Infobox Company
company_name = SAP AG
company_type = Aktiengesellschaft (ISIN|DE0007164600, FWB|SAP, nyse|SAP) |3x+5=12 company_slogan = The best-run businesses run SAP.
foundation = Weinheim, Germany (1972)
location_city = flagicon|Germany Walldorf
location_country = Germany
key_people = Henning Kagermann, co-CEO,
Leo Apotheker, co-CEO & President, Global Customer Solutions & Operations. Members of the Executive Board: Bill McDermott (Global Field Operations), Jim Hagemann Snabe (Business Solutions & Technology), Peter Zencke (Research & Breakthrough Innovation), Erwin Gunst (COO), Gerhard Oswald (Global Service & Support), Claus Heinrich (Human Resources, Processes & Information), John Schwarz (Business Objects), Werner Brandt (Finance & Administration). Hasso Plattner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board

industry = Computer software
products = SAP Business Suite, SAP ERP, SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), SAP Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM), SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM), SAP Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM), SAP NetWeaver, SAP Business One, SAP Business ByDesign, SAP Business All-in-One
revenue = €10.25 billion (2007) [cite web |title=SAP profit drops 6% in fourth quarter|publisher=Computerworld|url=|accessdate=2008-02-12 ]

num_employees = 51,447 (August 2008)
homepage = []

SAP AG (ISIN|DE0007164600, FWB|SAP, nyse|SAP) is the largest European software enterprise and the fourth largest in the world, with headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. ["Software Top 100": [ "The World's Largest Software Companies"] ]


SAP was founded in the year 1972 as " _de. Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung" ("Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing")cite web
title= _de. Geschichte der SAP - Die ersten zehn Jahre
] by five former IBM engineers in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg (Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, Klaus E. Tschira, and Claus Wellenreuther).cite web
title=SAP History: From Start-Up Software Vendor to Global Market Leader

As part of the Xerox exit strategy from the computer industry, Xerox retained IBM to migrate their business systems to IBM technology. As part of IBM's compensation for the migration, IBM acquired the SDS/SAPE software, reportedly for a contract credit of $80,000. The SAPE software was given by IBM to the founding ex-IBM employees in exchange for founding stock provided to IBM, reportedly 8%. It may be noted that, at the time they left IBM, the ex-employees were quite senior engineers in IBM Germany rather than founding engineers in the sense of Hewlett-Packard's founders.

The acronym was later changed to stand for " _de. Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung" ("Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing").

In 1976 "SAP GmbH" was founded and the following year it moved headquarters to Walldorf. "SAP AG" became the company's official name after the 2005 annual general meeting (AG is short for Aktiengesellschaft).

In August 1988, SAP GmbH transferred into SAP AG (a corporation by German law), and public trading started November 4. Shares are listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchange.

Four of the founding members -- Hopp, Plattner, Tschira and Hector -- form the executive board. In 1995, SAP was included in the German stock index DAX. On September 22, 2003, SAP was included in the Dow Jones STOXX 50. [cite press release
title=STOXX Limited Announces Changes to its Blue-Chip Index Series
] In 1991, Prof. Dr. Henning Kagermann joined the board; Dr. Peter Zencke became a board member in 1993.cite book
author=Hasso Plattner, August-Wilhelm Scheer, Siegfried Wendt and Daniel S. Morrow
title=Dem Wandel voraus. Hasso Plattner im Gespräch
publisher=Galileo Press
] Claus Heinrich, [cite web |title=Executive Board: Claus E. Heinrich |url= |publisher=SAP |accessdate=2007-10-15 ] and Gerhard Oswald [cite web |title=Executive Board: Gerhard Oswald |url= |publisher=SAP |accessdate=2007-10-15 ] have been members of the SAP Executive Board since 1996. Two years later, in 1998, the first change at the helm took place. Dietmar Hopp and Klaus Tschira moved to the supervisory board and Dietmar Hopp was appointed Chairman of the supervisory board. Henning Kagermann was appointed as Co-Chairman and CEO of SAP next to Hasso Plattner. Werner Brandt joined SAP in 2001 as a member of the SAP Executive Board and Chief Financial Officer. [cite web |title=Executive Board: Werner Brandt |publisher=SAP |url= |accessdate=2007-10-15 ] Léo Apotheker has been a member of the SAP Executive Board and president of Global Customer Solutions & Operations since 2002, was appointed Deputy CEO in 2007, and then became co-CEO alongside Kagermann in 2008.

Henning Kagermann became the sole CEO of SAP in 2003. [cite news
author=Wharton School
title=Henning Kagermann: Balancing Change and Stability in the Evolution of SAP's Enterprise Software Platform
date=October 4, 2006
] In February 2007 his contract was extended until 2009. After continuous disputes over the responsibility of the development organization, Shai Agassi, a member of the executive board who had been named as a potential successor to Kagermann, left the organization. [cite news |first=Jeff |last=Moad |title=Shai Agassi Leaves SAP |date=March 28, 2007 |publisher=Thomas Publishing Company |work=MA News |url= |accessdate=2007-10-15 ]

Milestones technical solutions

In 1972 the SAP R/1 solution was launched.cite web |title=SAP at a Glance: Press Fact Sheet, April 2007
url= |publisher=SAP |accessdate=2007-10-15
] Seven years later, in 1979, SAP launched SAP R/2. In 1981, SAP brought a completely re-designed solution to market. With the change from R/2 to R/3 in 1992, 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). SAP was awarded Industry Week’s Best Managed Companies in 1999. [cite news |first=Michael A. |last=Verespej |title=Why They're The Best |date=1999-08-16 |url= |work=IndustryWeek |publisher=Penton Media, Inc |accessdate=2007-10-15 ]

Business and markets

SAP is the world's second largest business software company and the third-largest independent software provider in terms of revenues. [cite web|url= |title=For CRM, ERP, and SCM, SAP Leads the Way |accessdate=2007-03-29 |last=Bailor |first=Coreen |date=2006-07-05] It operates in three geographic regions – EMEA, which represents Europe, Middle East and Africa; the Americas (SAP America, headquartered in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania), which represents both North America and Latin America; and Asia Pacific Japan (APJ), which represents Japan, Australia and parts of Asia. In addition, SAP operates a network of 115 subsidiaries, and has R&D facilities around the globe in Germany, North America, Canada, China, Hungary, India, Israel and Bulgaria.

SAP focuses on six industry sectors: process industries, discrete industries, consumer industries, service industries, financial services, and public services. [cite web |url= |title=Business in Brief: Markets |publisher=SAP |accessdate=2007-10-15 ] It offers more than 25 industry solution portfolios for large enterprises [cite web |url= |title=Midmarket Solutions: SAP ALL-IN-ONE – Solutions for mid-size companies |work=Annual Report 2006 |publisher=SAP |accessdate=2007-10-15 ] and more than 550 micro-vertical solutions for midsize companies and small businesses. [cite web |url= |title=Industry Solutions: Innovation - One Industry at a Time |work=Annual Report 2006 |publisher=SAP |accessdate=2007-10-15 ]

SAP and Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture

Service-oriented architecture moves the ERP 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 companies and not have to rely as much on in-house enterprise resource planning hardware technologies which helps make ERP adoption more attractive for small- or mid-sized companies.

According to a press fact sheet from SAP, "SAP is the only enterprise applications software vendor that is both building service-orientation directly into its solutions and providing a technology platform (SAP NetWeaver) and guidance to support companies in the development of their own service-oriented architectures spanning both SAP and non-SAP solutions." [ [ Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture: Press Fact Sheet, March 2007] ]

SAP 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. [ [ Kerberos-based SSO and SAP E-SOA] ] [ [ Adaptable SSO for SAP E-SOA] ]


SAP's products focus on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which it helped to pioneer. The company's main product is SAP ERP. The name of its predecessor SAP R/3 hints at its functionality: the "R" stands for realtime (even though it is not a realtime solution), the number 3 relates to a 3-tier architecture: database, application server and client (SAPgui). R/2, which ran on a Mainframe architecture, was the first SAP version.

SAP ERP is one of five major enterprise applications in SAP's Business Suite. The other four applications are:

* customer relationship management (CRM) - helps companies acquire and retain customers, gain deep marketing and customer insight, and align organization on customer-focused strategies
* product lifecycle management (PLM) - helps manufacturers with a single source of all product-related information necessary for collaborating with business partners and supporting product lines
* supply chain management (SCM) - helps companies enhance operational flexibility across global enterprises and provide real-time visibility for customers and suppliers
* supplier relationship management (SRM) - customers can collaborate closely with suppliers and integrate sourcing processes with applications throughout the enterprise to enhance transparency and lower costs

Other major product offerings include: the NetWeaver platform, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) solutions, Duet (joint offering with Microsoft), Performance Management solutions and RFID. SAP offers a systematic approach to enterprise SOA, which is the technical standard that enables various enterprise software applications to exchange data effectively. Through enterprise SOA, SAP is focusing on enabling more flexible business processes as well as creating technical connections between IT systems and building a common language for business.

While its original products were typically used by Fortune 500 companies, SAP is now also actively targeting small and medium sized enterprises (SME) with its SAP Business One and SAP Business All-in-One. On September 19th, 2007 SAP announced a new product named SAP Business ByDesign complementing its portfolio for SME. SAP Business ByDesign was known under the code name "A1S" before. [ cite news |first=James |last=Governor |title= BusinessByDesign: iPhone for ERP, Or AS/400 for 21stC? |url= |work=James Governor’s Monkchips |date=2007-09-19 |accessdate=2007-10-15 ]

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. [ cite press release
author= SAP
title= SAP Announces Preliminary 2007 Second Quarter and Six Months Results
date= July 19, 2007


Partnerships are core to SAP’s strategy and in its 35 years of history the network of software solution providers, value-added resellers, distributors, technology and services partners has developed into a broad ecosystem that is among the industry's largest. [ [ SAP - The SAP Ecosystem: Press Fact Sheet, February 2007 ] ] Opened in June 2007, the SAP Co-Innovation Lab in Palo Alto, Calif. provides an efficient work environment for joint projects with independent software vendors (ISVs), such as Novell, Questra and Wonderware, system integrators (SIs) and technology partners to work together with SAP around current and future technologies. Co-founded by Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and NetApp, the lab offers a hands-on environment and real-world performance for Web-enabled and Internet/intranet-accessible business applications based on Enterprise SOA. [ [ InternetNews Realtime IT News – SAP Strengthens Silicon Valley Presence ] ]

SAP partners include Global Services Partners with cross-industry multinational consulting capabilities, [ [ SAP - Global & Local Partner Directories: Global Services Partners ] ] Global Software Partners providing integrated products that complement SAP Business Suite solutions, [ [ SAP - Global & Local Partner Directories: Global Software Partners ] ] 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. [ [ SAP - Global & Local Partner Directories: Global Technology Partners ] ]

SAP partners with Capgemini, Deloitte, Hewlett-Packard, Siemens IT Solutions and Services and Accenture in offering services, including assessment, government and architecture for R3. [cite web|url= |title=Partnering with S

SAP PartnerEdge

SAP solutions 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 $4.9 b technology service provider, headquartered in India. [ [ SAP - HCL Technologies Announces Global Services Partnership With SAP to Deliver Joint Business Value Through ‘Customer Centric Ecosystem’ ] ] . 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 solutions to a broad range of customers. [ [ SAP - SAP Solutions for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies: Press Fact Sheet, July 2007 ] ]

Gartner states that SAP PartnerEdge has "set a new standard for innovation in channel development for the small and midsize business application market."Fact|date=February 2008


[ SAP Developer Network] (SDN) is a community of developers, consultants, integrators, and business analysts gaining and sharing knowledge about ABAP, Java, .NET, SOA, and other technologies via expert blogs, discussion forums, exclusive downloads and code samples, training materials, and a technical library. [ [ SAP - Communities ] ] The [ Business Process Expert] (BPX) Community is a collaborative environment for business process experts to share information, experiences and best practices to leverage enterprise SOA in order to increase business agility and IT value. [ [ Business Process Expert Community Home ] ] The [ SAP Enterprise Services Community] serves as a platform for members from customers, industry experts and partners working collaboratively to define enterprise services. [ [ SAP - SAP Communities of Innovation: Enterprise Services Community ] ] Industry Value Networks (IVN) bring together customers, partners and SAP to co-innovate and develop solutions to solve industry-specific customer challenges. There are currently eleven active IVNs (e.g. Banking, Chemicals, Consumer Products, High Tech, Public Sector, Retail). [ [ SAP - SAP Communities of Innovation: Industry Value Network ] ]


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 where as 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.

AP Labs

SAP Labs is the research and development organization of the parent company. SAP has its development organization spread across the globe. Many, but not all, labs locations are hosting SAP Research groups.

Prominent labs are located in Palo Alto, USA; Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon India; Ra'anana and Karmiel, Israel; Montreal, Canada and Shanghai, China. SAP Labs located in Bangalore is the largest development unit in terms of number of employees outside the SAP headquarters located in Walldorf, Germany.Other SAP Labs locations include France, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Each SAP Lab has prominent area of expertise and focus. SAP Labs in Sofia, Bulgaria for example specializes in development of Java based SAP software products. Whereas, SAP Labs in U.S. is famous for its focus on innovation and research. SAP Labs India contributes to all areas of the SAP product value chain- Research & Breakthrough Innovation, Product Development, Global Services & Support and Customer Solutions & Operations.

User groups

User groups are independent, not-for-profit organizations of SAP customer companies, partners, analysts, thought leaders, and SAP development teams that provide insight into market demand and are educating members, thus influencing SAP product releases and direction. Examples of user groups are Americas' SAP Users' Group ASUG, [ cite web
] the German SAP User Group (DSAG), [ cite web
] the SAP Australian User Group (SAUG) [ cite web
] and the SAP UK & Ireland User Group. [ cite web
title=SAP UK &Ireland User Group
] [ cite web
title=SAP User Groups

Competitive landscape

SAP competitors are primarily in the Enterprise Resource Planning Software industry. SAP also competes in the Customer Relationship Management, Marketing & Sales Software, Manufacturing, Warehousing & Industrial Software, and Supply Chain Management & Logistics Software sectors. [cite news
title=SAP Competitors

Oracle Corporation, SAP's major competitor, filed a case against SAP for malpractice and unfair competition in the Californian courts on 22nd March 2007. The complaint alleged that a Texas subsidiary, SAP TN (formerly TomorrowNow before purchase by SAP), which provides 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 appropriate them for SAP's use. [cite press release
title = Oracle Sues SAP
publisher = Oracle
date = 2007-03-22
url =
accessdate = 2007-09-03
] [cite web |url= |title=Oracle Sues SAP |accessdate=2007-09-03 | |publisher=Oracle ] . Later SAP admitted wrong-doing 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 admits 'inappropriate' Oracle downloads - Times Online]

SAP is known to grow organically as opposed to its main rival Oracle which has been spending US$20 billion since 2004 acquiring 30 smaller competitors. SAP was able to increase its annual profits by 370% since 2002. [ [,1518,504625,00.html Konzerne: Einzug ins globale Dorf - Wirtschaft - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten ] ]

In something of a departure from its usual organic growth, on Oct 7, 2007, SAP announced that it would acquire Business Objects, the market leader in business intelligence software, for $6.8B. [cite web | url= | title=SAP to buy Business Objects for $6.8B | publisher=The Associated Press | accessdate=2007-10-11]

ee also

*List of SAP products
*SAP Implementation
*List of ERP software packages


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