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SAP to double Middle East presence, says co-CEO

Bill McDermott claims business software giant will double regional workforce in next year

SAP to double Middle East presence, says co-CEO
SAP will double its MENA workforce over the next 12 months

Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP, has revealed that the world's largest enterprise software vendor is to increase its presence in the Middle East by 100% over the next 12 months.

McDermott claimed that the company, which specialises in ERP software, was struggling to cope with regional demand for its applications.

"The demand is so high it far outstrips the capacity, which is why we're going to double the operation here across the Middle East in the next 12 months," he said. "We're going to create literally hundreds, if not thousands of jobs."

Since August last year, SAP has hired 100 new employees in MENA and opened offices in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Qatar. The company also recently hired Qais Gharaibeh as country manager for the UAE.

McDermott added that SAP would leverage its relationships with a number of regional universities, including UAEU and Zayed University in the UAE, to nurture programming talent in the Middle East. "[We will] move young students... into training camps where we can teach them the SAP system and make them available to the ecosystem, to our customers, and also obviously to SAP," he added.

SAP's fortunes have been mixed of late. In recent financial quarters, the vendor has seen consistently strong growth in new application license sales, culminating in a 28% Q3 software revenue increase this month.

However, the company has also been embroiled in a bitter feud with competitor Oracle regarding IP theft. Last year, a court ordered SAP to pay Oracle $1.3 billion, although a judge recently lowered this penalty to $272 million.

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