|Traded as||ISIN: DE0007164600 FWB: SAP NYSE: SAP|
|Founded||Weinheim, Germany (1972)|
|Key people||Hasso Plattner (Chairman)
Jim H. Snabe (Co-CEO)
Bill McDermott (Co-CEO)
|Products||See list of SAP products.|
|Revenue||€16.22 billion (2012)|
|Operating income||€4.064 billion (2012)|
|Profit||€2.826 billion (2012)|
|Total assets||€26.87 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||€14.16 billion (2012)|
SAP AG is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, with regional offices around the world, SAP is in the market of enterprise applications in terms of software and software-related service.
The company's best-known software products are its enterprise resource planning application systems and management (SAP ERP), its enterprise data warehouse product – SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW), SAP BusinessObjects software, and most recently, Sybase mobile products and in-memory computing appliance SAP HANA. SAP is one of the largest software companies in the world.
When Xerox decided to exit the computer industry, they asked IBM to migrate their business systems to IBM technology. As part of IBM's compensation for the migration, IBM was given the rights to the SDS/SAPE software, reportedly for a contract credit of $80,000.
Five IBM engineers from the AI departament  (Dietmar Hopp, Klaus Tschira, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, and Claus Wellenreuther, all from Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg) were working in an enterprise wide system based in this software, only to be told that it would be no longer necessary. Rather than abandon the project, they decided to leave IBM and start another company. They had 8% in IBM founding. In exchange for this stock, they got the rights to the SAPE software as part of the deal..
In June 1972 they founded Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung ("System Analysis and Program Development") as a private partnership under the German Civil Code. The acronym was later changed to stand for Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung ("Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing").
Their first client was the German branch of Imperial Chemical Industries in Östringen, where they developed mainframe programs for payroll and accounting. Instead of storing the data on punch cards mechanically, as IBM did, they stored it locally. Therefore, they called their software a real-time system, since there was no need to process the punch cards overnight (for this reason their flagship product carried a R in its name until the late 1990s). This first version was also a stand alone software, that could be offered to other interested parties.
In 1973, their first commercial product was launched. The SAP R/1, as it was called, offered a common system for multiple tasks. This permitted the use of a centralized data storage, improving the maintenance of the data. From a technical point of view, therefore, a database was necessary.
In 1976, "SAP GmbH" was founded, and moved its headquarters the following year to Walldorf. SAP AG became the company's official name after the 2005 annual general meeting. AG is short for Aktiengesellschaft (corporation).
Three years later, in 1979, SAP launched SAP R/2, expanding the capabilities of the system to other areas, such as material management and production planning.
In 1981, SAP brought a re-designed product to market. However, SAP R/2 did not improve until the period between 1985 and 1990. SAP developed and released several versions of R/3 in 1992 through 1995. By the mid-1990s, SAP followed the trend from mainframe computing to client/server architectures. The development of SAP’s internet strategy with mySAP.com redesigned the concept of business processes (integration via Internet). SAP was awarded Industry Week’s Best Managed Companies in 1999.
Corporate Reestructuring 
in November 2010, SAP lost a $1.3 billion intellectual property lawsuit (related to the actions of the SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow) to Oracle Corporation – cited as the largest software piracy judgment in history. SAP filed post-trial motions to lower the damage awarded to Oracle and stated it may also file an appeal. On 9 September 2011, the verdict was overturned by Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton, who called the penalty "grossly excessive."
In 2008, SAP acquired Business Objects, a business intelligence company, and added its products to its portfolio. In 2010, SAP acquired Sybase in a major acquisition move. Sybase being the largest business software and service provider specializing in information management and mobile data use.
In December 2011, SAP AG agreed to buy SuccessFactors Inc. for $3.4 billion in cash or 52 percent more than the share closing price on 2 December 2011. With the acquisition, SAP AG will become more competitive with Oracle Corp. in the Cloud computing market.
In May 2012, SAP AG announced acquisition of the Sunnyvale, California-based supply chain network operator Ariba Inc. for an estimated $4.3 billion dollars. SAP said it will offer $45 a share. The acquisition is assumed to be completed in the third quarter 2012, subject to approval by Ariba shareholders and regulators.
Partnerships with educational institutions 
Through its University Alliance Program, launched in 1988, SAP donates licenses to over 1,200 UAP member institutions and fully outfits their professors to provide students in-depth, hands-on experience with SAP products. Currently more than 250,000 students around the world have access to an SAP system through the SAP University Alliances.
Business and markets 
SAP is the world's largest business software company and the third-highest revenue independent software provider (as of 2007). It operates in four geographic regions: EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), America (United States and Canada), LAC (Latin America and Caribbean), and APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan), which represents Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, India, Greater China, and Southeast Asian countries. In addition, SAP operates a network of 115 subsidiaries, and has R&D (Research & Development) facilities around the globe in Germany, India, US, Canada, France, Brazil, Turkey, China, Hungary, Israel, Ireland and Bulgaria.
SAP focuses on six industry sectors: process industries, discrete industries, consumer industries, service industries, financial services, and public services. It offers integrated product sets for large enterprises and midsize companies and small businesses.
Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture 
Service-oriented architecture moves the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) landscape toward software-based and web services-based business activities. This move increases adaptability, flexibility, openness, and efficiency. The move towards E-SOA helps companies reuse software components and not rely as much on in-house ERP hardware technologies, which makes ERP adoption more attractive to small and mid-sized companies.
E-SOA Authentication 
SAP E-SOA, client certificate-based authentication is the only authentication method (besides username/password) and the only Single Sign-On method to be supported across all SAP technologies. Kerberos and logon tickets, for example, are not compatible with SAP service-oriented architecture.
SAP's products focus on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The company's main product is SAP ERP. The current version is SAP ERP 6.0 and is part of the SAP Business Suite. Its previous name was R/3. The "R" of SAP R/3 stood for realtime. The number 3 related to the 3-tier architecture: database, application server and client (SAPgui). R/2, which ran on a Mainframe architecture, was the predecessor of R/3. Before R/2 came System RF, later dubbed R/1.
SAP ERP is one of five enterprise applications in SAP's Business Suite. The other four applications are:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – helps companies acquire and retain customers, gain marketing and customer insight
- Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) – helps manufacturers with product-related information
- Supply Chain Management (SCM) – helps companies with the process of resourcing its manufacturing and service processes
- Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) – enables companies to procure from suppliers
Other major product offerings include: the NetWeaver platform, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) software, Duet (joint offering with Microsoft), Performance Management software and RFID. SAP offers service-oriented architecture capabilities (calling it Enterprise SOA) in the form of web services that are wrapped around its applications.
While its original products were typically used by Fortune 500 companies, SAP now actively targets small and medium sized enterprises (SME) with its SAP Business One and SAP Business All-in-One.
On 19 September 2007 SAP announced a new product named SAP Business ByDesign. SAP Business ByDesign is a software as a service (SaaS) offering, and provides a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, On Demand. SAP Business ByDesign was previously known under the code name "A1S". In October 2007, SAP AG announced the friendly takeover of Business Objects. This acquisition expanded SAP's Product Suite of Business Intelligence (BI) software and increased the customer installed base to 89,000.
In February 2009 SAP AG, which invested in Coghead, purchased the start-up’s intellectual property. SAP will only be using the company’s technology as an internal resource and has no plans to offer Coghead’s products to its customers.
In May 2010 SAP AG announced that it is buying the database software maker Sybase for US$ 5.8 billion in cash. The deal closed at the end of July 2010. Sybase will continue to run as a separate, independent unit but will be leveraged across the other SAP areas.
As of July 2010 TechniData is a 100% subsidiary of SAP AG.
In October 2010, SAP AG announced the release of SAP HANA 1.0 (High-performance Analytics Appliance), an in-memory appliance for Business Intelligence allowing real-time analytics.
SAP Enterprise Learning (environment) is an enhancement of the previous version of the learning management system, SAP Learning Solution 600. Apart from the features in SAP Learning Solution 600, SAP Enterprise Learning (environment) contains a virtual learning room feature powered by Adobe Connect. SAP officials say there are over 100,600 SAP installations serving more than 41,200 companies in more than 25 industries in more than 120 countries.
SAP Press has published a book on SAP Enterprise Learning.
SAP partners include Global Services Partners with cross-industry multinational consulting capabilities, Global Software Partners providing integrated products that complement SAP Business Suite solutions, and Global Technology Partners providing user companies with a wide range of products to support SAP technology, including vendors of hardware, database, storage systems, networks, and mobile computing technology.
Extensions partners: this is a small number of companies which provide functionality that complements SAP product capabilities. These enhancements fulfill high quality standards and are certified, sold and supported by SAP directly. These partner companies include Adobe, CA Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, IDS Scheer, OpenText, Redwood Software, Vistex Inc., Nakisa, Inc, ICON-SCM, Prometheus Group and SmartOps.  
SAP PartnerEdge 
SAP products for small businesses and midsize companies are delivered through its global partner network. In 2008, SAP signed SAP Global Service partnership with HCL Technologies, a $6 b technology service provider, headquartered in India. SAP PartnerEdge has also signed with ENFOS, Inc., a software as a service company, to develop their EcoHub Partner Sustainability Solution platform. The SAP PartnerEdge program, SAP's partner program, offers a set of business enablement resources and program benefits to help partners including value added resellers (VARs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) be profitable and successful in implementing, selling, marketing, developing and delivering SAP products to a broad range of customers.
SAP Community Network (SCN) is a community of SAP customers, partners, employees, and influencers – typically in roles such as: developers, consultants, integrators, and business analysts – who gain and share knowledge about ABAP, Java, .NET, SOA, and other technologies, plus analytics and dashboards, business process best practices, cloud, mobile, big data, and a range of other topics via expert blogs, discussion forums, exclusive downloads and code samples, training materials, and a technical library. SAP Community Network has more than 2.5 million members, representing a wide range of roles and lines-of-business, from countries and territories all over the world, in 24 industries. SCN (scn.sap.com) is largely viewed as a best practice in social networking for business.
Functional units of SAP are split across different organizational units for R&D needs, field activities and customer support. SAP Labs are mainly responsible for product development whereas the field organizations spread across each country are responsible for field activities such Sales, Marketing, Consulting etc. Head office located in SAP AG is responsible for overall management as well as core Engineering activities related to Product Development. SAP customer support, also called Active Global Support (AGS) is a global organization to provide support to SAP customers worldwide.
SAP Labs locations 
SAP Labs is the research and development organization of the parent company. SAP has its development organization spread across the globe. As of Jan 2011, but not all, labs locations host SAP Research groups.
The labs are located in Germany, France, Ireland, Bulgaria and Hungary in Europe; Palo Alto, USA; Bangalore and Gurgaon, India; São Leopoldo, Brazil; Ra'anana and Karmiel, Israel; Montreal and Vancouver, Canada and Shanghai, China. SAP Labs India is the largest development unit in terms of number of employees outside the SAP headquarters located in Walldorf, Germany.
Each SAP Lab has prominent area of expertise and focus. SAP Labs in Sophia Antipolis, France for example specializes in development of Java based SAP software products. Whereas, SAP Labs in Palo Alto, California is famous for its focus on innovation and research.
SAP opened in June 2009 its new SAP Labs campus in Brazil, representing the first SAP Labs Center in Latin America and the eighth worldwide. The facility is located in São Leopoldo, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and employs 520 people. Of particular note are the building’s structure and interior, which are composed entirely of environmentally friendly materials. Since these materials were not available in Brazil, constructing the facility did not come cheap for SAP. The project was an effort not only to create a "green house" in Latin America, but also to design offices with a pleasant work atmosphere.
SAP Labs Latin America has just received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for the building.
User groups 
User Groups are independent, not-for-profit organizations of SAP customer companies and partners within the SAP Ecosystem that provide education to their members, influence SAP product releases and direction, exchange best practices, and provide insight into the market needs. Examples of User Groups are the Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG), the German speaking SAP User Group (DSAG), the SAP Australian User Group (SAUG), User Community of SAP Customers in the Indian Subcontinent  and the SAP UK & Ireland User Group. Further SAP User Groups can be found at the List of SAP Users' Groups.
In 2007, the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN) has been established to foster the information exchange and best practice sharing among SAP User Groups and to coordinate the collaboration with SAP for strategic topics.
SAP also has a large collaboration with developers, partners, customers online via SAP Community Network.
SAP has two annual conferences: SAPPHIRE and SAP TechEd. SAPPHIRE is SAP's customer-facing event. It is generally where SAP has announced major product changes and strategic direction. It is typically held annually in the spring, in both North America and Europe.
SAP TechEd is the more technical conference, aimed at SAP's ecosystem of consultants and software development partners. SAP TechEd has been held since 1995, and it usually held in four locations around the world every year in the fall. Technical sessions and workshops are held during the conference, as well as Birds of a Feather sessions, and a developer's competition: DemoJam. An associated one-day Unconference event, Community Day, was initiated in 2006 for the SAP Developer Network (SDN), now referred to as SAP Community Network (SCN). In 2008 a Community Day program was added to address the Business Process Expert (BPX) community, which has begun to evolve into new events like InnoJAM, CodeJAM. SAP Inside Tracks are also a popular grassroots level un-conferences locally held in various global locations.
Competitive landscape 
SAP competitors are primarily in the Enterprise Resource Planning Software industry. In this field, Oracle Corporation is SAP's major competitor. SAP also competes in the Customer Relationship Management, Marketing & Sales Software, Manufacturing, Warehousing & Industrial Software, and Supply Chain Management & Logistics Software sectors.
Oracle Corporation filed a case against SAP for malpractice and unfair competition in the California courts on 22 March 2007. In Oracle Corporation v. SAP AG Oracle alleged that a Texas subsidiary, SAP TN (formerly TomorrowNow before purchase by SAP), which provided discount support for legacy Oracle product lines, used the accounts of former Oracle customers to systematically download patches and support documents from Oracle's website and appropriated them for SAP's use. Later SAP admitted wrongdoing on smaller scale than Oracle claimed in the lawsuit. SAP has admitted to inappropriate downloads; however the company denies the theft of any intellectual property.
SAP claims to grow organically in contrast to its main rival, Oracle, which has spent close to USD 40 billion during 2004–2010 acquiring many competitors. SAP was able to increase its annual profits by 370% since 2002.
SAP provoked controversy and frustration among its users in 2008 by raising the cost of its maintenance contracts. The issue was the subject of intense discussion among user groups.
The resulting pressure saw SAP and SUGEN (SAP User Group Executive Network) agree to a major benchmarking exercise to prove the value of the new support pricing policy to customers. In December 2009, SAP delayed its Enterprise Support price rises until agreement had been reached on the benchmarks and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
In January 2010 SAP did a U-turn (reversed its direction) on Enterprise Support and reintroduced its standard support package for customers, saying the move was “a demonstration of its commitment to customer satisfaction”. The move to reinstate standard support – at 18 percent of annual license fees, “will enable all customers to choose the option that best meets their requirements,” the company said. SAP has also announced that it is freezing prices for existing SAP Enterprise Support contracts at 2009 level.
SAP Endorsed Business Solutions (EBS) 
One of SAP's highest partnership levels lead to a product being designated as an Endorsed Business Solution (EBS). Globally, only 35 companies are SAP Endorsed Business Solution providers. The EBS partnership is an invitation only partnership. These companies are:
Financial Management Consulting
StreamServe (Open Text)
Skipper Electricals (India) Limited
Triple Point Technology
Werum Software Systems
In 2012, SAP is listed as a partner of the (RED) campaign, together with other brands such as Nike Inc., Girl, American Express and Converse. The campaign's mission is to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus from mother to child by 2015 (the campaign's byline is "Fighting for an AIDS Free Generation").
See also 
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- Vom Programmierbüro zum globalen Softwareproduzenten: Die Erfolgsfaktoren der SAP von der Gründung bis zum R/3-Boom, 1972 bis 1996
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- SAP penalty in Oracle suit is excessive, analyst says – TomorrowNow, software, sap, oracle, IT industry, Government/Industries, government, applications. Techworld. Retrieved on 24 April 2011.
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- "SAP Challenges Oracle With $3.4 Billion SuccessFactors Purchase". 4 December 2011.
- "SAP to Expand Cloud Presence with Acquisition of Ariba" (Press release). SAP AG. 22 May 2012.
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