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Stakeholder Engagement

For SAP, stakeholder engagement and collaboration are deeply embedded into our process of innovation and the development of our products and services. Before we can design a new solution, we must first understand the issue we are addressing. For this reason, design thinking and co-innovation are essential.

To be able to innovate, we regularly engage with the stakeholder groups described in the table below, including our sustainability advisory panel. We selected these groups as they are critical to our value creation.

For the materiality assessment conducted in 2016, we specifically spoke to stakeholder representatives of academia, auditors, customers, employees, and investors. For the results of this dialog, see the Materiality  section.


Stakeholder Group   How We Engage   Additional Information
Customers   Our customer-facing organizations, such as sales, consulting, education, and support, have multiple touch points with customers on a daily basis. In addition to the sales engagement cycle, we engage customers through industry value networks, co-innovation projects, customer councils, and customer-organized user groups throughout the world. Our Customer Engagement Initiative provides early insight into SAP product planning, allowing our customers to influence and collaborate around our product development cycle. We also gather customer feedback regularly through our “SAP Listens” customer and partner feedback program.   For more information about our customer surveys, see the Customers section.
Employees   We survey employees annually, conducting pulse checks throughout the year.
The Supervisory Board comprises 50% employee representation, and management regularly engages with employee works councils.
In addition, the Executive Board answers employees’ questions in all-hands meetings that take place every quarter. In quarterly coffee corner sessions, senior executives explain our strategy to employees and answer their questions directly. Through topic-related discussion blogs, executives engage regularly with employees, foster open discussion, and receive focused feedback globally.
  For the results of our latest employee survey and action items resulting from it, see the Listening to Our Employees section.
Financial analysts and investors   Our Investor Relations team and the Executive Board conduct one-to-one briefings with financial analysts and institutional investors, as well as hold investor road shows, quarterly earnings calls, a Capital Market Day, and the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. Our Investor Relations team also engages with the sustainable investment community in close cooperation with the Sustainability team, and the Global Treasury team interacts regularly with debt investors.   For more information about our dialog with investors, see the Investor Relations section.
Governments   We advise certain governments and administrations worldwide on critical IT topics, such as digitalization, cloud computing, and Big Data, which play a key role in creating efficiencies and spurring economic growth.    
Industry analysts   Our Analyst Relations team, the Executive Board, and executives interact with IT analysts on a frequent basis.   We updated IT analysts on topics such as SAP HANA, enterprise applications, industry solutions, cloud solutions, ecosystem, and services. The latest industry positioning material integrates economic, social, and environmental impact creation.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academia   Our dialog with NGOs, not-for-profit organizations, and academic institutions helps us understand how we can help address today’s most pressing issues with our solutions and what is expected from us as a corporation.   We work extensively with academia through the SAP University Alliances program, providing students at more than 3,100 universities with hands-on experience in working with SAP software and solutions.
Partners   Our partners are also key to our growth, as they co-innovate solutions with us, and sell and implement solutions at customer sites. The spirit of cooperation and engagement is exemplified by the online SAP Community.   As with customers, we also gather partner feedback regularly through our “SAP Listens” customer and partner feedback program.
Sustainability advisory panel   Our sustainability advisory panel consists of expert representatives from our customers, investors, partners, NGOs, and academia.   Our sustainability advisory panel met in 2016 with SAP senior executives from the areas of strategy, solutions, finance, and administration, including Luka Mucic, our chief financial officer (CFO) and board sponsor for sustainability, and Michael Kleinemeier, member of the Executive Board. The group discussed the further integration of sustainability into SAP solutions, ways to support business transformations, and the key areas in which our digitalization strategy can play an especially important role in creating a sustainable future.
Members of the sustainability advisory panel provided input into our materiality assessment and reviewed the results.


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