SAP Supports Saudi Aramco’s Bid to Boost Kingdom’s IT and SME Sectors with Talent, Entrepreneurialism and Innovation

World-leading Enterprise Software Company Outlines Commitment and Capabilities at Saudi Aramco’s Inaugural TIE IT Forum;

RIYADH, Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaSAP recently reiterated its commitment to supporting local talent and the SME sector at Saudi Aramco’s first Trends, Industry and Entrepreneurs (TIE) IT Forum.

The world’s largest enterprise software company attended the event to draw attention to its SME expertise, as well as its multiple training and development initiatives.

Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia, said:

“SMEs have developed rapidly in Saudi Arabia and become a key economic driver. To support this momentum, SAP has developed localized solutions for Saudi Arabia that can enable many SMEs to gain a new competitive edge. We are proud to take part in the TIE IT Forum; Saudi Aramco’s commitment to SMEs and the local IT industry is exceptional, and exciting, potential-rich times lie ahead.”

Highlighting its SME track record at the forum, SAP indicated how more than 80 per cent of its customers worldwide operate in this sector, 88 per cent of new business clients are small and 35 per cent of SAP’s sales come through indirect entrepreneurs.

SME-specific SAP® solutions include SAP® Business All-in-One (a customizable and extensible solution for midsize companies with deep industry best practices built in) and SAP® Business One (a single integrated solution for successfully managing small businesses and for managing subsidiaries of large corporation).

In terms of training and development, SAP emphasised that 2013 has been its best ever year.

As a part of its presence at the event, SAP demonstrated some of its expertise in this area by hosting a CodeJam event for over 50 students from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, the University of Dammam and members from Saudi Aramco Professional Development Program (PDPs). SAP CodeJam events are structured to engage budding developers with innovative technology, and to develop essential skills to succeed in the local job market. SAP’s CodeJam at the TIE IT Forum focused on application development for the pioneering in-memory computing platform SAP HANA.

Marita Mitschein, SAP Training & Development Institute Managing Director and Growth Plan Lead for SAP Middle East & North Africa, said:

“Our vision is to discover and shape the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and to ensure they are able to make strong and lasting impressions across a wide range of industries in the region – irrespective of whether they end up working for SAP or not. Our approach to this is multi-faceted in structure, world-class in outlook, and we are only just getting started.”

Other key SAP training and development initiatives set to have an impact in Saudi Arabia include the three-month Mawared (Young Professional) program. Designed for young graduates, the program includes hands-on project experience and spans everything from negotiation and communication to conflict management and “design thinking”. In addition, the initiative will offer SAP certifications on associate level in core business and industry solutions. 108 talented students graduated in 2013 and over 50 are currently undergoing training, most of which are Saudi Nationals from Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia’s Human Resources Development Fund recently reached an agreement with SAP to support the program.

Another powerful offering is the Dual Study Education Programme, which combines academia and workplace experience via an intensive two-year course hosted by local universities. Four universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are planning to join the program in the near future.

In order to maximise its ability to engage with local talent, SAP has also launched the 2nd Chance Education Program, which qualifies unemployed graduates as SAP certified consultants and users in collaboration with selected partners from government institutions and the private sector. A partner from Saudi Arabia has already signed up, with full details of the program due to be announced shortly.

More established is SAP’s world-renowned University Alliances Program (UAP), which continued to extend its influence throughout the region. 2,300 students across 47 universities – 17 of which are in Saudi Arabia – are now part of the UAP and being taught by 230 specially trained instructors. UAP member schools are provided with access to the SAP Business Suite family of solutions, including SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

About SAP

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Media contacts

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