Brazil already has the seventh biggest economy in the world, and forecasts predict that the country will climb to fifth overall by 2015. SAP has certainly contributed to this success story:As recently as 2010, Brazil was able to post sales growth of 90% – good enough for third place in terms of turnover, right behind the United States and Germany. It is one of the leading business software providers in Brazil, supporting 30% of major customers and 70% of small businesses and midsize companies.
SAP has had three offices in Brazil since 1996; its main branch is located in São Paulo, while the other two local branches are located in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. In June 2006, SAP also opened SAP Labs Brazil in São Leopoldo, which is responsible for the development of SAP applications, software localization, and software support in the region. At the same time, it oversees SAP product support in North America and organizes and conducts training courses for SAP partners in Latin America. SAP Labs Brazil also cooperates on the development of special solutions for customers in the SAP ecosystem and customers of local partners. Most recently, meanwhile, SAP opened the SAP Co-Innovation Lab São Paulo in October 2010.
The number of employees working for SAP in Brazil is also considerable: At the end of 2011, a total of around 1,480 people worked for SAP, including 962 at the company’s three branch offices alone. One of them is Diogo Brunacci, government relations director at SAP’s São Paulo office, who represents the company’s interests with various government and trade officials.
“Communicating SAP’s goals to decision makers and explaining how we can help move the economy forward together with local companies is a great challenge,” says 34-year-old Brunacci, who has been working for SAP in Brazil for almost two years.
This local collaboration is not the only decisive factor, however: Appearances at bigger events also contribute to the company’s growth. For instance, Brazil was a partner country in this year’s CeBIT, the world’s largest ICT trade show. “Participating in CeBIT gave us the chance to present SAP Brazil to the international market along with its goals and values, and we made every effort to demonstrate our continuous growth and expansion to key decision makers. It was a really beneficial event; we established some valuable contacts for the future,” Brunacci reports.
Meanwhile, Brunacci is sure that the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics will thrust Brazil and its booming economy further into the global spotlight. “These massive events come with tremendous responsibility, but their organizers believe in our ability to shoulder it. It’s particularly important that we ensure transparency in the competitions and strive to involve the people of Brazil,” he points out. “This new level of awareness will have a positive impact on the country’s image and economy alike.”