When is it Okay to Say S-A-P vs. “SAP” (like the sticky stuff that oozes out of trees)?

Over lunch at the office, the new SAP guy comes up to your table and he says something like: “I can’t login ...

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Over lunch at the office, the new SAP guy comes up to your table and he says something like: “I can’t login to SAP”.  But instead of spelling it out S-A-P, he says SAP, like the stuff that oozes out of pine trees.

Your table of senior SAP consultants snicker and giggle at him.

Ouch. Embarrassing. Don’t be that guy.

Then some kind person finally reveals it to him, “you spell it out, S-A-P!” Great! So problem solved . . . right?

Then next day — a senior Basis gal (the one who does all of the installations and server stuff) says: “Yikes, my SAPService won’t start.” But she DIDN’T SPELL IT OUT!?

She said “SAP”.

Don’t worry, there are some hidden rules I learned after many years in the trenches.



Your SAP vs. S-A-P Cheat Sheet

When you say S-A-P:

  • ALWAYS when talking about the company itself.
  • ALWAYS when talking about events like SAP Tech Ed, or SAP Sapphire.
  • USUALLY when talking about one of the products, such as S/4, BW, Business Suite, FICO, etc. *See below for exceptions
  • ALWAYS when talking about a consultant, or an expert, “SAP FICO Analyst, SAP Basis Lead”
  • ALWAYS when talking about a project or a program: “We’re embarking on a massive SAP project next year”

When you can still say “SAP”:

  • ALWAYS with SAPGUI – the pre-Fiori UI for SAP.
  • ALWAYS with scripts – SAPServices, SAPStart, SAPStop, etc.
  • ALWAYS when talking about SAPS – the sizing metric for SAP systems.
  • SOMETIMES when speaking ironically about a product that isn’t quite working — “Oh man, SAP is really crunching this job in only 8 hours…” 🙂

With the last one, you should reserve until about year 10 in your career or you may miss the nuance, just FYI.

P.S. SAP actually stand for “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing” (not sure why the DP is missing though…).

Let me know if I missed any!



Gavin Quinn

Gavin Quinn

Gavin Quinn is an industry thought leader and has a relentless commitment to making the SAP user experience simple, mobile, and beautiful. Gavin is the founder and chief architect of Mindset Consulting and has over 15 years of experience leading SAP projects for Fortune 1000 companies, internationally-renowned health care organizations, and government agencies. He got his start in UX design with SAP NetWeaver Portal and has quickly evolved to include mobile design using SAP Fiori and other web-friendly technologies. Most recently, his focus has been SAP ERP, SAP HANA, and SAP Fiori. Gavin is a regular blogger and speaker on the topics of mobility and SAP Fiori.

Let’s make your SAP better, together.

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