SAP is the world's leading provider of ERP - or enterprise resource planning - software, offering corporate customers data management and analytics, custom application development, as well as ancillary support and services. Key corporate clients include Walmart, Exxon Mobil, Apple, AT&T, Ford, GM and Alphabet. It is also the overall #3 across all software segments after Microsoft and Oracle, and the only major developer still headquartered outside the US. Virtually all core software products are marketed under the uniform SAP brand, but adapted for different client industry sectors. The company has bolted on a series of ancillary services and expanded its global footprint, especially in the US, through acquisitions. These have intensified an already bitter rivalry with Oracle. That battle reached a new peak in 2010 when Oracle claimed that employees of one of SAP's US subsidiaries had hacked into the American company's servers to steal customer details. Oracle won the subsequent lawsuit. The two companies remain bitter rivals, expanding their competition into new areas such as cloud computing and real-time analytics. Among SAP's numerous recent acquisitions is US travel and expense management specialist Concur Technologies. Others include Hybris, Ariba and SuccessFactors. In 2019, the group acquired CRM software developer Qualtrics for $8bn. Most of these businesses have been consolidated as integrated application suites under the SAP HANA and SAP Leonardo banners, delivered primarily via the cloud. SAP claims more than 200m individual subscribers to its cloud platform globally. Group revenues for 2019 reached a new high of €27.6bn, with net profit of €3.4bn. Bill McDermott stepped down as CEO in 2019 after five years in that role. His successors were co-CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein; however Morgan departed the group after only a few months in 2020 leaving Klein as sole CEO. The company was formed in 1972 by five executives from IBM Germany, initially to produce financial accounting systems under the catchy name Systeme, Anwendungen, Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung (or Systems, Analysis and Products in Data Processing). That was quickly abbreviated to SAP. Hasso Plattner is the last of SAP's five founders to maintain a role at the group, now as chairman of the supervisory board, and is also the group's biggest shareholder with an 8% stake.
Capsule checked 9th January 2021
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Who are the competitors of SAP? SAP is the global leader in enterprise resource planning software ahead of Oracle and Intuit. In general enterprise applications, Microsoft is global leader as a result of its Office suite, but SAP is #2 ahead of Salesforce and Oracle. See IT & Technology Sector
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Nov 2018: Competition in the CRM software business ramped up with SAP's deal to acquire market analytics and customer feedback supplier Qualtrics International for $8bn. It is SAP's second biggest ever purchase, at a price that is well above the $5bn valuation at which Qualtrics had been considering an IPO, and more than 20 times annual revenues. The deal will give SAP added leverage in its battle with CRM market leader Salesforce.com.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Oct 2017: Ads Of The Week: "Let's Do This". Clive Owen, clearly an actor with multiple undiscovered talents, turns on the charm in a busy and immensely entertaining film from BBDO New York for business software developer SAP. This isn't exactly breaking any moulds - Cisco have been doing similar types of ads for several years, most notably with Goodby Silverstein and another Brit actor on down-time, Ewan McGregor. However, this spot is engaging and may certainly get potential clients thinking about giving SAP a call. And who knew Clive Owen did light comedy so well?
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