SAP looks to double MENA presence in two years

SAP looking to build on technology innovations for new and existing customers to grow in region

Tags: CRMCloud computingSAP Middle East and North Africa
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SAP looks to double MENA presence in two years SAP aims to build on the growth it has experienced recently in the region, says Alkharat. (ITP Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  November 3, 2010

SAP plans to double its resources in the MENA region in the next two years, the company announced at the SAP Forum 2010 in Dubai yesterday.

The software giant said it has experienced 33% year-on-year growth in the region, and intends to increase its presence in the region to meet growing demand for full ERP solutions, business intelligence and analytics.

Speaking at a press round table, Sam Alkharrat, managing director of SAP MENA stated: “SAP is committed more than ever to the MENA region. Our plan is to deploy almost twice the resources that we currently have to keep up with demand and provide the customer with the quality of experience that they expect from SAP.”

Alkharrat said that SAP has around 250 people in MENA and will look to double that, with the majority of headcount focused on delivery of solutions rather than sales. The company expects to see growth come from new customers, and from upselling existing customers.

For existing customers, many of the ERP installations in the region are “plain vanilla”, Alkharrat said, and SAP would look to leverage best practices it has developed in Europe and the US to enable companies to integrate other applications such as CRM, procurement management, product lifecycle management and business analytics.

For new business, the company is targeting segments such as public sector including healthcare and education; oil and gas and basic industries and manufacturing; defence; retail, and banking, where SAP has had over 50% growth globally in the last four quarters.

Jose Duarte, president of SAP EMEA & India commented: “I expect quite a large capture of new clients, at least 50% of our business should come from companies that have never bought SAP.”

The SAP Forum attracted over 1,000 IT business people, and was used to showcase SAP’s new strategy, which is based around four elements - four pillars of our strategy – On Premise, On Demand, On Device and Orchestration.

Duarte said that innovations in SAP’s in-memory computing technology, most notably its new SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance (SAP HANA) software; virtualisation, cloud computing and the prevalence of mobile devices was creating new opportunities for SAP to deliver business applications through a range of models and to a range of end clients.

“SAP builds applications on premise, on device, on demand, and all of them fit together by design. We will take care of consistency of processes, consistency of information, of data, of infrastructure like there is no tomorrow,” Duarte said. “We have done the integration of business processes within one layer, we will now orchestrate these across different technologies, which could be SAP or not, the orchestration layer is going to be agnostic.

“We believe it is the biggest opportunity since we launched SAP R3 in 1993. The game changing elements of analytics, in memory computing, on demand and on device are going to transform the way computing is done. SAP is taking a very different angle from what our competitors have done, of taking stacks of old technology, assembling it together, putting a wrap around it and not innovating. We are taking the latest and greatest, innovating on it, and spending our euros on research and development and putting out new technology that will help our customers run better,” he added.

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