SAP celebrates 20 years in Ireland

Liam Ryan, SAP, and Minister Mitchell O'Connor at the anniversary celebrations in the Aviva Stadium. (Image: Mediateam)

10 May 2017

SAP celebrated 20 years in Ireland this week with a major event in the Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, with CEO Bill McDermott, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Martin Shanahan of the IDA, and its entire Irish staff.

While the company started in 1997 with just 25 employees here, it now employs more than 1,800 and used the anniversary to announce another 150 high value roles to be recruited immediately.

The Irish SAP operation is spread across Dublin and Galway offices, representing some 40 lines of business and providing services to customers and the group across Europe.

As the digital transformation drive sweeps the technology industry, SAP said that it  “invests significantly” in the area, with development work being carried out here in SAP Labs Ireland.

Community initiatives
The company was keen to emphasise its community efforts too, with initiatives such as GIRLSmart4tech, FIRST LEGO League and Skills@work, all of which, it says, aim to increase education opportunities and access to tech careers to support and grow the Irish economy.

Liam Ryan, managing director, SAP Ireland, said that he fully expects to be able to recruit the 150 new posts from within Ireland. However, Ryan said that the Irish education system is not producing enough graduates in general, for the tech industry and needs to work harder to allow Irish students to take advantage of the opportunities in industry. However, he also acknowledged the diversity in the work force here, as a result of Ireland being an attractive prospect for immigration, and pointed out that some 47 languages are spoken by workers from 60 countries in SAP Ireland.

“I’m hugely impressed with the achievements of SAP since they located in Ireland 20 years ago,” said, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor TD, speaking at the event. “I warmly welcome the creation of an additional 150 jobs in Dublin and Galway, which brings their total employment here to over 2,000 staff, a staggering achievement indeed. SAP’s expansion builds on their multi-skilled business activity and is vindication of the competitive advantage we can offer high technology companies. We have made strenuous efforts to ensure that the skills necessary for ICT companies like SAP are available here and this decision vindicates that policy. I congratulate all at SAP and wish them the very best for continued success in the future.”

The Minister added that Ireland will remain the same welcoming country to business post-Brexit as it was before, providing ready access to the single market for those organisations basing themselves here.

Exception milestone
“Twenty years is an exceptional milestone in the tech industry, but SAP truly is an exceptional company,” said MD Ryan. “We were founded on innovation and ingenuity and from our earliest days we have put our customers at the heart of everything we do. SAP Labs Ireland is part of a 19-strong global network of SAP Labs and is at the centre of our R&D investment, focused on developing and improving SAP core products, allowing SAP to innovate, grow, and succeed. The knowledge and expertise we have built stems from our employees, which is why SAP’s commitment to creating 150 new job roles in Ireland is so exciting. These roles will empower a new wave of SAP employees to drive transformational change and create people-centric solutions for businesses worldwide, ensuring Ireland remains a cornerstone of SAP’s global operations.”

“Ireland has developed a reputation as a great place for forward-thinking, agile and transformational technology enterprises to do business,” said the IDA’s Shanahan. “As one of Ireland’s largest and most-established tech companies, SAP’s investment in Ireland and ongoing education initiatives have greatly enhanced Ireland’s technology ecosystem. We certainly look forward to the next 20 years.”

Speaking at a round table for the event, CEO McDermott also addressed the issue of Brexit, and new offerings from SAP.

‘Positive negotiation’
McDermott said that SAP is wishing for a “positive negotiation” and agreement, but that it was prepared for various outcomes. He said that in any case, he did not want to see commerce disadvantaged by any arrangement. However, when prompted on a worst-case scenario, he said that in hard times, SAP has generally done well, as businesses often turn to the company for its expertise in such instances. Though he added that he remains optimistic.

When asked what excites him currently in terms of technological developments and trends. He said that the use of predictive analytics in areas such as recruiting is very exciting, as well as the use of AI and automation in areas such as HR and self-service for employees. He said anything that can drive efficiencies and make complex tasks easier to accomplish can combine to make enterprise leaner and better able to use resources.

Digital Boardroom
McDermott said that a new service from the company, the Digital Boardroom, would allow enterprises to have ready access to critical information, allowing the board to be more informed as they sit around the table, supporting more data-driven decision making in real time.

He said building on the capabilities of SAP HANA in-memory database technologies that can deal with the massive volumes and velocities of data in the modern enterprise, the Digital Boardroom can support informed, adaptive business models, leveraging the power of mobile technologies. He said a 90% saving in data management, compared with older technologies, was achievable which can be fed back into better decision making and informed business strategy.



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