Spotlight on IT in Turkey

(Source: SAP Turkey; Graphic: grasundsterne GmbH)

In Turkey, SAP is anything but idle. The company has doubled its headcount in the past year, to 140. The number of partners and consultants is to increase from the current 2,000 to 5,000 by 2015. And of course it’s looking to increase its current market share of 45.8 percent. As one of SAP’s strategic growth markets – along with Brazil, China, Russia, Mexico, and the Middle East, Turkey is proving to be an important new player in the IT industry.

According to industry analysts at IDC, SAP is currently growing some 20 percent faster than Oracle, its closest competitor. The significance of this market was further underlined when SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott with the leaders of nine large Turkish corporations in Istanbul. SAP has ambitious goals for Turkey. The person charged with turning these plans into reality is the new Managing Director of SAP Turkey, Zeynep Keskin. asked her about her take on the Turkish economy and the country’s role in the IT industry: Mrs. Keskin, in a time when some European countries are staring bankruptcy in the face, how would you describe the state of the Turkish economy?

Zeynep Keskin: Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. While European countries are dealing with the crisis, Turkey is standing strong and powerful. This is really amazing. Turkey has come out of these difficult times with impressive dynamics and has created sustainable growth. The whole picture has changed, and is now much brighter.

Skip directly to the SAP Turkey Facts & Figures

Read on the next page: IT brings dynamism to the industry

(Source: SAP Turkey; Graphic: grasundsterne GmbH)
(Source: SAP Turkey; Graphic: grasundsterne GmbH)

The Turkish economy is growing. Every business person in the world knows about this country’s success. Turkish companies are successful on the local market and are enjoying more and more success in other countries. More Turkish companies are rising to the challenge in the international arena in almost every industry. Not only in Europe, but in Asia, Africa, and so on, as well. And I believe that IT vision and IT investments of Turkish corporations have a key role to play in this evolution, as do the government’s economic policies.

How is the Turkish IT sector developing?

The proper use of technology plays an important role in the growth and success of the economy. Large enterprises and also SMEs have started implementing enterprise applications and mobile solutions that bring dynamism to the industry. Government institutions are also really eager to invest in innovation and technology.

Examples like the Fatih Project showcase how much importance the government places on IT. The level of understanding and awareness is very important, because it affects how individuals, business people, and executives think and act. Turkey is really going through one of the most important global evolutions of IT. That’s really amazing.

Can you give an example of how SAP increases the awareness of IT in Turkey?

For example, we started a new project called “Companies Moving Turkey into the Future”. It is aimed at supporting local companies with a series of regional meetings and sharing the global best practices on how to run Turkish businesses better. We have just held the first two events in major cities, Gaziantep and Bursa. Our partners and customers give presentations on topics like mobility or the SAP HANA platform, and also talk about the compatibility with the new Turkish Trade Act.

Read on the next page: “Touching one billion people”

(Source: SAP Turkey; Graphic: grasundsterne GmbH)
Managing Director of SAP Turkey, Zeynep Keskin (Photo: SAP)

What obstacles does SAP face in Turkey?

I expect that Europe’s economic situation might have a slight effect on companies in Turkey. But I’m positive that they will continue to invest in IT infrastructure. And I have faith in Turkey’s ambition for 2023 (100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic), which is to be one of the ten biggest economies in the world. Turkey has the vision and power to achieve this goal, and SAP has all the tools to help it reach these objectives. Already, the total sum of SAP Turkey customers equals the 25th biggest economy of the world.

How can SAP support Turkish companies and the Turkish economy in their growth trajectory?

SAP has been operating in Turkey since 2001. Today we have more than 2,000 people in our ecosystem and aim to have more than 5,000 consultants by 2015. We believe SAP Turkey will continue to lead the market in line with the growth of the Turkish economy.

In 2011, more companies chose SAP solutions than in all of the past three years combined. Also, seven out of the ten largest banks in Turkey use SAP. This is especially important because Turkey is becoming a regional hub for finance.

SAP’s aim of “touching one billion people with SAP software by 2015” rounds out Turkey’s goal of “becoming the tenth biggest economy in the world by 2023”. So we have a lot to do in the near future to achieve these objectives.

Read on the next page: SAP Turkey Facts & Figures

SAP Turkey Facts & Figures

  • SAP has been active in Turkey since 2001 with two offices in Istanbul and Ankara; before that it was represented by SAP Bilgi, a sales company
  • With a 45.8% market share, SAP is the leader in Turkey for enterprise applications
  • Its largest customers include the Koc Group, Sabanci, Turk Telekom, Turkcell, Çalık, and the Ulker Group
  • SAP customers include:
      • 8 of the 10 largest Turkish companies
      • 50 % of the 100 largest Turkish companies
      • 7 of the country’s 10 largest banks
  • Partners contribute more than 40% of software revenues
  • At the present time, 32 partners support around 1,000 Turkish customers
  • With a gross domestic product of around 1.12 trillion U.S. dollars, Turkey holds 17th place in the ranking of the world’s largest economies
  • Turkey is home to some 75 million people, the average age is 28.8 years
  • The market for information and communications technology grew by 47 percent in 2011. Growth of 6.5 percent, to $29 billion, is expected for 2012