SAP America Case Study
The case is about a company named SAP America, which is the abbreviation for Systems, Applications and Programs in Data Processing, which in three short years had gone from a smaller company to the heavy hitter within the corporate computing world. Within this case there were many details brought to light on the ambition of the founding members, and the eventual additions to the SAP team. The case details how this firm took their R/3 product, which was a real-time, integrated applications software, and changed the game of product market infiltration. In 1972 SAP was founded by four young software engineers who had come up with a concept for an integrated software package, and their current employer turned it down. This initial idea sparked their first major enterprise information systems product. This took their company public, and after five years SAP’s market capitalization was $15 billion. The expansion that occurred began in Walldorf, Germany where SAP was founding and spread to the America Group. This began in the late 1980’s and was crucial to the SAP’s growth. Once their overseas group took off, there were many elements of their business that needed to be altered and improved to account for their growth. Although they began as a product based company it was very clear to everyone involved that taking care of the client, through implementation and support was crucial to differentiating themselves from competitors within the market, and a key to their survival. The development of an industry strategy was another crucial action that paralleled the growth and support of SAP. This vertical industry strategy was to be delivered through industry centers of expertise (ICOEs), which to serve as a bridge between R/3 customers and the product development organization. This partnering was the key to SAP’s consistent growth, by using the manpower of outside and inside consultants. At the beginning of its cross seas venture, there was...
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