their underlying technical components, such as SAP R/3, SAP BW, and SAP APO. These technical components bear the prefix SAP to distinguish them from the solutions listed in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Industry, Cross-Industry, and Infrastructure and Services Solutions

     Thus, SAP is used for both the master brand and as part of the technical component name, refers to the overall pallet of solutions that SAP offers, and the prefix mySAP is used in the names of the solutions themselves.

Q. Are you retreating from the "R/3" brand?

SAP R/3 (to clarify its correct name) has been, and will continue to be, the standard for enterprise solutions. It will continue to be a fundamental part of SAP and solutions and services.

     In fact, SAP R/3 is currently being enhanced. As of its next manifestation in Q2 2002, SAP R/3 will contain new functionality, a new technical platform, and assume a new name - "SAP R/3 Enterprise." The benefits that SAP R/3 Enterprise provides include continuity for existing SAP customers, a more flexible upgrade strategy, and new technology to make it even easier for organizations to extend the collaborative reach of their enterprise into the e-business world and

Q. Where did the impetus for this "Quick Guide" come from?

The guide originated from a two-page draft outlining our product offerings, and has now reached more than 40 pages and continues to grow quickly. It outlines all the solutions, benefits, and key functional areas of, and defines their specific components and solutions.

     Our naming policy can be summarized as follows:

  • SAP remains at the top-most position, and is synonymous with improving the value of a company. It also stands for being a trusted advisor for building e-business solutions.
  • is the overall solution and services offering from SAP. is e-business.
  • mySAP xxx is a prefix that precedes the various solutions offered by SAP.
  • SAP xxx is used to refer to the technical components used to implement that solution.

     Basically, what we're saying is that for an organization to create value in the "new, New Economy," it needs to collaborate with its suppliers, its employees, and its customers. The prerequisite for success in all of these aspects is integrated solutions that empower people - which is exactly what is embodied by

     For more information, download the "Quick Guide" at

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