WALLDORF — Forty years ago to the day, SAP, now the market leader in enterprise application software, was founded. What began as a five-man operation is now one of the world’s largest independent software providers, an employer of more than 55,000 people in over 50 countries serving more than 183,000 customers worldwide. Today, three quarters of the Forbes 500 companies run SAP software. SAP software powers 80 percent of the companies on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and 85 percent of the top 100 most valued brands in the world.

“When we began in 1972, our vision was to build real-time business applications and we did so in close cooperation with our first customers,” said Hasso Plattner, co-founder of SAP and chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board. “Today, SAP continues to be the trusted innovator it was then. We are driving intellectual renewal with breakthrough innovations like the SAP HANA platform for the next generation of real-time management of businesses anytime, anywhere, from any device. And we have also returned to our roots, working closely with customers to make the impossible possible.”

The story of SAP is one of innovation and continuous growth. Born of a single customer’s demand and an entrepreneurial vision for technology’s business potential, SAP began its path of transforming the world of IT. Five engineers — Hasso Plattner, Dietmar Hopp, Klaus Tschira, Hans-Werner Hector and Claus Wellenreuther — were driven by the desire to help companies run their businesses better, faster and more efficiently with standard software solutions. The founders’ vision holds true and its potential continues to unfold.

“SAP’s success is based on our commitment to innovation and to our customers,” said Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO, SAP. “This commitment has enabled SAP to deliver leading business solutions to companies of any size and help them become best-run businesses. In a hyper-connected world with limited resources and more than 7 billion people, we are committed to leveraging this experience to help the world run better. We are proud that our software is helping to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.”

“SAP is still fueled by the pioneering spirit that inspired our founders: We remain focused on the success of our customers. They are at the heart of our ambition to transform the industry,” said Bill McDermott, co-CEO, SAP. “With our bold commitment to innovation without disruption, we are uniquely positioned to help organizations run like never before. The passion of SAP employees to win has brought amazing momentum back to the company. Our best-ever financial results, the strategic acquisitions of Sybase and SuccessFactors, our long-term investment in China and the highest share price since 2000 are a testament to our strategic direction, our customer orientation and our world-class employees.”

Celebration Activities: Gala Charity Concert and Project Inspiration Pavilion
Celebrations are planned throughout this year. Business leaders, customers, employees, shareholders and local communities in the more than 120 countries where SAP does business will be included in the activities, which include:

  • A gala charity concert at the opera house of the National Theater in Mannheim, Germany, where one of the original SAP offices opened 40 years ago. To be hosted by SAP on April 29, 2012, star tenor Rolando Villazón will perform with the SAP symphony orchestra. Proceeds from the concert will go to the World Childhood Foundation. Queen Silvia of Sweden, founder of the World Childhood Foundation, will be the guest of honor.
  • The launch of the “Project Inspiration Pavilion” at the end of April, an exhibition that highlights SAP’s spirit of innovation in a completely digital environment.
  • A collection of stories, oral histories, videos and historic photos, tailored to all types of devices — from the desktop to tablets and smartphones — will be published April 5, 2012, in a special Web magazine called “SAP Milestones.”
  • A social innovation competition to be launched on June 18, 2012. The project aims to identify entrepreneurs globally who have innovative social ideas and solutions that are ready to be launched. SAP is committed to providing support to the entrepreneurs behind the innovations through capital, technology and people so that they can propel their ideas or emerging businesses to the next level.

For more information, visit the SAP Newsroom.

For more information, press only:
Christoph Liedtke, SAP,+49 6227 7-50383, christoph.liedtke@sap.com, CET
Daniel Reinhardt, SAP, +49 (6227) 7-40201, daniel.reinhardt@sap.com, CET
Saswato Das, SAP, +1 (212) 653-9571, saswato.das@sap.com, EDT
SAP Press Office, +49 (6227) 7-46315, CET; +1 (610) 661-3200, EDT; press@sap.com
Martina Bahrke, Burson-Marsteller, +49 (0) 69-2 38 09-31, martina.bahrke@bm.com, CET