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Societas Europaea
Industry Enterprise software
Founded Weinheim, Germany (1972 (1972))
Founder Dietmar Hopp
Hans-Werner Hector
Hasso Plattner
Klaus Tschira
Claus Wellenreuther
Headquarters Walldorf, Germany
Area served
Key people
Hasso Plattner (Chairman)
Bill McDermott (CEO)
Products See list of SAP products
Revenue Increase 16.81 billion (2013)[1]
Increase €4.46 billion (2013)[1]
Profit Increase €3.32 billion (2013)[1]
Total assets Increase €27.09 billion (2013)[1]
Total equity Increase €16.04 billion (2013)[1]
Number of employees
74,400 (2014)[2]
Slogan Run Simple (formerly: The best-run businesses run SAP.)
SAP SE head office, Walldorf

SAP SE (Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing) is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. SAP is headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, with regional offices in 130 countries.[2]



When Xerox aimed to exit the computer industry in 1975,[clarification needed] 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 Scientific Data Systems (SDS)/SAPE software, reportedly for a contract credit of $80,000.

Five IBM engineers from the AI department [3][4] (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 on this software, only to be told that it would be no longer necessary. Rather than abandon the project, they decided to leave IBM Tech and start another company.[5]

In June 1972, they founded Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung ("System Analysis and Program Development") company, as a private partnership under the German Civil Code.[5] 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[6] 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 an R in its name until the late 1990s). This first version was also a standalone software that could be offered to other interested parties.

Enterprise resource planning[edit]

In 1973, the first commercial product was launched. It was called SAP R/98,[citation needed] and offered a common system for multiple tasks. This permitted the use of a centralized data storage, improving the maintenance of data. From a technical point of view, therefore, a database was necessary.[7]

In 1976, SAP GmbH was founded, and moved its headquarters the following year to Walldorf, Germany.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] In 1981, SAP brought a re-designed product to market. However, SAP R/2 did not improve until the period between 1985 and 1990.[citation needed]

SAP released the new SAP R/3 in 1992. SAP developed and released several versions of R/3 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 redesigned the concept of business processes (integration via Internet).[5] SAP was awarded Industry Week’s Best Managed Companies in 1999.[8]

Corporate restructuring[edit]

In August 1988, SAP GmbH became SAP AG, and public trading started on 4 November 1988. Shares were listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges.[5] In 1995, SAP was included in the German stock index DAX and on September 22, 2003, SAP was included in the Dow Jones STOXX 50.[9]

The company's official name became SAP AG (a public limited company) after the 2005 annual general meeting.

In 2014, SAP changed from an AG to a European Company (Societas Europaea or SE).[10]


Acquisition number Acquired company Acquisition date Specialty Country of origin Acquisition costs
59 Concur Technologies Sept '14 Travel USA $8.3b
58 SeeWhy May '14 Behavioral target marketing USA
57 Fieldglass Mar '14 Contingent labor and services USA
56 KXEN Oct '13 Predictive analytics FRANCE
55 Hybris May '13 Retail Switzerland
54 Camilion March '13 Insurance solutions Canada
53 SmartOps Feb '13 Inventory optimization USA
52 Ticket-Web Feb '13 CRM for sports and entertainment promoters USA
51 Ariba Oct '12 Supplier network USA $4.3b
50 Syclo Jun '12 Mobile asset management USA
49 datango Jan '12 Electronic performance support technologies Germany
48 Netbase Dec '11 Social media analytics USA
47 SuccessFactors Dec '11 Talent Management USA $3.4b
46 Right Hemisphere Sep '11 3D visualization USA
45 Crossgate Sep '11 B2B eCommerce USA
44 Secude Mar '11 Security software (Not the whole company, only some assets were acquired) Germany
43 Cundus Dec '10 Disclosure Management Germany
42 Sybase May '10 Database, middleware, mobile software USA $5.8b
41 TechniData May '10 Environmental, Health and Safety Germany
40 SAF Sep '09 Inventory Management Switzerland $91m
39 Highdeal May '09 High-volume billing France
38 Visiprise Jul '08 Manufacturing Execution USA
37 Saicon INC Oct '14 US Recruitment India
36 Business Objects Oct '07 Business Intelligence France $6.78b
35 Wincom Communications May '07 Internet Communication software USA
34 MaXware May '07 Identity software Norway
33 Outlooksoft May '07 Planning & consolidation USA
32 Pilot Software Feb '07 Strategy Management software USA ~$200m
31 Factory Logic Dec '06 Lean scheduling and supply synchronization USA
30 Praxis Software Solutions Jul '06 Web-based CRM and eCommerce USA
29 Frictionless Commerce May '06 SRM software USA
28 Virsa Systems Apr '06 Compliance solutions USA
27 SAP Systems Integration Dec '05 Consulting services Germany
26 Callixa Nov '05 Enterprise Integration Information software USA
25 Khimetrics Nov '05 retail software USA
24 Triversity Sep '05 POS software Canada
23 Lighthammer Jun '05 Manufacturing Intelligence and Collaborative Manufacturing USA
22 DCS Quantum Feb '05 Automotive Dealer Management United Kingdom
21 TomorrowNow Jan '05 grey-market support USA
20 ilytix Jan '05 SAP BusinessOne Business Intelligence Norway
19 A2i Jul '04 Master Data Management USA
18 SPM Technologies Dec '03 IT architecture consulting Germany
17 DCW Software Jul '03 OS/400 Applications Germany
16 Guimachine Dec '02 NetWeaver Visual Composer toolkit USA
15 IMHC May '01 Integrated managed health care from IDS USA
14 Expression May '02 real-time file sharing ?
13 Topmanage Feb '02 SAP BusinessOne Suite Israel
12 Paynet International AG Dec '01 Invoice Processing Germany
11 COPA GmbH Nov '01 Beverage industry consulting Germany
10 Infinite Data Structures May '01 Trade Management / CRM USA
9 Toptier Mar '01 Enterprise Information Portal and Integration Infrastructure USA ~$400m
8 Prescient Consulting Feb '01 Consulting services USA
7 In-Q-My Technologies GmbH 2000 J2EE Server Bulgaria
6 Campbell Software 1999 Workforce Management USA
5 AMC Development 1998 Call Center telephony integration software USA
4 OFEK-Tech 1998 Warehousing and distribution center software Israel
3 Kiefer & Veittinger 1997 Sales force Applications Germany
2 Dacos 1996 Retail solution Germany
1 Steeb 1991 Consulting services Germany

Business and markets[edit]

As of 2007, SAP is the world's largest business software company and the third-biggest independent software provider by revenue.[11] The corporation operates in four geographic regions: EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), NA (United States and Canada), LAC (Latin America and Caribbean), and APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan), which represents Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Greater China and Southeast Asian countries.[citation needed] In addition, SAP operates a network of 115 subsidiaries, as well as R&D (Research and Development) facilities in Germany, India, the US, Canada, France, Brazil, Turkey, China, Pakistan, Hungary, Israel, Ireland and Bulgaria.[citation needed]

SAP focuses upon 25 industries and six industry sectors: process industries, discrete industries, consumer industries, service industries, financial services and public services.[12] It offers integrated product sets for large enterprises,[13] mid-sized companies and small businesses.[14]

Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture[edit]

Service-oriented architecture has been incorporated into the SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and other products defined within the SAP Enterprise Services Architecture (Enterprise SOA).

Enterprise SOA[edit]

SAP Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture (or Enterprise SOA) has been defined by SAP SE as "an open architecture for adaptive business solutions" and "the blueprint for an architecture that enables innovation and standardization in a single environment".[15] Enterprise SOA is enabled by the SAP NetWeaver platform, and builds on the benefits of Web services. SAP has positioned Enterprise SOA to deliver the benefits offered by service-oriented architecture, including enabling both flexibility and business efficiency. SAP states that Enterprise SOA provides companies with a "cost-effective blueprint for composing innovative new applications by extending existing systems, while maintaining a level of flexibility that makes future process changes cost-effective".[16] SAP Solutions that currently use Enterprise SOA are mySAP CRM, mySAP ERP, and mySAP SRM.


SAP partners include Global Services Partners with cross-industry multinational consulting capabilities,[17] Global Software Partners providing integrated products that complement SAP Business Suite solutions,[18] 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.[19]

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.,Insync Techfin Solution Ltd, Meridian Global Services, Knoa Software, Nakisa Inc, ICON-SCM, BackOffice Associates, Prometheus Group and SmartOps.[20][21]

SAP PartnerEdge[edit]

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 billion technology service provider, headquartered in India.[22] 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.[23]


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.[24] 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.


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 SE 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[edit]

Main article: SAP Research
SAP Labs Latin America
Werner Brandt, Stefan Wagner, Luis César Verdi and Gerhard Oswald celebrating the expansion of SAP Labs Latin America
SAP Labs Israel

SAP Labs is the research and development organization of the parent company.[25] As of Jan 2011, some, but not all, labs locations hosted SAP Research groups.[26] The labs are located in Germany, France, Ireland, Bulgaria and Hungary in Europe; Palo Alto, USA; La Crosse, USA;Bangalore, Pune and Gurgaon, India; São Leopoldo, Brazil; Ra'anana, Israel; Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto and Waterloo Canada and Shanghai, China. SAP Labs India[27] is the largest development unit in terms of number of employees outside the SAP headquarters located in Walldorf, Germany.[28]

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.[29]

SAP Labs Latin America has just received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for the building.[citation needed]

SAP User Groups[edit]

SAP User Groups are independent, non-profit organizations of SAP customers and SAP partners. They serve as communications channel for their members towards SAP and for SAP towards the markets.

In 2007, the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN) was established.

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.[30]

An overview of all active SAP User Groups can be found at the SAP Service Marketplace.


SAP has two annual conferences: SAPPHIRE and SAP d-code (formerly TechEd). SAPPHIRE is SAP's customer-facing event.[31][32] It is generally where SAP has announced major product changes and strategic direction. It is typically held 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.[33][34] SAP TechEd has been held since 1995, usually in four locations in the fall.

Competitive landscape[edit]

SAP competitors are primarily in the Enterprise Resource Planning Software industry.[ (December 2014)">citation needed] 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.[35]

Oracle Corporation filed a case against SAP for malpractice and unfair competition in the California courts in 2007. SAP lost the case in 2010 and was ordered to pay a US $1.3 billion, which was cited as the largest software piracy judgment in history.[36] The verdict was overturned in 2011.[37]

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).[38]

In January 2010, SAP reversed its direction on Enterprise Support and reintroduced its standard support package for customers. 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.[39]

In August 2013, SAP acquired Hybris publicly for eCommerce capabilities after failing in a bid for Neolane. The rationale for the acquisition of Hybris was really for product catalog and product information management [40]

Philanthropic efforts[edit]

In 2012, SAP was 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").[41]

SAP is funding a project[42] to assess and educate Autistic Children.[43] It has also launched an initiative to hire employees with autism and Asperger syndrome, citing their intelligence in the IT field and attention to detail; they aim to compose 1% of its 65,000 workforce with autistic people by the year 2020. In May 2013, 6 people had been employed.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report 2013, Financial Highlights". SAP AG. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "SAP at a Glance: Company Information". 
  3. ^ "History of SAP AG". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  4. ^ International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 16. St. James Press, 1997.
  5. ^ a b c d SAP. "SAP History: From Start-Up Software Vendor to Global Market Leader". Retrieved 15 October 2007. 
  6. ^ SAP UK – ICI Success Story. (1 January 1999). Retrieved on 24 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Vom Programmierbüro zum globalen Softwareproduzenten: Die Erfolgsfaktoren der SAP von der Gründung bis zum R/3-Boom, 1972 bis 1996". 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  8. ^ Verespej, Michael A. (16 August 1999). "Why They're The Best". IndustryWeek (Penton Media, Inc). Retrieved 15 October 2007. 
  9. ^ "STOXX Limited Announces Changes to its Blue-Chip Index Series" (PDF) (Press release). Stoxx. 1 September 2003. Retrieved 15 October 2007. 
  10. ^ "Company Q & A". Investor Relations. SAP SE. 
  11. ^ Bailor, Coreen (5 July 2006). "For CRM, ERP, and SCM, SAP Leads the Way". Retrieved 29 March 2007. 
  12. ^ "Business in Brief: Markets". SAP. Retrieved 15 October 2007. 
  13. ^ "Midmarket Solutions: SAP ALL-IN-ONE – Solutions for mid-size companies". Annual Report 2006. SAP. Retrieved 15 October 2007. 
  14. ^ "Industry Solutions: Innovation – One Industry at a Time". Annual Report 2006. SAP. Retrieved 15 October 2007. 
  15. ^ SAP - Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture: Adoption Program, SAP SE website; .
  16. ^ When Does a Web Service Become an Enterprise Service? Dr. Franz-Josef Fritz (SAP AG), SAP Insider, Apr May Jun 2004
  17. ^ SAP – Global & Local Partner Directories: Global Services Partners. SAP AG. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  18. ^ SAP – Global & Local Partner Directories: Global Software Partners. (30 June 2009). Retrieved on 7 July 2011.
  19. ^ SAP – Global & Local Partner Directories: Global Technology Partners. SAP AG. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  20. ^ Solution Extensions Software from. SAP. Retrieved on 24 April 2011.
  21. ^ "LinguaNext – San Jose, CA – Internet/Software". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  22. ^ SAP – HCL Technologies Announces Global Services Partnership With SAP to Deliver Joint Business Value Through ‘Customer Centric Ecosystem’. Retrieved on 7 July 2011.
  23. ^ SAP – SAP Solutions for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies: Press Fact Sheet, July 2007. SAP AG. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  24. ^ SAP – Communities. Retrieved on 7 July 2011.
  25. ^ "SAP Labs, LLC – Businessweek". Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "SAP Global – SAP Research Locations: The Innovative Force behind Tomorrow's Technology". Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  27. ^ SAP India – SAP Labs | Emerging Solutions from SAP's Research and Development Centre. Retrieved on 24 April 2011.
  28. ^ SAP Global – SAP Labs: Key To SAP's Success. Retrieved on 24 April 2011.
  29. ^ SAP Newsroom. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  30. ^ SAP faces user wrath over price hikes. Retrieved on 7 July 2011.
  31. ^ "SAP unveils SuccessFactors cloud computing roadmap as it squares up to Oracle – IT News from". Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  32. ^ "SAP Rolls Out Updates at Sapphire – InternetNews". InternetNews. 17 June 2003. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  33. ^ "SAP TechEd '05 in Bangalore – Times of India". 22 September 2005. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  34. ^ "SAP TechEd to Go Deep on Mobility, On-demand | PCWorld Business Center". 8 October 2010. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  35. ^ Hoover's. "SAP Competitors". 
  36. ^ Vijayan, Jaikumar (25 November 2010). "SAP penalty in Oracle suit is excessive, analyst says". TechWorld. IDG Communications. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  37. ^ "Oracle Verdict Against SAP Is Overturned". Associated Press. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2015. .
  38. ^ SAP delays Enterprise Support price rises. Retrieved on 7 July 2011.
  39. ^ SAP does U-turn on Enterprise Support. Retrieved on 7 July 2011.
  40. ^ [1]. 7 August 2013. InformationWeek - Douglas Henschen .com
  41. ^ "(RED) Partners". (RED). The ONE Campaign. 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  42. ^ SAP TV. SAP TV. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  43. ^ Prayas -Reinforcing Potential. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  44. ^ SAP in autism recruitment drive, BBC News, 22 May 2013

External links[edit]