May 15, 2007 04:36 ET

SAP's Apotheker Puts Crowning Touch on Successful SAP Customer Conferences

22,000 Customers and Partners Convene at Business Forums of Co-Innovation: SAPPHIRE® '07 in Atlanta and Vienna

Keynote by Deputy CEO Léo Apotheker Underscores SAP's Delivery on Promise to Customers for Industry-Specific Co-Innovation on an Open Business Process Platform

VIENNA, AUSTRIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 15, 2007 -- Standing before nearly 8,000 CEOs and IT executives from customer and partner organizations at SAPPHIRE® '07 Vienna, Léo Apotheker, deputy CEO and president of Customer Solutions and Operations, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), delivered a powerful message underlining customers' needs for strong IT partners to run their business at "the speed of change." Apotheker's keynote underscored the business value and industry insight that attracted a total of close to 22,000 attendees to SAPPHIRE '07 in Atlanta, Georgia, April 22 - 25, and in Vienna, Austria, May 14 - 16.

Apotheker emphasized three key qualities that make SAP the trusted partner for more than 39,400 companies of all sizes and industries across the globe: the right engagement model, the most innovative products and services and the strongest ecosystem. "SAP delivers business value via innovation and a deep commitment to each individual customer," said Apotheker, whose speech illustrated the numerous ways in which SAP is executing today on its industry-leading vision of the business process platform as competitors attempt to follow suit.

Customer Commitment and Product Road Map Are "All About Business"

Apotheker began his speech with a look back five years ago, when SAP first embarked on a product road map driven by customer needs to embed IT in business. The executive board member responsible for customer operations referred to the thousands of meetings in which customers expressed the need to pursue strategic business aims -- growing their businesses, achieving competitive differentiation and adapting to changing market demands -- while also improving operational efficiency and ensuring flawless regulatory compliance. At the same time, customers emphasized that system upgrades would have to take a back seat to maintaining continuous operations and lowering costs.

Continuous, Non-Disruptive Innovation; SAP ERP Maintenance Extended

By executing on its vision of an open business process platform based on enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA), Apotheker proclaimed that SAP is already reconciling this long-standing contradiction between greater IT flexibility and lower costs. As an example, Apotheker cited SAP's evolved delivery model of SAP enhancement packages for SAP® ERP, enabling customers to leverage innovation "on the fly," without having to re-implement or re-conceptualize systems. During his keynote, Apotheker announced that maintenance on the latest versions of SAP's flagship ERP product, SAP ERP, has been extended until March 2013. The extension of the ERP service offering is in keeping with the requests of SAP customers who -- while seeking continuous innovation -- want to maintain a stable core solution. The market's embrace of SAP's vision is further underlined by the more than 13,000 customers that are running their applications and integration projects today on the SAP NetWeaver® platform and more than 2,500 customers that have adopted SAP ERP since its release less than one year ago, marking the fastest uptake of any SAP product ever.

Efficiency Out of the Box and Built-in Integration

Citing a "duty to help customers tap business value from technology," Apotheker spoke of how SAP solutions enable customers to readily adopt and run best practices and quickly adapt and create their own next business practices. "We enrich the business process platform with composite applications that leverage the platform components to build more flexible business process applications that can be reassembled to suit your precise needs and evolve at the speed and at the pace of your business and of your industry," said Apotheker.

Underlining the value of integration in helping companies and their information workers save time, cut costs and improve decision making, Apotheker cited the extended partnership with Microsoft on Duet™ software, as announced at SAPPHIRE '07 Atlanta. (See April 24, 2007 announcement, titled "SAP and Microsoft Deliver Extended Road Map for Duet Software.") Apotheker outlined the road map of the jointly developed product, citing how customers and partners can count on richer business scenarios, new collaboration features and simpler, more flexible ways for information workers to leverage their organization's business processes and information.

Discussing a key component of SAP's strategy of co-innovation -- industry value networks (IVNs) of customers and partners -- Apotheker illustrated the IVNs' 'invent, adapt, adopt' approach that offers the ecosystem "a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation not only for an individual customer but for an entire industry with a structured innovation and 'productization' cycle."

Established Road Map to Usher in Wave of Business Network Transformation

Apotheker also underscored two of the predominant customer challenges -- the accelerated speed of change and the need to differentiate through innovation in a networked business environment. With a road map on track to largely service-enable all SAP Business Suite applications in 2007, Apotheker underlined SAP's continuing commitment to innovate without disruption for customers, helping them achieve business network transformation and greater competitive edge.

Collaborative Transformation at Successful SAPPHIRE Conferences

During the past three years, attendance at SAPPHIRE has grown from more than 9,000 in 2005 to nearly 22,000 in 2007 as attendees saw this year's events transformed from a vendor conference to a collaborative industry forum addressing IT and business challenges. For the second year running, SAP and the Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG) co-located their premier events in Atlanta, where the 2007 ASUG Annual Conference took place from April 22 to 25.

Together, the SAPPHIRE conferences in Atlanta and Vienna featured a total of:

--  more than 230 presentations from best-run businesses and public sector
--  more than 180 Village sessions and 11 partner sessions during partner
    hour (held Monday and Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. CET)
--  more than 140 demo stations on the conference floors offering
    interactive presentations featuring topics such as creating applications
    for enterprise SOA using SAP NetWeaver, defining and documenting services
    and business process integration.
To review the announcements, keynote presentations and other content from SAPPHIRE '07 Vienna, visit SAPPHIRE '07 Vienna Online or

To review the announcements, keynote presentations and other content from SAPPHIRE '07 Atlanta, visit SAPPHIRE '07 Atlanta Online, or

About SAP

SAP is the world's leading provider of business software*. Today, more than 39,400 customers in more than 120 countries run SAP® applications -- from distinct solutions addressing the needs of small businesses and midsize companies to suite offerings for global organizations. Powered by the SAP NetWeaver® platform to drive innovation and enable business change, SAP software helps enterprises of all sizes around the world improve customer relationships, enhance partner collaboration and create efficiencies across their supply chains and business operations. SAP solution portfolios support the unique business processes of more than 25 industries, including high tech, retail, financial services, healthcare and the public sector. With subsidiaries in more than 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol "SAP." (Additional information at

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications such as supply chain management, customer relationship management, product life-cycle management and supplier relationship management.

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.

Copyright © 2007 SAP AG. All rights reserved.

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