SAP (System Analysis Program Development) is a German multinational software company. Currently, they employ more than 105,000 employees across 140 countries. They have 22,000 partners across the globe that help their clients design, implement, and deploy SAP products within their organizations. As a result, SAP powers over 85% of the world’s commerce. In fact, ask anyone who works in a finance or account department and chances are they have heard of SAP.
The company holds many accolades. They’re one of the largest software companies in the world by market capitalization. Additionally, they are notably the only non-American technology and software company to hold a top 5 spot. Throughout the past two decades, SAP has grown through acquisition, picking up some notable companies, including Business Objects in 2007, Ariba in 2012, and Concur in 2014.
History of SAP
SAP has the typical roots of an enterprise software company. It was founded in 1972 by five former IBM employees, Dietmar Hopp, Kalus Tschira, Hans Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, and Claus Wellenreuther. Their original goal was to help organizations solve necessary business problems. These problems included accounting, invoice verification, and inventory management. At that point in time, businesses performed data processing through large punch cards that were mechanically processed. So one of the value propositions SAP offered was that their systems would process data in real-time. This came with the release of SAP R/1 in 1973.
As their client base grew, the company continued to evolve their software. By 1988, the company was ready for its IPO, ushering in a decade of growth through acquisition. Through their previous CEO, Bill McDermott, SAP made many company purchases, including a blockbuster $8 billion dollar purchase of survey company Qualtrics in 2019. Since then, SAP has shifted and is looking to integrate its large portfolio of companies, hoping to offer a superior and seamless experience to their clients.
At the heart of SAP’s business is their enterprise resource planning software (ERP), SAP S/4HANA. Typically, ERP software handles the core business processes of a company. These processes include financial accounting postings, invoicing, manufacturing, and more. Almost every organization will have some sort of financial accounting software that they use to capture and report their financial position.
Over the years and through numerous acquisitions, SAP has become a provider of numerous products and services. From travel expense management through Concur, to human capital management through SuccessFactors, they have a product for nearly every aspect of a business. Almost every business recognizes the need to have some sort of technology or platform to support an evolving and digital operation. And with that, SAP likely offers some products to fit that need.
SAP products are typically sold through a partner model. This means that clients have to reach out to certain businesses that specialize in helping companies configure, implement, and deploy their software and products. Most large consulting firms will have SAP services as part of their offering. There are also many smaller, mid-size companies that specialize in such services. As a result, SAP is able to reach a wide market of businesses.
Perks of working at SAP
Staying true to European form, SAP offers a number of family benefits that can be real differentiators in a job market that is tilted in favor of talent. For family benefits, SAP offers $25K for fertility treatments and $10K for adoption expenses. They also provide 100% top-up for parental leave with differentiating weeks between the mother and father.
SAP also celebrates the unique abilities of each individual and demonstrates their commitment through their Autism at Work program. This program commits to reducing the barriers to entry and helping every individual maximize potential. Through awareness and personalized opportunities, individuals can contribute meaningful work in their own way while helping clients advance their business.
ERP software market and competitors
The ERP market is estimated to hit a $49.5 billion dollar market by 2025. External factors such as the COVID pandemic have accelerated growth in the market, forcing companies to migrate to cloud-hosted versions of the software. As a result, the market is set to grow at an annual rate of 9.8% through 2027.
Within the market, there are many competitors. From other large enterprise software giants to smaller companies that specialize in a particular industry, there is no shortage of options. Additionally, each company may offer a suite of offerings, allowing clients to configure an optimal solution for their business.
SAP’s largest competitor is Larry Ellison’s Oracle. Microsoft also competes in the ERP space with their Dynamics product. And furthermore, there are lots of smaller competitors in the space which specialize in specific sectors and or industries.
CEO: Christian Klein (2019 – Present)
Headquarters: Walldorf, Germany
Company Size: ~100,000 employees globally
 https://www.sap.com/investors/en/investment-story/acquisitions.html, Retrieved December 26, 2021