The next generation arrives: Following successful installations with select pilot customers, SAP brings SAP R/3 to the general public and enters a new level of growth.
Ten twice over: Not about to let its 20th birthday pass without a proper celebration, SAP marks the occasion by opening its new sales and development center. Erwin Teufel, Minister President of the state of Baden-Württemberg, is among the guests. The company now manages its 15 international subsidiaries from Walldorf to make better use of its existing infrastructure.
Increasingly international: Of its DM 831 million in total revenue, SAP is now generating nearly 50% of it outside of Germany. Meanwhile, its global workforce grows to 3,157 employees by the end of the year.
Preparations: To ready itself for potential acquisitions and holdings, SAP adds another DM 15 million to its capital stock, bringing it to a total of DM 100 million.
Joint success: Expecting high demand for SAP R/3, SAP augments its partner strategy. Independent consulting firms, which SAP refers to as "logo partners," support customers in implementing the new system.
Partnerships: SAP begins working with Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, to port SAP R/3 to the Windows NT operating system. SAP also begins participating in the IXOS project, a joint undertaking involving the development and marketing of an electronic archiving system for original documents.
International expansion: The construction of a development center in Foster City, California, gives SAP a presence near Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, the company establishes its 18th international subsidiary in the Czech Republic.
Technology: SAP delivers a version of SAP R/3 with support for kanji characters to the Japanese market. SAP R/3 is also being ported to SUN hardware, enabling it to run on all relevant RISC platforms.
By the numbers: SAP reaches the 10-figure mark for the first time, generating DM 1.1 billion in revenue with a workforce of more than 3,600.
SAP R/3 and Microsoft: The SAP R/3 system is released for Windows NT. One month later, a Swiss company becomes the first customer to go live with this new version.
Reinforcing retail: SAP bolsters its efforts in developing a retail solution for SAP R/3 by acquiring a 52% holding in DACOS Software GmbH.
In faraway lands: SAP kicks off its marketing activities in the Chinese market with presentations in Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. It also opens its 19th international subsidiary in Mexico City.
Partners and customers: The IBM corporation, a longstanding SAP partner, is now using SAP R/3 to manage its global business processes. The corresponding contract is the largest in SAP's 23-year history.
Key figures: SAP's revenues have grown to DM 1.8 billion, of which the United States accounts for 34.3%. At year's end, the company is employing 5,229 people.
A midmarket push: SAP begins to focus more marketing efforts on midsize companies with the help of system resellers.
Customer trust: The U.S. company Burger King, Inc., becomes the 1,000th customer to implement SAP's software for human resources management. Meanwhile, Microsoft joins the ranks of high-tech companies opting for SAP R/3. Deutsche Telekom AG sets a new record as the largest of SAP's contracts to date with 30,000 SAP R/3 workstations and collaborates with SAP on a solution for the telecommunications industry.
Success in the capital market: SAP's share price soars following its addition to Germany's DAX stock index and the transition to a minimum par value of DM 5. Shortly thereafter, Manager magazineonce again names SAP "Company of the Year." Now nearly 7,000 strong, SAP's workforce generates DM 2.7 billion in revenue.
SAP goes online: SAP introduces its joint Internet strategy with Microsoft. Through open interfaces, customers can now connect online applications to their SAP R/3 systems. They can also take advantage of IBM's new AS/400 platform.
Accolades: SAP is named "Company of the Year" by the European Business Journalists Association and for the third time by Manager magazine.
More renowned customers: Coca-Cola, the world's largest manufacturer of soft drinks, decides to implement SAP R/3.
Ubiquitous: SAP raises the bar with its numerous customer events, welcoming 4,300 guests interested in the company's products and strategy to the European SAPPHIRE event in Vienna. Meanwhile, over 8,000 attendees flock to the corresponding event in the U.S., and more than 5,000 are on hand for the first SAPPHIRE event in Japan.
Key figures: SAP's revenues climb to DM 3.7 billion, and its employees number 9,202 by year's end.
A quarter-century: SAP celebrates its 25 years in existence in Mannheim. German Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl is among the guests at the festivities.
An outstanding year: SAP sees its financial results before taxes reach the billions for the first time (DM 1.6 billion). The company's revenues grew by 62% to DM 6.02 billion, 81% of which comes from outside of Germany. SAP's workforce also expanded to nearly 13,000 employees – a 40% increase.
SAP R/3 still resonating: High-profile customers, such as Deutsche Post AG, Daimler-Benz, and General Motors, implement SAP R/3. More than two million users work with SAP solutions. Right on schedule, SAP completes release 4.0 of SAP R/3 and delivers it to pilot users at the end of the year.
Further internationalization: SAP resolves to enter the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Q3 1998. In doing so, it mainly aims to raise its profile and presence in the world's biggest and most important market for information technology and strengthen its relationships with shareholders.
Changing of the guard: Dietmar Hopp and Klaus Tschira, two of SAP's cofounders, announce in February their decision to resign from the company's Executive Board. Both make the transition to the SAP Supervisory Board in May, where Hopp takes over as chairman. Meanwhile, the Supervisory Board names Henning Kagermann co-CEO of the company alongside cofounder Hasso Plattner.
SAP takes New York: On August 3, 1998, the letters "SAP" appear for the first time on the big board at the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest trading floor. SAP co-CEO Hasso Plattner calls the company's debut on Wall Street a necessary and momentous milestone in SAP's history.
EnjoySAP: More than 15,000 customers, partners, and other interested individuals descend upon Los Angeles, California, for SAP's 10th SAPPHIRE event – breaking the previous attendance record. The event focuses on a new strategy, EnjoySAP, which places its focus squarely on SAP users. SAP plans to make its software easier to learn, faster to work with, and simpler to customize to customers' needs.
Help wanted: SAP plots a course for further success, which will continue to require motivated, qualified employees. It hires 6,500 new employees in 1998 – a 50% increase that expands the company's workforce to over 19,000 by year's end. SAP's fiscal year revenues come to €4.3 billion.
The mySAP.com revolution: In May, SAP co-CEO Hasso Plattner announces a new strategy that completely realigns the company and its product portfolio: mySAP.com. This reorientation will combine e-commerce solutions with SAP's existing ERP applications on the basis of cutting-edge Web technology.
Excelling with Enjoy: The EnjoySAP initiative serves as the foundation for mySAP.com's success. Studies carried out in the summer of 1999 by Mannheim University clearly show how much time customers can save in training and everyday use with mySAP.com.
A new self-perception: Along with its products, SAP's self-image is changing due to mySAP.com. The company reorganizes its Executive Board areas and founds the German Internet subsidiary e-SAP.de, reflecting an even stronger focus on the customer in the Internet age.
Major successes: SAP does not have to wait long to welcome its first mySAP.com customers. The soccer club FC Bayern Munich, the financial services provider MLP, and others sign up in October, while November and December witness the arrival of Hewlett-Packard, the Ford subsidiary Visteon, and the pharmaceutical group Hoechst Marion Roussel.
Key figures: More than 20,000 employees generate €5.1 billion in revenue for SAP. The company invests nearly 15% of this sum into research and development.
The new economy: SAP is now the world's leading provider of e-business software solutions that integrate processes within and among companies. The company is also the third-largest independent software vendor on the planet. Its workforce now numbers more than 24,000 employees in over 50 countries, generating revenues of €6.3 billion in the 2000 fiscal year (a 23% increase compared to 1999).
Cooperating without boundaries: Comprehensive e-business solutions, innovative technologies, and extensive services come together in the forward-thinking mySAP.com platform. As a result, employees, customers, suppliers, and other business partners can work together across company borders – anytime, anywhere.
Online marketplaces and portals: SAP enters the world of electronic marketplaces and corporate portals by outsourcing its corresponding area to its SAP Portals subsidiary and starting a partnership with Commerce One.
Solution-oriented: In continuing to expand its product and service portfolio, SAP demonstrates its commitment to evolving from a component vendor into a solution provider. Other world-leading companies recognize the value in this approach – Nestlé, for one, signs the largest SAP contract to date.
A new market: SAP adds a number of corporate portals to its solution portfolio by taking over TopTier, the leading company in the corresponding Israeli market. TopTier's founder, Shai Agassi, takes over the management of this business area and is appointed to the SAP Executive Board one year later.
From revolution to evolution: SAP expands mySAP.com, making it a comprehensive technology for business applications. As a result, SAP has the architecture it needs to help companies integrate a wide variety of IT systems.
Ongoing growth: The "New Economy" bubble has burst, and the IT market is suffering from the resulting decline in investment. However, customer faith in SAP's solutions remains undaunted, and SAP increases its revenues once again by 17%.