On the Internet, many key words were searched, but no satisfactory information was found, such as “SAP company, German SAP company, SAP official website”, which is a common thing. The editor specially searched foreign websites and translated the latest SAP development history on the official website of SAP in Germany
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The entrepreneurial process of SAP in Germany and its subsequent development history of nearly 50 years provide an excellent blueprint for today’s enterprise-level software and service entrepreneurs. From the first five employees, SAP finally grew into a global software giant, with a revenue of 27.553 billion euros in 2019, 440000 corporate customers in 180 countries around the world, ranking among the world’s top 500 enterprises. As a global ERP software giant, SAP has given new life in the era of cloud computing: in the first quarter of 2020, it is still growing strongly.
What are the key points of SAP’s entrepreneurial path? First of all, SAP chose to take “real-time computing” as its starting point and vision, that is, to enable enterprises to process data in real time. This is actually a common pain point for enterprises, which mainly helps enterprises solve the complexity of data management and processing. This vision has always supported SAP’s continuous technological innovation; Secondly, SAP started with financial accounting software, but in the process of development, it turned to a technology platform that can support customized development, that is, the PaaS platform understood today, and later acquired Sybase database technology, and launched the in-memory computing database HANA 10 years ago, paving the way for the successful transformation of the cloud computing era; Platform company, which is SAP’s positioning today. Third, SAP has always supported a comprehensive open source strategy, supported the development, integration and expansion of various enterprise software with a technology integration platform, and transplanted SAP software to the mainstream public cloud. Fourth, SAP has enriched and expanded its product lines and services through continuous acquisition in the later stage. Fifth, enter the international market through co-creation and development of products with customers, enter the small and medium-sized enterprise market through technological innovation of technical partners, and expand consulting and implementation partners to strengthen their software product positioning.
Of course, there are more than the above five points that support SAP’s entrepreneurial success and move towards the world’s software giants. The following are the key points of SAP’s development process:
1972-1980: Early SAP began to build a dream based on “real-time” computing, that is, software that can process data on demand when customers need it, instead of batch processing at night.
In 1972, five former IBM employees (Dietmar Hopp, Hasso Plattner, Hans-Werner Hector, Klaus Tschira and Claus Wellenruther) founded a company called SAP Systemanalysis und Programmentwicklung (“System analysis and program development”).
SAP’s vision when it was founded was to develop standard real-time data processing applications. This vision has been driving SAP’s innovation. SAP initially took the form of private partnership. At the end of the first year of business, SAP Company had 9 employees, earning 620000 marks, and achieved initial success in entrepreneurship.
In 1973, SAP completed the first financial accounting system – RF. This system is the cornerstone of other software modules under development, which are finally named after SAP R/1.
In 1975, SAP’s landmark feature began to emerge – that is, integrating all the applications of a company. The material management data flow is directly entered into financial accounting on the basis of value, while the check and posting of invoices can be completed in one step.
In 1976, SAP established SAP GmbH Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Dateverarbeitung (“systems, applications and products in data processing”), a subsidiary of sales and support. Five years later, the private partnership was dissolved and its rights were transferred to SAP GmbH.
In 1977, SAP began to install systems for customers outside Germany for the first time.
In 1979, the in-depth study of IBM’s database and dialog control system prompted SAP to rethink software, paving the way for SAP R/2.
1981-1990: In the SAP R/2 era, “real-time” processing continues to touch all aspects of the enterprise. SAP R/2 suite of mainframe software applications can perform real-time processing and integrate all business functions of the enterprise.
In 1981, SAP made its debut at the IT Exhibition System Exhibition in Munich, Germany. SAP R/2 achieves a high level of stability. With the help of customers, SAP expanded the product range through the production management module, which is the joint development and innovation with customers.
In 1982, SAP reached the age of 10, with a revenue of 24 million marks and 100 employees. About 96% of customers used SAP software to manage business processes.
In 1984, SAP (International) AG was established in Biel, Switzerland, as a starting point for SAP to conduct business in overseas markets.
In 1985, SAP established a new quality assurance committee to help improve the stability of software.
In 1986, SAP opened its first international subsidiary in Austria. As the number of employees in SAP has increased to a certain extent, its 300 employees need to be divided into smaller organizational units led by department managers. In terms of business, SAP’s asset accounting module received 100 new orders due to the new legislative requirement to manage the balance sheet. In that year, SAP’s revenue reached DM 100 million, making SAP reach this milestone earlier than expected.
In 1987, SAP’s early attempt to establish specifications in software production was the key reason for the development of next-generation software SAP R/3. In terms of business expansion, SAP’s software can be targeted at midsize customers because of IBM’s new generation of servers. In that year, SAP established SAP Consulting to support new customers.
1988 was a milestone year for SAP. SAP changed from a private limited liability company to a publicly listed SAP AG. SAP made its initial public offering in October 1988 at the price of DM 750. In that year, SAP had 940 employees with an annual revenue of DEM 245 million.
In 1989, SAP launched various development projects for SAP R/2, including the use of new tools such as ABAP/4 programming environment. In terms of products, SAP R/3 has also begun to take shape. A total of 4 UNIX systems from different manufacturers have been included in the company’s research and development. At the same time, SAP began to develop RIVA (billing and management system for utility companies) to meet the needs of specific industries.
In 1990, SAP further developed SAP R/2 and the new SAP R/3 system. SAP launched the acquisition activity to strengthen its focus on medium-sized companies by acquiring 50% of the equity of German software company Steeb and directly acquiring software company CAS.
1991-2000, in the SAP R/3 era, “real-time” processing reached the desktop. Client/server architecture software enables enterprises to operate more efficiently around the world.
In 1991, SAP showed the first application of SAP R/3 system at CeBIT Exhibition in Hanover, and the response was very positive. SAP began to explore new market potential: branches and subsidiaries of medium-sized enterprises and large enterprise groups.
In 1992, after successful installation with some pilot customers, SAP introduced SAP R/3 to the market. Due to the large demand for SAP R/3, SAP has strengthened its partner strategy, and an independent consulting company (SAP called it “logo partner”) provides support for customers to implement the new system. SAP has also become more and more international, with revenues outside Germany accounting for nearly 50%.
In 1993, SAP began to cooperate with Microsoft, the world’s largest software manufacturer, to migrate SAP R/3 to the Windows NT operating system. SAP R/3 has also been ported to SUN hardware, enabling it to run on all relevant RISC platforms. In that year, SAP’s revenue reached the 10-digit mark for the first time, creating 1.1 billion marks and more than 3600 employees.
In 1994, SAP R/3 system was released on Windows NT. In terms of acquisition, SAP strengthened the SAP R/3 retail solution portfolio by acquiring 52% shares of DACOS Software.
In 1995, with the help of system dealers, SAP began to focus more marketing efforts on medium-sized enterprises. At the same time, SAP’s share price soared as it was included in the German DAX stock index.
In 1996, SAP launched a joint Internet strategy with Microsoft. Customers can connect online applications to their SAP R/3 system through an open interface, and can also take advantage of IBM’s new AS/400 platform.
In 1997, SAP celebrated its 25th anniversary. In order to further internationalize, SAP decided to enter the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the third quarter of 1998.
On August 3, 1998, the word “SAP” appeared on the board of the New York Stock Exchange, the largest trading place in the world, for the first time. In that year, SAP’s tenth SAPPHIRE event focused on a new strategy – EnjoySAP, which focuses on SAP users.
In May 1999, Hasso Plattner, the co-CEO of SAP, announced a new strategy that completely adjusted the company and its product portfolio: mySAP.com. This repositioning combines e-commerce solutions with SAP’s existing ERP applications on the basis of Web technology. The EnjoySAP program is the foundation of mySAP.com’s success.
In 2000, SAP has become the world’s leading e-commerce software solution provider and the world’s third largest independent software provider. The mySAP.com platform combines comprehensive e-commerce solutions, innovative technologies and extensive services. In terms of product architecture, SAP demonstrated its commitment to develop from a component supplier to a solution provider.
From 2001 to 2010, real-time data was everywhere and everywhere. “Real-time” processing has been promoted to the Internet and other innovative fields: cloud computing, mobile and in-memory computing have opened up new horizons for real-time data access anytime and anywhere.
In 2001, SAP expanded mySAP.com to become a comprehensive business application technology. So far, SAP has the architecture needed to help enterprises integrate various IT systems.
In 2002, 30 years after its establishment, SAP became the third largest independent software provider in the world and a model of the German economy. The SAP brand represents high-quality commercial software.
In the era of “new economy”, from mysap.com to mySAP technology, it has reached a new peak in SAP NetWeaver. This technology enables SAP to provide fast, open and flexible business applications, support end-to-end business processes, and provide fast, open and flexible business applications whether based on SAP or other vendor systems.
In 2004, the first version of SAP NetWeaver was launched to the market, and this new integration and application platform received a very warm response from the market. SAP announced its intention to acquire the remaining shares of its consulting subsidiary SAP SI and merge the company into its enterprise group, which strengthened SAP’s strategic IT consulting and integration service portfolio worldwide and made SAP the preferred supplier for many customers. In terms of products, SAP plans its future around the concept of enterprise service architecture (SOA).
The mark of 2005 is a series of acquisitions. While competitors launched major acquisitions, SAP focused on organic growth by acquiring smaller companies. The specific solutions of these companies can help SAP expand its business rationally.
In 2006, at the first annual SAPPHIRE event held in Orlando, Florida, USA, SAP announced the full release of its flagship application SAP ERP. In addition, SAP has significantly expanded its share in the mid-tier market through the solutions SAP All-in-One and SAP Business One.
In 2007, SAP acquired Pilot Software, as well as Yusa, OutlookSoft, Wicom and MaXware; SAP also announced its intention to acquire Business Objects. SAP also demonstrated SAP Business ByDesign, a product designed specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises.
In 2008, SAP successfully completed the acquisition of Business Objects.
In 2009, with the impact of the global financial crisis on the real economy in 2008, SAP took the initiative to take layoffs and other cost-saving measures. In the same year, SAP introduced SAP Business Suite 7 software, which is designed to help enterprises optimize performance and reduce IT costs.
In May 2010, SAP announced its plan to acquire Sybase for about $5.8 billion. In that year, SAPPHIRE Now witnessed many innovations – the most important of which was memory technology, which opened a new era of real-time processing for commercial applications.
In 2011-2020, in-memory computing, cloud computing and business networks supported record revenue. SAP HANA in-memory platform makes lightning data analysis a reality, which promotes the continuous growth of SAP; Strategic acquisitions and continuous innovation have made SAP a leader in cloud computing and e-commerce business networks. With the introduction of SAP S/4HANA and SAP C/4HANA, SAP introduced
This article "Latest SAP development history on the official website of SAP in Germany" by AcloudEAR. We focus on business applications such as cloud ERP.
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