SAP Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe delivered a rousing call for business leaders in the United Arab Emirates to embrace innovations like mobile, cloud and real-time management of big data to unlock new opportunities for growth, performance and productivity.

Speaking in Dubai to an audience of customers, industry experts and senior executives at SAP’s annual regional forum, Hagemann Snabe emphasised that no company will remain untouched by fundamental shift in the IT industry to mobility, cloud and in-memory computing.

“We live in an interconnected and fast-changing world facing dramatic technology advances such as the emergence of cloud computing, ubiquitous connectivity through rapid expansion of mobile devices, and unknown opportunities to turn the exponentially growing amounts of data into intelligence via in-memory computing,” said SAP Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe. “These fundamental technology shifts will impact all businesses. We are entering the area of business networking where companies of all sizes and industries will connect, collaborate and trade in open, transparent and flexible business networks. SAP is dedicated to provide the world’s leading business network to create growth, productivity and innovation.”

Mobility is rapidly transforming the way we live and work. SmartPhones today are many times more powerful than PCs in the 90s. In most developing nations, the majority of Internet users are mobile-only. In India nearly 60% of the population is mobile, in Egypt it is 70% and the mobile only users are under 25. The next generation of workers and managers will be mobile and connected.

SAP is the clear leader in enterprise mobility providing both, its Afaria mobile device management solution for secure and instant access from any device and any mobile operating system, as well as a rapidly growing number of mobile applications even for complex and sensitive data and applications like banking for the unbanked – one of the fastest growing financial segments in emerging markets.

The cloud is fundamentally changing not only the way individuals interact with each other, but also how enterprises connect and work with their global networks of customers, suppliers and partners. SAP is rapidly expanding its leadership in the cloud: five months ago SAP acquired Success Factors and gained immediate strength in the fast-growing segment of cloud-based applications for people and talent management.

Jim Hagemann Snabe , Co-CEO, SAP, speaks during the annual forum

Two weeks ago SAP announced the planned acquisition of Ariba, the world’s largest cloud-based business network for buyer-seller collaboration in the world. SAP’s more than 190,000 SAP customers will have instant access to Ariba’s cloud-based network of 730,000 market participants generating more than 320 billion US dollars in cloud based transactions. The top 2,000 global businesses today spend 12 trillion dollars annually with their suppliers. SAP customers make up the majority of the global 2,000, which will enable the company to significantly expand this business and execute its leadership ambition to become a two billion Euro cloud company by 2015.

With its HANA In-Memory Technology, SAP is enabling the analysis of extreme amounts of data up to 100,000 times faster than on traditional disk based systems. SAP HANA paves the way for real-time analytics and applications, enabling organisations to assess business operations based on extreme large volumes and a broad variety of structured and unstructured data in real-time.Most importantly, HANA will help simplify the underlying IT infrastructure and allow companies to take advantage of real-time to identify patterns, make predictions and optimise strategies and execution in real time without disrupting their traditional IT landscape.

By extending its core applications with mobile computing, cloud computing and in-memory computing SAP is able to create an Intelligent Business Web that offers a complete new level of productivity, value and flexibility. SAP innovations at high speed in the five market categories – applications to enable efficiency and scale, analytics to enable transparency and intelligence, mobile to enable people anywhere, cloud to enable the business network, database and technology to enable real-time – will help companies of all sizes and in all industries in MENA to transition into an Intelligent Business Network without major disruptions but taking full advantage of networked collaboration in real time.

Hagemann Snabe’s speech comes off the back of SAP’s recent announcement to roll-out a four-year plan worth USD 450 million that will up-skill local talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The plan includes recruiting more than 500 additional employees, opening several new offices and expanding the company’s partner ecosystem and the SAP University Alliances programme. Additionally, significant increases will be made in the availability of comprehensive, innovative and localised service offerings.

SAP MENA will also establish a dedicated Training and Development Institute that aims to certify 2,000 new consultants within the next four years. This will triple the company’s existing consulting capabilities in the region and further support the localisation of SAP solutions to meet fast-growing regional industry needs.

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