How Rights Inventory Management Works in SAP IPM

  • by Maneesh Agarwal, SAP CRM Manager, Capgemini
  • Manjinder Sohi, Manager, Capgemini America Inc.
  • June 11, 2012
See how an SAP system handles the media industry’s need to manage intellectual property and to avoid the conflicts that can arise when an intangible product is licensed in multiple ways.
Key Concept
SAP Intellectual Property Management (SAP IPM) is part of the industry-specific offering SAP for Media. It sits on top of SAP CRM. Intellectual Properties (IPs) are intangible products. A single IP is licensed multiple times using multi-dimensional rights. That’s one of the key differences between the media industry and other industries, especially manufacturing, in which one product is sold and consumed in just one sales order.

The business process of any media company is going through interesting times with new markets, product digitalization, and social networking, leading to the need for an IT platform to manage media sales and licensing. Unlike other industries, the media industry’s core product is intangible and the same product is licensed in different markets and territories. SAP’s answer for this business need is SAP Intellectual Property Management (SAP IPM), which sits on top of SAP CRM. We cover the IP rights management process of any media business as well as what we term the standard Rights Inventory Management (RIM) capabilities of SAP IPM.

Rights Inventory Management (RIM) is a term we coined to represent all aspects of managing IP inventory in an SAP system. Unlike physical material, IPs are intangible products that are not stored in a plant or storage location.

Understanding RIM for the Media and Entertainment Industry

RIM is one of the core processes of any media or entertainment industry as it involves the management of rights both from a rights-in as well as a rights-out perspective. Rights-in covers maintaining inventory available with the media company (either acquired or produced in house), whereas rights-out covers processes around distributing and licensing such rights for making profits.

The IP rights can be looked at as a multi-dimensional cube comprised of various right dimensions such as market, territory, or language. The cube represents all the rights owned by the media company for a certain duration (Figure 1). For example, a US-based media company might make its first license for the theatrical market in the US in English (represented by a colored cube). Although the company owns rights for 20 years, it may be able to exploit it in the theatrical market only for six to 12 months (while theatrical admissions are good).

Figure 1
Example of rights owned by a media company

Maneesh Agarwal

Maneesh Agarwal is a manager with Capgemini’s SAP Service line. Maneesh has been working with SD and CRM solutions of SAP and implemented such SAP solutions for FMCG, leasing, healthcare, equipment manufacturers, and media and entertainment clients. Maneesh has strong expertise in SAP CRM Sales, Service, Contract Management, industry solutions (e.g., leasing and media-IPM), and specializes in SAP CRM and SD pricing.

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Manjinder Sohi

Manjinder Sohi specializes in deploying SAP ECC and CRM solutions and has a track record of successes in implementing IT solutions in the auto manufacturing, chemical, educational, banking, healthcare, and media and entertainment industry sectors. His expertise includes SAP ECC Sales and Distribution, Material Management, Production Planning and SAP CRM-IPM. He holds certification from SAP and is the order-to-case (OTC) industry solution leader for Capgemini’s SAP digital industrialization group. Manjinder graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a master’s degree in computer science. 

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