SAP turns 40

By Anne Widjaja

SAP AG is hosting a range of lavish celebrations to celebrate its fortieth birthday on 2 April 2012.

Forty years ago, SAP was born as a five-man operation. Today, SAP is one of the world’s largest independent software providers and employs more than 55,000 people in over 50 countries. The company also serves more than 183,000 customers worldwide. Among it’s customers, SAP can count three quarters of the Forbes 500 companies, 80 per cent of the companies on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and 85 per cent of the top 100 most valued brands in the world.  

SAP began with five engineers – Hasso Plattner, Dietmar Hopp, Klaus Tschira, Hans-Werner Hector and Claus Wellenreuther – determined to help companies run their businesses better, faster and more efficiently with standard software solutions. Born out of a single customer’s demand and an entrepreneurial vision for technology’s business potential, SAP began transforming the world of IT.

“When we began in 1972, our vision was to build real time business applications and we did so in close cooperation with our first customers,” said Hasso Plattner, co-founder of SAP and chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board.

Plattner is proud that SAP’s dynamic vision has still remained unchanged.

“Today, SAP continues to be the trusted innovator it was then. We are driving intellectual renewal with break-through innovations like the SAP HANA platform for the next generation of real time management of businesses anytime anywhere from any device. And we have also returned to our roots, working closely with customers to make the impossible possible,” he said.

Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO, SAP AG, also commented on how SAP’s commitment to its customers and its innovative vision continues to enable SAP to deliver leading business solutions.

“In a hyper-connected world with limited resources and more than 7 billion people, we are committed to leveraging this experience to help the world run better,” he said.

Bill McDermott, co-CEO, SAP AG, praised SAP employees for contributing to SAP’s recent success and bringing new ambition to the table.

“The passion of SAP employees to win has brought amazing momentum back to the company. Our best-ever financial results, the strategic acquisitions of Sybase and SuccessFactors, our long-term investment in China and the highest share price since 2000 are a testament to our strategic direction, our customer orientation and our world-class employees,” he said.

The highlights of SAP’s 40th Anniversary year celebrations include:

•    A gala charity concert at the opera house of the National Theater in Mannheim, Germany, where one of the original SAP offices opened 40 years ago, will be hosted by SAP on 29 April 2012. Star tenor Rolando Villazón will perform with the SAP symphony orchestra. Proceeds from the concert will go to the World Childhood Foundation.

•    The launch of the ‘Project Inspiration Pavilion’ exhibition at the end of April, which highlights SAP’s spirit of innovation in a digitised world.

•    A special web magazine called ‘SAP Milestones’ will be published on 5 April, which includes a collection of stories, oral histories, videos and historic photos, tailored to all types of devices.

•    A global social innovation competition to be launched on 18 June 2012. The competition aims to identify entrepreneurs who have innovative social ideas and solutions that are ready to be launched. SAP will provide support to the entrepreneurs through capital, technology and people so that they can propel their ideas or emerging businesses to the next level.

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