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SAP History

Building on a track record of innovation.

The digital economy

2011 – present

Cloud computing, mobile devices, and in-memory technology open up new possibilities for real-time data access, anytime anywhere. Strategic acquisitions and emerging innovations continue to fuel SAP’s growth. It becomes a platform provider and redefines collaboration in business networks. 



SAPPHIRE NOW + SAP TechEd Madrid on Wednesday Nov 14, 2012

Anytime, anywhere

SAP's in-memory computing vision is now reality: The first SAP HANA platform customers can analyze data in seconds – instead of days or even weeks. SAP HANA’s launch generates the kind of demand not seen since SAP R/3 came onto the market. SAP's strategy for mobile business applications is also bearing fruit: SAP and its partners now ship mobile applications to a new cohort of users – those who work mainly in the field rather than in the office.


SAP announces its plans for growth: It is looking to expand in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, Russia, and especially China, and it intends to invest some €2 billion in the midmarket sector alone. It also has growth plans for its business in the booming cloud computing market, announcing its €2.5 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors, the leading provider of cloud applications, at the end of the year.



Investing in China

SAP announces continued investment and growth in China, underscoring the company’s long-term commitment to the world’s second-largest economy. SAP enables Chinese customers to grow, scale and globalize, as well as make the transition to a knowledge-based economy. The company announces its best quarterly performance ever in China, with more than 30% growth in software license revenue.

Ariba acquisition

SAP acquires Ariba, aiming to become the leader in the fast-growing segment of business-to-business e-commerce and to deliver end-to-end cloud procurement solutions. SAP plans to enable its more than 195,000 customers to easily connect to the Ariba business network through predefined integration points. SAP also plans to provide open access to the business network, extending the benefits of business collaboration to any company, on any system, from any provider.

New Executive Board members

Following the acquisition of SuccessFactors, Lars Dalgaard joins the SAP Executive Board. Luisa Delgado takes over as SAP’s chief human resources officer.



SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA

The entire SAP Business Suite moves to SAP HANA. In the three years since its launch, SAP HANA has generated nearly €1.2 billion in revenue, making it one of the fastest-growing products in the history of enterprise software. In 2013 alone, SAP HANA generates €664 million in revenue, an increase of 69% over the previous year.

Image: Dr. Vishal Sikka, member of the executive board, SAP

hybris acquisition

SAP acquires hybris, a widely recognized leader in commerce technology. This move positions SAP to deliver the next-generation e-commerce platform, with the choice of on-premise or cloud deployment, as enterprises around the world seek to optimize the customer experience for businesses and consumers across an ever-growing number of delivery channels, devices, and touch points.

Double-digit growth continues

With four consecutive years of double-digit growth, SAP is the fastest-growing mega-cap company in the enterprise software industry. In 2013, the company reports €16.9 billion non-IFRS total revenue, with 11% growth in software and cloud subscription revenue.



A European Company

SAP changes from a German stock corporation to a European Company (Societas Europaea, SE), underscoring its international orientation. Five of the SAP Supervisory Board’s 18 members are from countries other than Germany.

Building a business network

SAP takes a defining step to the next frontier in the cloud: a secure, real-time business network to reinvent commerce between companies. Starting in 2012 with Ariba, it expands in mid-2014 with Fieldglass and contract workforces. At the end of 2014, SAP completes the acquisition of Concur, the largest software-as-a-service acquisition in history, adding the US$1.2 trillion business travel market to its portfolio and securing its position as a business network leader.

Cloud growth

SAP becomes the fastest-growing enterprise cloud company at scale and the largest cloud company in the world in terms of users, who now number 70 million.

Leadership changes

Bill McDermott becomes sole CEO of SAP. Jim Hagemann Snabe steps down as co-CEO and is elected to the Supervisory Board of SAP SE at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. Bernd Leukert, Luka Mucic, and Rob Enslin are appointed to the Executive Board.




SAP unveils the next generation of enterprise software with a new business suite, SAP S/4HANA. It is built entirely on the SAP HANA advanced in-memory platform to break from the limitations of the past. The SAP Fiori user experience (UX) for mobile devices reflects the latest design principles. The initial launch is soon followed by SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition, giving customers the choice of combining on-premise and cloud solutions in a hybrid scenario for unprecedented IT flexibility and accelerated business innovation. 

SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things

The launch of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things (IoT) expands SAP’s portfolio of IoT solutions to help customers connect the core of their business to the edge of the network, gain operational efficiencies, and drive the creation of new products, services, and revenue models.

New Board member

Michael Kleinemeier becomes the member of the Executive Board for Global Service and Support.

SAP Digital brings Run Simple to life

Individuals in organizations large and small can now buy from SAP without the need for a purchase order, invoice, or lengthy RFP process. They can simply purchase as and when they want, on any device, and pay by credit card. All part of SAP’s commitment not only to help its customers master complexity through digital transformation, but also to transform itself.



Apple and SAP partner

Apple and SAP announce a partnership to combine powerful native apps for iPhone and iPad with the cutting-edge capabilities of the SAP HANA platform. The joint effort will deliver an SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS , plus a training academy, so that developers, partners, and customers can easily build native iOS apps on SAP Cloud Platform, thus providing access to core data and business processes on SAP S/4HANA

Global gender equality certification

SAP becomes the first multinational technology company to be awarded the worldwide Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certificate, recognizing its global commitments and actions in achieving and sustaining gender diversity and equality in the workplace.

Executive Board welcomes two new members

Stefan Ries and Steve Singh are appointed to the Executive Board.

Roambi acquisition

SAP’s acquisition of Roambi’s mobile-centric analytics and data visualization solution helps it bring mobile access to analytics to everyone: frontline staff, consumers, managers, and executives. SAP also unveils new predictive capabilities to analysts, developers, and partners with SAP Predictive Analytics software.



New SAP Leonardo debuts

At SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP launches its expanded SAP Leonardo as SAP’s digital innovation system. SAP Leonardo brings together differentiating software capabilities in machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, analytics, and blockchain on SAP Cloud Platform, together with SAP experience, deep process and industry knowledge, and advanced design thinking methodology.  SAP also integrates SAP Leonardo capabilities with its existing applications to make them more powerful and intelligent. Developers and partners also get services to help them build their own custom applications, supported by a network of SAP Leonardo Centers in New York, Paris, São Leopoldo, and Bangalore.

SAP partners with Google

Google and SAP announce a strategic co-innovation partnership to make SAP HANA available on Google’s public cloud platform. Through this partnership, SAP HANA becomes available on the three largest public cloud platforms: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Google and SAP start working on making SAP Cloud Platform, SAP’s platform-as-a-service offering, also available on Google Cloud Platform. For developers, SAP HANA, express edition is offered in the Google Cloud Launcher Marketplace.

Executive Board welcomes new members

Jennifer Morgan and Adaire Fox-Martin join the Executive Board.

SAP to be carbon neutral by 2025

SAP commits to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2025. The company will continue existing initiatives and programs to drive efficiency and innovation to avoid and reduce GHG emissions, following its “avoid – reduce – compensate” approach. As such, SAP steps up its commitment to climate action, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations to transform the world’s economy, society, and environment.



Vision for the Intelligent Enterprise

At SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP rolls out its vision for the Intelligent Enterprise: how companies can use technologies with their existing IT systems to better understand their business and make faster and more informed decisions. For SAP, the Intelligent Enterprise combines an integrated suite of applications that covers the most important business functions with deep data integration across the suite, facilitated by the SAP Cloud Platform and SAP HANA data management solutions, as well as intelligent technologies included in SAP Leonardo (like machine learning and advanced analytics) embedded across the suite or available as pre-integrated industry “kits.”

Image: Prof. Hasso Plattner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, SAP

SAP C/4HANA launched

SAP announces its ambition to disrupt the marketplace for customer relationship management (CRM) by launching a new suite of applications, called SAP C/4HANA, to help businesses serve and retain customers. SAP C/4HANA is an integrated offering designed to modernize the sales-only focus of legacy CRM solutions. Following its acquisition of market leaders hybris, Gigya, and CallidusCloud, SAP now ties together solutions to support all front-office functions, such as consumer data protection, marketing, commerce, sales, and customer service. The new SAP C/4HANA suite offers full integration with SAP’s business applications portfolio, led by its market-leading ERP suite, SAP S/4HANA.

New Board area

SAP appoints Christian Klein, COO, to the Executive Board to lead the company’s new Global Business Operations division. It focuses on coordinating SAP’s internal Run-Simple activities, driving simplification, and modernizing core business processes and aligning them with SAP’s cloud and platform strategy.

Qualtrics acquisition

SAP announces its intent to acquire Qualtrics International, the global pioneer of the experience management (XM) software category. Together, SAP and Qualtrics plan to accelerate the new XM category by combining experience data and operational data to power the experience economy and realize the potential of the Intelligent Enterprise. Under the terms of the agreement, SAP will acquire all outstanding shares of Qualtrics for US$8 billion in cash.



Next-generation leadership team

Bill McDermott decides to step down as CEO after ten years at the helm. Under the company’s succession plan, SAP Executive Board members Jennifer Morgan (right) and Christian Klein (left) are appointed co-CEOs with the approval of the Supervisory Board. Jennifer Morgan becomes the first woman at the top of a company listed on the German Stock Index (DAX), and Christian Klein the youngest CEO at a DAX enterprise.

SAP also appoints Thomas Saueressig and Juergen Mueller to the SAP Executive Board as Head of SAP Product Engineering and Head of Technology & Innovation respectively.

Technology partnerships

SAP and Intel announce a multiyear technology partnership to optimize Intel platforms for end-to-end SAP enterprise software applications, including SAP S/4HANA. The partnership will use technologies from Intel to boost the SAP platform technologies that underpin enterprise applications, including real-time in-memory computing, streaming-data and Big Data analytics, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and security.

SAP and Microsoft announce an extensive go-to-market partnership — from conceptualization to sales — to accelerate customer adoption of SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure. The two companies are building on a joint commitment to simplify and modernize customers’ journeys to the cloud through project Embrace.

Creating sustainable impact

SAP celebrates ten years of helping improve the economy, society, and the environment. It makes sustainability a long-term strategic goal and begins to combine economic performance, environmental protection, and social responsibility to ensure its business becomes more sustainable. SAP becomes the first company in Germany to join a worldwide campaign to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Cyber Fusion Center opens

Doubling down on cybersecurity, SAP opens a Cyber Fusion Center (CFC) at its North American headquarters in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, to protect customers – and their data – from constantly evolving cyberthreats. The center will develop new cyber-defense capabilities, while offering myriad security functions. Together with partners across the globe, the CFC aims to continuously improve how SAP designs, builds, and runs its operating ecosystems. These cyber-intelligence partnerships will help SAP identify and respond to critical risks more quickly, while better processing and sharing information about new threats.




SAP transfers from a co-CEO to a sole-CEO model to ensure strong, unambiguous leadership in unprecedented times. Jennifer Morgan agrees to depart the company, and Christian Klein (pictured left) continues as sole CEO. He announces his strategy, which is built on four pillars for growth: industry cloud, the SAP Business Network, business process intelligence, and sustainability.

Help in unprecedented times

When the coronavirus outbreak begins to spread around the world, SAP’s Global Pandemic Taskforce starts monitoring the situation daily. Most employees work from home, and events are hosted virtually. Teaming up remotely, SAP colleagues develop software and provide mission-critical support for the creation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Eighteen out of 20 of the major vaccine producers run their production on SAP solutions.

Deutsche Telekom and SAP develop the Corona-Warn-App for Germany, completing the project under immense time pressure and public scrutiny. With the subsequent launch of the European gateway service, the COVID-19 tracing apps in Germany, Ireland, and Italy can communicate. Other countries follow.

Industry cloud

SAP announces the industry cloud initiative at the SAPPHIRE NOW Reimagined online event. SAP’s industry cloud is the innovation platform and space where customers and partners build industry cloud solutions and applications that complement the intelligent suite built on SAP Business Technology Platform.

For cleaner oceans

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, SAP announces a vision for a plastic-free ocean by 2030. As a member of the Global Plastic Action Partnership, SAP is working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the World Wild Fund for Nature, and other strategic partners on solutions such as avoiding single-use plastics, better managing and recycling plastic waste streams, and creating a circular plastics economy.




SAP announces RISE with SAP, a single offering that provides a path to the Intelligent Enterprise for every customer, no matter where they are starting from or how complex their scenario. Offered on a subscription basis, it features one point of contact for service-level agreements, operations, and support for an accelerated move of core ERP processes to the cloud.

With business process intelligence a key part of the RISE with SAP package, SAP enters into an agreement to acquire Signavio, a leader in the process intelligence and management space.

New Executive Board members

Sabine BendiekScott Russell, and Julia White are appointed to the Executive Board.

The world’s largest business network

At SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP announces its plans for the world’s largest e-commerce network – SAP Business Network – which will bring together Ariba Network, SAP Logistics Business Network, and SAP Asset Intelligence Network. Over 5.5 million organizations will benefit from being members of this connected community.

Connecting the automotive industry

SAP becomes a founding member of the Catena-X Automotive Network, which aims to standardize data-sharing along the entire automotive value chain for maximum efficiency and security.

SAP Fioneer 

To better serve a rapidly changing banking and insurance industry, SAP partners with investment company Dediq GmbH. The two companies set up SAP Fioneer, with Dediq investing more than €500 million in the new entity. The aim is to expand SAP’s financial services portfolio by investing significantly in new solutions based on SAP software and as part of SAP’s overall portfolio and product road map. 


SAP turns 50

April 1, 2022, marked SAP’s 50th anniversary. We celebrated with a huge party spanning the globe and held on-site celebrations in 20 locations. The anniversary party in Walldorf rocked with a powerful blend of live concerts and stage shows, a company history trail, and more. At our 50th anniversary gala, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann praised SAP as the flagship of the German digital economy. They called for more cooperation between government and the private sector to move society forward with innovation.

Reinvent how enterprises run

At the SAP Sapphire conference in Orlando, Florida, CEO Christian Klein and his top team present innovations that deliver business value for customers in four critical areas: supply chain resilience, sustainability, business process transformation and no-code application development.

Through its ongoing partnership with Apple, SAP announces a new suite of apps that streamline the digital supply chain and empower workers with intuitive tools. The new SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud solution brings together the latest analytics, edge computing, automation and state-of-the-art innovations supporting manufacturing processes end to end to help customers optimize manufacturing performance.

In addition, SAP presents SAP AI solutions that deliver AI-powered innovations to optimize business processes end to end, including lead-to-cash, design-to-operate, recruit-to-retire and source-to-pay. 

A new generation of developers

At SAP TechEd in November, SAP announces SAP Build and an array of other innovations, including a partnership with Coursera to train and upskill the next generation of developers. SAP Build, a low-code solution and a key component of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), allows users with limited technical expertise to create enterprise apps, automate processes, and design business sites with an easy drag-and-drop interface. Users can integrate systems; intelligently monitor, analyze and automate processes; and build applications for the last mile of innovation – all without moving their data to an external system.

As every company becomes a technology company, SAP recognizes the increasing premium put on the skills and insights only professional developers can deliver. SAP is committed to upskilling 2 million developers worldwide by 2025 by tripling free learning offerings on the SAP Learning site, partnering with world-class learning platform provider Coursera Inc. to help people launch careers within the SAP ecosystem and empowering underserved audiences in technology.

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