German software developer SAP AG on Monday announced a four-year plan worth Dh1.65billion ($450 million) to up-skill local talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. The decision highlights the region as a fast-growth market and an integral part of the company’s overall business strategy.
The plan was announced by Werner Brandt, chief financial officer and SAP Executive Board member, in Dubai on Monday.
It includes recruiting more than 500 additional employees, opening several new offices and expanding the company’s partner ecosystem and the SAP University Alliances programme. Additionally, significant increases will be made in the availability of comprehensive, innovative and localized service offerings.
SAP Mena will also establish a dedicated “Training and Development Institute” that aims to certify 2,000 new consultants within the next four years. This will triple the company’s existing consulting capabilities in the region and further support the localization of SAP solutions to meet fast-growing regional industry needs.
“The Mena market is remarkable in its growth potential, scope and readiness to innovate, and we strongly believe that now is the right time to take our operations and engagement to the next level,” said Brandt. “SAP’s additional investment will enable us to deliver leading-edge innovation, better localization and more talent to our customers and partners, as well as help develop crucial skills-sets and employment opportunities in MENA.”
SAP expects to significantly grow its Mena revenues by 2015, building on an impressive double-digit compound growth rate between 2008 and 2011 and establishing the region as one of the company’s top-10 growth markets globally.
SAP’s plan to bolster its business across Mena comes following the company’s best-ever financial year in 2011, with global software revenue increasing 25 percent at constant currencies to EUR4 billion and IFRS total revenue increasing 14 per cent to EUR14.2 billion. The robust performance is reflected in a recent study by IDC, a leading global IT intelligence and market advisory firm, which named SAP as Mena’s leading enterprise application software (EAS) vendor with a more than 37 percent market share.
“Innovative technologies such as mobility and the cloud are among the fastest growing IT segments and are already having a significant impact on businesses’ ability to grow and innovate,” said Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president and regional managing director, IDC Middle East and Africa. “We are facing a major turning point where we either embrace the cutting-edge or remain rooted in the past. Solid, forward-looking investment plans such as the one announced by SAP today will not only dramatically strengthen Mena’s ICT landscape, but also its ability to compete on a global scale.”
“Since the formation of SAP in Mena in late 2007, we have focused on expanding our regional presence by building value-based customer relationships with our world-class expertise, fostering talent and enabling our ecosystem,” said Sam Alkharrat, managing director, SAP MENA. “Customers are looking for better choice, industry leadership and best practice and innovation.Now is the time to expand by accelerating our presence into untapped markets, further localizing our solutions and relentlessly focusing on value-delivery. We will also continue to provide breakthrough innovations like in-memory computing, secure mobile apps and cloud-based solutions to all our customers.”