Name something that started 50 years ago and is still going strong… Difficult, isn’t it? Few revolutionary ideas struggle to take off and make an impact. SAP, however, does celebrate its 50th year this year, and what better way to commemorate such a milestone than to look through SAP’s history and mark the most memorable moments to see what really makes them great!
The Beginning – because it’s a great place to start!
5 former IBM employees – Dietmar Hop, Hasso Plattner, Claus Wellenreuther, Klaus Tschira, and Hans-Werner Hector – had a dream. They wanted to create standard enterprise software that integrated all business processes and enabled real-time data processing. On 1st April 1972, SAP was born!
In order to really find out and understand the business needs and processes, SAP founders and employees would often sit side by side and work closely with their customers. By 1975, applications had been built for financial accounting (RF), invoice verification, and inventory management (RM). The combination of real-time data processing, standardization and integration was the basis for SAP’s transformation from a small German company into a global leader in business software.
1979 saw the start of development for their second generation of software, R/2. In 1980, SAP had approximately 80 employees meaning they could move into their first own office building in Walldorf, Germany.
Late 80s and the 90s
Whilst R/2 enjoyed a huge sales success and one year before SAP went public with an IPO in 1988, the company’s managers looked ahead to its third-generation software.
1992 saw the beginning of SAP R/3, with the client-server software paving the way to a globalised economy, transforming SAP into a global player with divisions and expansion centres across the world was the right way to move forward.
SAP responded to the internet and new economy in 1999 by introducing its mysap.com plan, something that would truly propel them into the 21st century! Fast forward ten years and SAP expanded out into three markets of the future: mobile technology, database technology and cloud. To become a key player within these domains, SAP acquired some of its competitors, including Business Objects, Sybase, Ariba, SuccessFactors, Fieldglass, and Concur.
The Sky’s The Limit! (Well, The Cloud!)
2011 saw the first customers using the in-memory database SAP HANA. Four years later, SAP launched SAP S/4HANA, its latest generation of business software, operating completely on SAP HANA. They are dedicated to enabling every organisation to become intelligent, networked, and sustainable. SAP Business Technology Platform brings together application development, data and analytics, integration, and AI into one platform. This is an integral element of SAP’s “RISE with SAP” product launched in 2021.
As a provider, SAP has more than 240 million cloud users currently, more than 100 solutions covering all business functions, and the largest cloud portfolio or any provider. They operate 65 data centres at 35 locations in 16 countries.
For something that started out as an idea in the 1970s has now become a global name and system that has continued to improve. The internet – no problem! Cloud systems – no problem! SAP have adapted their model to the way we work at that specific time.
SAP continues to thrive in the technology ecosystem – with such a successful 50 years behind them, who knows where they could be within the next 50 years?!
If you would like to be or continue to be part of SAP’s legacy, then contact one of our consultants at Focus On SAP today, and you could be part of history!