Value proposition: The SAP value proposition offers tangible benefits, enables growth, and reduces total cost of ownership. SAP products automate processes that promise Strategic alignment, Flexible processes & Predictable performance that lead to efficient execution, Confident decisions & eliminate all the risks associated with innovation and growth. SAP products deliver value to companies of all sizes through an industry-specific, building-block approach that preserves a company's initial IT investment. SAP has a family integrated and scalable products continue to deliver value as the company grows. [i]
Brand: SAP ranked #27 in the Interbrand's 11th annual ranking of the "Best Global Brands" [ii] , that places SAP in the league of established brands like Apple, Ikea, Pepsi & Nike [iii] . The true test of a brand is how well it is leveraged against its business objectives. In 2009, the financial results have been impressive across board and it has maintained its position as a market leader worldwide.
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Product Range & Differentiation - SAP products offer the possibility of total customization of the product. They are clearly differentiated from those of the competitors. In the case of SAP, customer can decide which applications wants to include on the software they are going to buy and which not, thus they don't buy a basic product, they buy their own product. This makes the customer life cycle to be very long (around 20 years) and secures his commitment to the company.
FIG: Spectrum of the SAP Product Portfolio
Rich Diversity and Cultural Wealth: SAP attracts an increasingly international workforce to meet the varying demands of local and regional labor markets and the qualifications of available applicants. Diversity is a fundamental driver of our business results. SAP recognizes that its diverse human capital is the essence of their success. So, SAP is committed to our open corporate culture and embrace diversity as a force for innovation. Through its numerous policies, it seeks to be open to the different conditions that apply wherever it is present in the world, and to leverage the power of our diverse employee base for the benefit of the company.
Strong Leadership: The exemplary leadership of SAP executive is seen in SAP's transformation in the early 2000. Then SAP was relegated to the back pages, brushed aside by newer movers and shakers of e-business. But with the visionary leadership of a small group of executives lead by Marty Homlish, SAP transformed into a rock-solid performer that continues to date. Transforming SAP wasn't easy. The SAP's top executives introduced major changes throughout the company, from radically altering the marketing strategy to redeploying field sales resources [iv] .
Strong R&D: SAP has a network of 13 research centres worldwide. In contrast to SAP's product groups and development labs that work on new functions and releases, the researchers explore opportunities that haven't yet been developed into products. The group significantly contributes to SAP's product portfolio and extends its leading position in the market by identifying and shaping emerging IT trends and generating breakthrough technologies through applied research.
Technical Expertise: The SAP Labs Network leverages SAP's rich diversity and technical and business expertise to deliver the best software solutions and services in the IT industry. Located in high-tech centres across the globe, the SAP Labs Network helps SAP engage the local ecosystems and enable co-innovation.
Operational Sustainability: Over the past 10 years, SAP has been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for upholding ethical, environmental, social, and governance values in our products and services. For the last three years, the index has named SAP as the leader in the software sector [v] . SAP is committed to improving its own operations to be more sustainable, and to delivering customer solutions to improve sustainability on a grand scale.
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Customer Base & intimacy: Customers help to develop the solutions, providing their feedback to the company about what things can be modified or improved
Trusted, targeted Partnerships: SAP gets into partnerships and shared projects that it predicts will help shape the future, securing and enhancing global relationships. SAP partners operate in an unmatched collaborative environment. Together they overcome the traditional barriers to growth and profitability and strive to accomplish more. They work together to seek high-growth opportunities, reduce the cost of development and drive new sources of innovation for the company, and for their customers. Partner solutions become part of the "Holistic" solution made available to the customers. Some of the partners of SAP are Atos Origin, Cap Gemini, IBM, HP and Wipro.
Unique communities of innovation: SAP Community Network distinguishes SAP as the leader in coordinating and harnessing the collective power of customers, business process experts, partners, developers and others stakeholders. Customers co-innovate and partners collaborate to achieve results that test cost, time, and expertise limitations in everyday business. While they share the same objectives, these communities are flexible enough to ensure that information is agile and accessible.
Flexible business process platforms for collaboration: A common approach and language enables the SAP ecosystem to create valuable service definitions, co-innovate across industries, and enable participation and leadership in industry standards groups.
Developer network: SAP Developer Network (SDN) community offers nearly 2 million members in more than 200 countries the chance to trade experience and insights, pursue business opportunities, and learn from each other. It is the biggest innovation community associated with SAP. SDN includes discussion forums, blogs, wikis, software and tool downloads, and e-learning. A wealth of technical assets attracts more than half a million visitors to SDN every month.
Patents: In 1999 did SAP start with its own patenting activities. This was in reaction to litigation threats in the USA. A new patent department was set up and SAP had obtained four software patents by April 2000. SAP has declared in the German Parliament that SAP needs software patents not as an innovation incentive but only as a weapon against other patents which have created problems for SAP in the US. At present almost 50+ patent applications have been filed by SAP.
Financial Stability: A review of the financial highlights & profit ratios shown in Appendix A one can safely conclude that SAP as an organization in financially stable and reliable.
Employees: Employees enable SAP to help enterprises of all sizes in all industries increase efficiency, improve business processes with SAP solutions and services, and become best-run businesses. With their diverse expertise, SAP's 18,000+ strong highly qualified employees with different cultural backgrounds use other company resources in an intelligent and efficient way, to create a lasting and significant competitive advantage for SAP.
Best in Class HR Practices: SAP invests in learning and development of its employees. The Career Success Centres are effective tools in place for career planning and provide guidance, tools, and support information to help its people succeed in their roles. The Skills On-Demand library provides employees with access to approximately 13,000 e-learning courses, books, simulations, and other learning materials that can help employees expand their skill sets and drive their career development. HR processes for talent management support our innovation and performance strategy. In multiple employee surveys it is recognised as a Great Place to Work and a Preferred Employer.