POTSDAM, Germany, Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced that it will build an innovation center in Potsdam, Germany, where the company will develop new software solutions in cooperation with customers. With the innovation center, SAP will continue to drive momentum for innovative and customer-oriented solutions. SAP will invest EUR14.3 million in the new location, creating a total of 100 new jobs. The announcement was made at the inauguration ceremony of the SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam, being held in Potsdam on Friday, February 11.
The SAP Innovation Center will collaborate closely with universities in the Berlin/Brandenburg area. In close proximity to more than 30 renowned educational and research institutions, in recent years Potsdam has emerged as an important center of technological innovation in Germany. SAP seeks to tap into this pool of know-how and creativity, and to expand the recruitment of young talent in the region. SAP will also extend its cooperation with the Potsdam-based Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering (HPI). Recruitment for the innovation center in Potsdam has started and the first employees have already started work.
Focus will be on the deployment of the new in-memory computing technology introduced by SAP, including SAP® High-Performance Analytic Appliance (SAP HANA) software. The technology enables entirely new application scenarios and real-time analyses through the parallel processing of millions of customer records in a matter of seconds, thus laying the groundwork for intelligent and user-friendly software solutions for the future. The "Enterprise Platform and Integration Concepts" research group at HPI was significantly involved in the development of the in-memory computing technology.
The building project is planned to start before the end of the year and is expected to be completed in 2012. The SAP Innovation Center will be managed by Cafer Tosun. With eight years of experience in Silicon Valley, Tosun aims to foster this culture of innovation in "Silicon Sanssouci" as well. Particular attention is being paid to an open and creative work environment, which is also reflected in the design of the new building.
"In Potsdam, we want to establish the typical flair and the agility of a young startup," said Tosun. "Together with young talent, we aim to generate ideas for the solutions of tomorrow and to quickly bring the best concepts to product maturity."
Tosun will rely equally on the close collaboration with the SAP Labs in Palo Alto, companies in Silicon Valley and Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley. Since 2004, Tosun has reported to Palo Alto-based SAP Executive Board Member Vishal Sikka.
“Potsdam is a beautiful place, with creativity and intellect all around,” said Sikka. ”Hasso has always inspired and taught us to innovate on the basis of intellect, being grounded in reality and a profound curiosity. It is on this basis that our new innovation center in Potsdam will enable brilliant colleagues to create beautiful products and break amazing new ground, and to bring value to SAP in the future as well as to the broader community here.”
Interdisciplinary teamwork and a lively exchange with customers, students and both academic and business experts are expected to drive innovative performance. In this context, Prof. Hasso Plattner, co-founder of SAP and chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board, as well as founder of HPI, talks of a "Network of Excellence." Good software solutions do not evolve from technical expertise and good programming skills alone. Rather, mathematicians, algorithmicians and computer scientists must collaborate and maintain a lively exchange with business and macroeconomists, engineers, designers, medical and legal scientists, and further disciplines. This is where new ideas and innovative solutions originate.
"In this age of iPads and smartphones, we are used to day-to-day and intuitive exposure to information technology," said Plattner. "This leads to new challenges, but also to huge potential for a new generation of business software that we want to put into practice with lots of creativity and our revolutionary in-memory technology."
"Once again the creative, innovative and cosmopolitan atmosphere of our region has attracted well-known companies," said Brandenburg's Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck. "I'm delighted that in the future SAP will be connected with the label 'innovated in Brandenburg.' The region of Brandenburg supports this wherever possible and will continue to do so, and supports the SAP investment. Today is another proof point that Prof. Hasso Plattner and his institute in Potsdam are not only on the right track, but are again showing us the way."
"We are very pleased that SAP is expanding the innovative approach of open cooperation and continuous exchange with partners in research and development at the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Potsdam," said Prof. Christoph Meinel, director, HPI. "Together, we will be able to work on important solutions for the future."
Meinel added that students and scientists at HPI, as well as at other academic institutions in the region, will benefit from a closer cooperation with SAP. In addition to the practical education of IT engineers, the institute is engaged in teaching and research in the area of "Design Thinking." This culture and method of creative development of innovations leads to solutions that are particularly helpful to users, technically advanced and economically viable.
The first of its kind, the SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam will complement and closely collaborate with the existing fourteen development centers within the SAP Labs network.
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