More birthday cake: Thirty years after its foundation, SAP is the third-largest independent software provider in the world and a paragon of the German economy. The SAP brand stands for high-quality business software.
A rising star: SAP's portfolio is not the only thing witnessing constant growth. The company's workforce also increases to around 29,000 by the end of 2002. Approximately 1,300 employees move into the new star-shaped building that has opened directly adjacent to SAP's headquarters in Walldorf.
New blood at the top: The Executive Board bolsters its ranks with Shai Agassi, who assumes responsibility for new technologies, and Léo Apotheker, who takes over global sales.
End of an era: Hasso Plattner resigns from the Executive Board and is elected chairman of the Supervisory Board. Plattner is the final SAP co-founder to leave the company's management team, but remains with SAP in an advisory role. Upon taking his leave, the nautical enthusiast receives a special gift – a sail signed by all of SAP's employees, which they hope will carry him to further success.
Technology of the future: What began in the "new economy" as mysap.com and evolved to mySAP technology reaches a new pinnacle in SAP NetWeaver. This technology enables SAP to offer fast, open, and flexible business applications that support end-to-end business processes – no matter whether they are based on systems from SAP or other providers.
Global developments: SAP Labs China marks the ninth opening of a development location outside of Walldorf. This and the other research centers in India, Japan, Israel, France, Bulgaria, Canada, and the United States help SAP convert IT expertise into business utility for its customers. The company now employs around 30,000 employees, approximately 17,000 of whom work outside of Germany.
Major success: SAP brings the first version of SAP NetWeaver to market. The response to this new integration and application platform is overwhelming. By the end of the year, well over 1,000 customers acquire the product, with even more on the way. Meanwhile, more than 24,000 total customers are running 84,000 SAP software installations in over 120 countries.
Joining forces: SAP announces its intention to acquire the remaining shares of its consulting subsidiary SAP SI and to merge the company into its corporate group. This move strengthens SAP's global portfolio of strategic IT consulting and integration services and makes SAP the go-to provider of many customers – especially those in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.
A clear vision: SAP plans its future around the concept of enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA). According to CEO Henning Kagermann, SAP will make all of its business applications service-based in the medium term to provide its customers with the most flexibility possible. In doing so, SAP sets the standard for the rest of the market.
Strong statistics: Under Kagermann's leadership, quarterly revenue gains and a constantly increasing market share keep SAP at the head of the pack in the rejuvenated IT market. Business Week names Kagermann one of the 25 best business managers in Europe, praising his customer-oriented corporate philosophy.
Excellence recognized: A study conducted on behalf of the business magazine Capital names SAP Germany "Best employer of 2005" among other companies with 5,000 employees or more. "I accept this award with pride and gratitude on behalf of the more than 32,000 people who work at SAP. For us as a company, it will mainly serve as motivation for the future. After all, SAP's success will continue to depend on the skills, drive, and dedication of our current and future employees," declares SAP Executive Board member Claus Heinrich upon receiving the award from Wolfgang Clement, Germany's Federal Minister of Economics and Technology.
Something cooking in the east: In February, SAP officially opens its new research and development facility in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. SAP Labs Hungary and its some 50 developers join SAP's global network of research locations, which incorporates the brightest minds in IT all over the world.
Organic growth: The year 2005 is marked by a series of acquisitions. While its competitors initiate their own major takeovers, SAP focuses on organic growth by acquiring smaller companies whose specific solutions augment its portfolio in sensible ways. These companies include the two retail providers Triversity and Khimetrics.
Impressive numbers: The company's software license revenues increase by 18%, and it records particularly high rates of growth in the Americas. The more than 35,800 SAP employees around the world generate total revenues of €8.5 billion.
International recognition: SAP once again garners numerous employer accolades. Along with SAP Germany, SAP Austria, SAP Chile, SAP Andina y del Caribe, SAP Mexico, and SAP Region Sur win the "Great Place to Work" award from the institute of the same name. In addition, SAP Labs India receives the distinction "Recruiting and Staffing Best in Class" from the Indian Institute of Management Studies & Research for its innovative methods in workforce planning and management.
Harmonious partnership: SAP and Microsoft introduce Duet, the first product of the two companies' joint efforts in development, support, sales, and marketing. This software enables users to quickly and easily integrate Microsoft Office and SAP-supported business processes. The partners sell 200,000 licenses in just the first three months.
Onward to further success: At the first SAPPHIRE event of the year in Orlando, Florida, SAP announces the general release of its flagship application, SAP ERP. "SAP ERP constitutes the foundation of SAP's industry solutions and a springboard to enterprise SOA," says SAP Executive Board member Léo Apotheker.
Good news from the midmarket: SAP noticeably expands its share of the midmarket with the solutions SAP All-in-One and SAP Business One. In June, the company announces that the latter solution has gained its 10,000th customer. SAP also has generates around 30% of its €3.1 billion in total software licensing revenues from companies with fewer than 2,500 employees.
Seizing new opportunity: When an acquisition makes sense in enhancing its product portfolio, SAP does not shy away from the investment required. The company buys Pilot Software – a private California provider of strategy management software – as well as Yusa, OutlookSoft, Wicom, and MaXware. SAP also announces its intention to purchase Business Objects, a company specializing in business intelligence applications.
Restructure of the Executive Board: Léo Apotheker is named SAP's deputy CEO at the end of March. SAP also forms an Executive Council, which comprises corporate officers who share responsibilities for market and product strategies and report to the Executive Board. This restructuring follows Shai Agassi's departure from the Executive Board.
Another year, another employer accolade: In its 35th year, SAP takes home the title of "Germany's Best Employer" for the third time in the annual "Great Place to Work" awards. The company also receives a special prize for its comprehensive health management program. SAP Labs India also ranks eighth among other employers in India.
Head start in the midmarket: As part of a special event in New York City, SAP reveals SAP Business ByDesign, a product designed specifically for small businesses and midsize companies. SAP CEO Henning Kagermann states that this new offering "represents SAP's ambitious attempt to create an all-new solution for an untapped market."
In the bag: SAP successfully completes its acquisition of Business Objects. Purchasing the French provider of business intelligence solutions expands SAP's software portfolio and makes it the market leader in business software, enterprise performance management, and business intelligence.
The choice of skilled employees: For the fourth time, SAP is named "Germany's Best Employer" among companies with at least 5,000 employees. The company also receives numerous awards in other countries, including China, Bulgaria, Denmark, India, Japan, and Mexico.
A global focus: The SAP Supervisory Board names Léo Apotheker co-CEO alongside Henning Kagermann. Two longstanding members, Peter Zencke and Claus Heinrich, resign from the Executive Board. The board then welcomes Ernie Gunst, Bill McDermott, and Jim Hagemann Snabe, whose international backgrounds will enrich SAP's executive management.
Sustainable business: SAP proves its commitment to sustainable business practices, releasing its first Sustainability Report. As the leader in its market, SAP is in a unique position to provide information technology that helps companies and organizations of all sizes improve their track records and achieve long-term sustainability.
Difficult times: With the effects of the global financial crisis having reached the real economy in 2008, the business world faces its own plight. Susceptible to the situation at hand, SAP initiates personnel cutbacks and other cost-saving measures. As of Q3 2009, SAP still employs some 47,800 people. Meanwhile, the company supports its customers with special programs designed to help them emerge from the crisis with the strength to succeed. Thanks to these programs and its cutbacks, SAP is able to improve its operating margin despite the difficult circumstances.
Another business milestone: At a launch event at its offices in New York City, SAP unveils its SAP Business Suite 7 software, which is designed to help businesses optimize their performance and reduce IT costs. A condensed ramp-up phase enables the first customers to go live with the software in March. In early May, the next generation of the suite is released to the rest of the world.
Passing the torch: After 27 years at the company – including 18 years on the Executive Board – Henning Kagermann bids farewell to SAP. Léo Apotheker becomes the company's sole CEO. In his inaugural address to SAP's employees in June, he stakes out a clear new path for the company, including his plans for SAP's future, its purpose, and the associated values.
In it for the long haul: SAP demonstrates how important it considers social involvement by supporting PlaNet Finance, an international non-profit organization that aids microfinance institutions (MFIs). SAP and PlaNet Finance aim to optimize the microfinance sector with a combination of financing, new technologies, and expanded value chains. In advance of the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15), SAP also offers its assistance to the U.N.'s Hopenhagen initiative. Last but not least, SAP employees continue to volunteer their time in support of social projects all over the world.
Dynamic duo: In February, the Supervisory Board names Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe co-CEOs of the company. Chief technology officer Vishal Sikka also joins the Executive Board. Angelika Dammann follows Sikka in July, becoming the first woman to serve on the Executive Board as she assumes responsibility for global human resources and labor relations.
Major acquisition: In May, SAP announces its plans to purchase the California company Sybase for approximately US$5.8 billion. Sybase is the largest business software and service provider specializing exclusively in information management and mobile data use. The synthesis of the two leading companies is to produce solutions for "wireless" companies.
Real-time innovation: More than 50,000 customers and other interested people attend SAP's SAPPHIRE Now event either live or online – a new record. In addition to a comprehensive overview of SAP's product strategy, they witness numerous innovations – chief among them is in-memory technology which ushers in a new era of real-time processing in business applications.
Outstanding results: The new year gets off to a great start. Software revenue of EUR 1.5 billion in the final quarter of 2010 enables co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe to point to the best quarter in SAP's history and pleases investors. Double-digit growth in the following quarters shows that more and more customers are turning to SAP's software innovations.
Anytime, anywhere: Customers, already excited in 2010 by SAP's vision of SAP in-memory computing, are able to take full advantage of its benefits in 2011. Initial customers implement the first in-memory product, the SAP HANA platform, enabling them to analyze data in seconds rather than the days or even weeks they would otherwise have needed. Demand for SAP HANA can be compared to that for SAP R/3 software at the time of its launch. SAP's strategy for mobile business applications is also bearing fruit. Since its acquisition of Sybase, an SAP company, in 2010, SAP and its partners now ship mobile applications that open up the SAP world to a new type of user – those who are out in the field rather than in the office.
Growth: SAP announces its plans for growth: It is looking to expand in emerging market economies such as Brazil, India, Russia, and especially China, and it intends to invest some EUR 2 billion in the mid-market sector alone. It also has growth plans for its business in the booming cloud-computing market. Just before the end of the year, SAP announces its EUR 2.5 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors, the leading provider of cloud applications.