SAP to strengthen investment in Ireland – will spend €1 billion in 10 years

29 Oct 2009

German enterprise software giant SAP AG is to invest a further €3 million in a refit of its Dublin headquarters and anticipates an overall €1-billion spend in Ireland over the next 10 years.

The IDA-supported software company employs 900 people in Dublin and Galway.

“This decision by SAP is a substantial deepening of its commitment to Ireland for the next 10 years and will further embed its existing operations in Dublin and Galway and consolidate the 900-plus jobs involved,” said the Minister of Finance Brian Lenihan TD.

Lenihan was speaking at a meeting with Werner Brandt, member of the executive board of SAP AG, and global chief financial officer, who is visiting Ireland for meetings with the Irish Government, customers of SAP and employees from SAP’s Dublin and Galway offices.

Ireland’s position

“The expected €1-billion overall spend in Ireland over the next 10 years clearly demonstrates SAP’s view that Ireland is very well positioned to deliver on SAP’s purpose and ambition.”

Brandt was outlining the depth of SAP’s ongoing commitment to Ireland and the importance Ireland plays in SAP’s location strategy. Approval by the board of SAP AG of the €3-million investment for the refitting of the facility will enable the final phase of integrating of the Business Objects employees into SAP, following SAP’s acquisition of the company in 2008.

SAP Business Objects’ 900 employees in Dublin and Galway have a broad range of skills, including technical support, research and development, technical writing, telesales, customer interaction and partner management.

Variety of employees

The employees come from 35 countries and speak 27 languages. Since its establishment in Ireland 1997, SAP Business Objects, with the assistance of IDA Ireland, has continuously added lines of business spanning technological, business sector and regional areas of responsibility.

This has enabled employees to further their careers to areas including research and development and systems architecture, as well as sales and consulting. SAP in Ireland also supports and engages with more than 300 customers whose businesses are run on SAP solutions.

“The decision to renew its lease for 10 years is a testament to the confidence SAP has in its Irish employees and their knowledge, technical expertise, multi-lingual abilities, flexible ‘can do’ attitude and efficiency,” said Barry O’ Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland.

“It is also an excellent further endorsement of Ireland’s proven ability to satisfy the complex needs of highly inventive, technologically advanced global companies and the multi-lingual customer-support activities they require.”

A higher level

Brandt said SAP believes that in the market conditions that Ireland faces currently, it is essential for businesses and institutions to perform at a significantly higher level of efficiency and effectiveness.

“This will allow our customers to trade agilely through the current conditions and, more importantly, to lead their businesses through competitive advantage into the upturn.

“We called on businesses worldwide to see clearly, think clearly and act clearly in order to thrive in the current global economic crisis. I see executives focusing on making their organisations more efficient, flexible and transparent. What we are seeing is a growing and lasting need for clarity and insight.

“Doing business within global networks has brought greater complexity and risk into the game. Executives must have visibility into every aspect of their business and network to act effectively and decisively.

“Almost all employees in Ireland have direct customer contact. Through their knowledge and communications skills they constantly provide solutions, clarity and understanding to our customer base,” Brandt said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan TD; Werner Brandt, member of the Executive Board of SAP AG, and Global Chief Financial Officer of SAP; Denis Curran, project manager, ICT, IDA Ireland; and Liam Ryan, managing director, SAP Ireland, attend SAP AG’s announcement that it has entered into a further 10-year lease of its Citywest Business Park premises in Dublin.

Photo by Jason Clarke Photography.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years