Company Q & A

Find answers to the most important questions about our company.

  • Company Q+A
  • When was SAP founded?

    In 1972, five former IBM employees founded the company they call SAP Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung ("System Analysis and Program Development").Taking the initial form of a private partnership under the German Civil Code, the company establishes its headquarters in Weinheim, Germany, and opens an office in nearby Mannheim. However, SAP's five founders spend most of their time in the data centers of their first customers, which include the German branch of Imperial Chemical Industries in Östringen.

    Further information can be found on the SAP History page.

  • What does the acronym "SAP" stand for?

    "SAP" stands for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing.

  • What is SAP’s vision and mission?

    SAP’s vision is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Our mission is to help our customers run at their best. To fulfill our mission, we Run Simple by helping master complexity. We do this by delivering new technology innovations that we believe address today’s and tomorrow’s challenges without disrupting our customers’ business operations: Enterprise mobility will transform consumption of IT; in-memory technology will simplify the IT architecture in the enterprise and drive high-value applications; and the cloud delivery of IT solutions will simplify the consumption of technology and enable business networks. By leveraging our leadership in applications and analytics and combining them with new technology innovations, we can offer solutions that make our customers run better. To help our customers derive value from their SAP solutions in a fast, cost-effective, and predictable way, we also provide professional services and support.

  • What is your business outlook for 2014?

    The Company provided the following outlook for the full-year 2014:

    The Company expects full year 2014 non-IFRS cloud subscription and support revenue to be in a range of €1,040 – €1,070 million at constant currencies (2013: €757 million). The upper end of this range represents a growth rate of 41%.

    The Company expects full year 2014 non-IFRS software and software-related service revenue to increase by 6% - 8% at constant currencies (2013: €14.03 billion).

    The Company expects full-year 2014 non-IFRS operating profit to be in a range of €5.6 billion – €5.8 billion at constant currencies (2013: €5.48 billion).

  • What is SAP´s mid-term outlook?

    With SAP HANA as the single platform for our entire product portfolio, delivered on-premise or in the Cloud, SAP will drive simplicity and business outcomes for its customers.

    We expect the combination of a stable, highly-profitable core and fast-growing cloud business to deliver continued growth and margin expansion. The Company still aims to increase its total revenue to at least €20 billion and total revenue from its cloud business including cloud-related professional services to approximately €2 billion by 2015.

    Looking beyond 2015, SAP introduced new 2017 targets. We aim to increase our total revenue to at least €22 billion and total revenue from our cloud business to €3.0 - €3.5 billion by 2017. The Company retains its non-IFRS operating margin goal of 35%. In order to capture the growth opportunities in the cloud, SAP now expects this target to be reached by 2017 rather than in 2015 as previously stated. SAP anticipates the fast-growing cloud business along with growth in support revenue will drive a higher proportion of more predictable, recurring revenue in the future.

  • Are you planning to grow organically or through acquisitions?

    Both. SAP remains dedicated to driving growth through organic development of its product and services portfolio, SAP spent almost €2.3 billion on research and development in 2013. SAP’s growth strategy also involves strategic acquisitions of specific technologies and capabilities that meet the needs of customers, adding to its broad solution offerings within and across industries. Examples include the acquisitions of BusinessObjects (2007), Sybase (2010), SuccessFactors (2011), Syclo (2012), Ariba (2012), hybris (2013), Fieldglass, and Concur (2014). Additional information can be obtained here.

  • Where can I find information about SAP's most important acquisitions?

    Detailed information on our acquisitions can be found on the Financial News and Reports page.

  • Where can I find information about the SAP Executive Board?

    Access the Executive Board page for information about the SAP Executive Board.

  • What is the SAP Global Managing Board?

    This body was established in addition to the SAP Executive Board, which retains ultimate responsibility for overseeing and deciding on the activities of the company. The Global managing Board allows SAP to appoint a broader range of global leaders to help steer the organization. The establishment of the Global Managing Board will help SAP drive innovation and scale faster in its core markets as well as in its new categories mobile, database/in-memory and cloud.

  • What is SAP's current headcount?

    On December 31, 2013, we had 66,572 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees worldwide (December 31, 2012: 64,422).

  • Do SAP employees participate in the company's success?

    SAP offers its employees and managers various investment programs.

  • Can you explain SAP’s commitment to sustainable business practices?

    Sustainability is core to the overall business strategy at SAP and our vision to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. For us, sustainability means holistically managing the financial, social, and environmental dimensions of business, in order to reduce economic risks and to seize opportunities for increased profitability.

    As our Integrated Report 2013 shows, SAP is committed to not only providing a comprehensive view of the dependencies between our economic, social and environmental performance. It also helps us move closer towards a sustainable business strategy. Such a strategy is defined by embedding sustainability deeply into how we create value for our customers in the first place, i.e. through the software we create for businesses around the world.

  • Where can I order SAP's latest annual report?

    You can order a free printed copy of our annual report through our Information Order Service.

  • Where can I read current SAP business and financial news?

    Current SAP business and financial news are listed under Financial News and in the Press Room.

  • European company (SE)
  • What is an SE?

    The European Company (Societas Europaea, SE) is a supranational legal form under European law for commercial enterprises within the territory of the European Union.

  • Why was SAP AG converted into an SE?

    The change of legal form from a stock corporation under German law to a European Company was made to manifest SAP’s self-image as an international player with European roots. Presenting itself as a European Company thus reflects the importance of the Company’s European and international operations.

  • What were the advantages of the conversion for SAP?

    The legal form of the European Company enabled the Company to develop, together with representatives of the European workforce, a model for the involvement of employees which was tailored to the needs of the Company. It could thus be ensured that both the corporate governance structure of SAP and the work of its corporate organs were optimized. An important step in this development was the opportunity to be able to limit the size of the Supervisory Board to 18 members. Without the change of legal form to the SE, in contrast, a larger Supervisory Board comprising 20 members would have been inevitable having regard to the development of the number of German employees, which would have adversely affected the efficiency of the work of the Supervisory Board. SAP’s aim was a Supervisory Board size of 18 members. This had been determined in an agreement between the central management of SAP AG and representatives of the European workforce on the involvement of the employees in SAP SE. Furthermore, it is provided in the Employee Involvement Agreement that the shareholders have the possibility to reduce the size of the Supervisory Board in the future (i.e. at the earliest in the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in 2018, with effect from the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in 2019) to 12 members.

    Following the change of legal form to the SE, the Supervisory Board is of course still required to be composed of an equal number of shareholders’ and employees’ representatives, i.e. half of its members are employees’ representatives. However, these representatives are no longer exclusively – directly or indirectly – designated by the German employee representatives of the SAP Group and the German trade unions, but also – directly or indirectly – with the involvement of the employees and trade unions from other member states of the EU or signatory states to the agreement on the EEA. The legal form of a European Company thus presented an opportunity for the Company to reflect its international character even more strongly now also with regard to the employees’ representatives on the Supervisory Board.

  • How was the conversion achieved?

    The conversion required that the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders consented to this measure on the basis of the Conversion Plan established by the Executive Board, and approved the Articles of Incorporation of SAP SE. Such consent and approval were granted by a resolution of the 27th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of SAP AG on May 21, 2014. Furthermore, the procedure for the involvement of employees in the SE had to be conducted, which in the case of SAP resulted in the conclusion of an Employee Involvement Agreement between the central management and representatives of the employees from all over Europe. The conversion became effective on July 7, 2014, upon registration in the commercial register of the Company, i.e. the commercial register at the Local Court of Mannheim.

  • How are the European employees involved in the decision-making within SAP SE?

    In connection with the conversion of an AG to an SE, a procedure for the involvement of the European employees in the SE had to be conducted in order to secure the rights acquired by the employees of the AG as regards their involvement in company decisions. That procedure resulted in the conclusion of an agreement on employee involvement, which governs on the one hand the participation of the European employees in the Supervisory Board of the SE and on the other hand the procedure for informing and consulting the European employees through the SE Works Council. For more information on the Employee Involvement Agreement, please click here.

  • What were the costs of the conversion?

    The costs amounted to approximately €4 million.

  • What were the consequences of the conversion in terms of corporate law and accounting?

    The conversion of SAP AG to an SE did not result in the winding-up of the company or the creation of a new legal person. The legal and economic identity of the company was preserved by the change of legal form. For this reason, there was also no transfer of assets. The law applicable to SAP SE largely corresponds to the law applicable to a German stock corporation. As regards the annual financial statements, the management report, the group annual financial statements and the group management report, the same provisions apply to an SE as to an AG.

  • What were the consequences of the conversion for the shareholders?

    The shareholdings of the shareholders remained unchanged following the conversion to an SE. The shareholders retained the same number of shares that they had held in SAP AG immediately prior to the effective date of conversion. The notional portion of the capital stock represented by each no-par value share also remained the same as immediately prior to the effective date of conversion. There are no differences between SAP AG and SAP SE as regards the dividend entitlement of the shareholders. As at SAP AG, the General Meeting of Shareholders decides on the appropriation of retained earnings at SAP SE.

  • What were be the tax consequences of the conversion?

    The conversion of the company to an SE has not had any income tax effect nor triggered any obligation to pay German VAT or property transfer tax. Furthermore, the conversion has not resulted in a taxable profit or a loss that is relevant for taxation purposes for the shareholders. SAP SE is treated like a German corporation and is subject to corporate income tax and trade tax in the same way as SAP AG previously was. Disposals of shares in SAP SE are generally treated, at the level of the shareholders of SAP SE, in the same way as disposals of shares in SAP AG formerly were, unless applicable law or the factual circumstances change. The same applies to dividend distributions.

  • What were the consequences of the conversion with regard to the shares and the stock exchange listing?

    The conversion of SAP AG to SAP SE did not have any serious implications relating to the shares in the company and its listing. As the legal identity of the company was preserved by the change of legal form, the shareholders of SAP AG became shareholders of SAP SE upon the conversion. Exchange trading in SAP shares was not affected by the conversion, either. Only the quotation had to be adjusted to “SE” due to the change of name.