SAP, Europes’s largest enterprise software company, is investing a further $200 million (Dh734 million) in the UAE over the next five years after making a $450 million investment in 2012.
Tayfun Topkoc, managing director for UAE, Oman and Iran at SAP, told Gulf News the investment is to create economic diversity and jobs for youth.
The German company opened its new Middle East and North Africa headquarters in Dubai Internet City on Tuesday. It was inaugurated by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, in the presence of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, and other dignitaries.
Topkoc said the new headquarters will serve as the hub for SAP’s Training and Development Institute (TDI). TDI is committed to develop local talent, hiring millennials, and supporting women in the workforce.
Luka Mucic, Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Executive Board, SAP, said that the UAE investment plan and the new headquarters affirm the company’s commitment to this strategic market, with public-private partnerships fuelling digital transformation, co-innovation, talent development and entrepreneurship.
Topkoc also said that SAP will be opening its first data centre located in the UAE at Khazna Data Centre, which will serve southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“We decided to invest in public cloud data centre to drive digitalisation. Our cloud and business solutions will be serviced from this data centre to all UAE government, public and private entities,” he said.
He said that the Expo 2020 and Smart Dubai initiatives are driving digitisation in the country despite weak oil prices.
“We have grown in triple digits in the cloud business last year and our normal business by double digits. UAE is adopting cloud much faster than other countries in the region and it is a big growth area for us,” he said.
By next year, he said that SAP’s cloud trusted computing base (TCB) business will be equal to our on-site business in the UAE.
A recent report from Gartner shows that the MENA public cloud services market is set to roughly double, from about $1 billion in 2016 to about $2 billion in 2020.
SAP, which was recently announced as a Premier Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai, also launched its first Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) in the UAE, its 15th lab across the globe, facilitating project-based co-innovation with customers and partners.
Topkoc said that SAP Lab will provide opportunities to foster innovations with local ecosystems. The lab offers a hands-on development environment and a structured and guided global approach for companies to co-innovate with SAP.
In the region, the Lab is focused on innovative services for banks and real estate companies to provide an immersive virtual and augmented reality experience for homebuyers. The lab will also act as an enabler and primary access point for SAP’s Internet of Things platform in the region.
“SAP is the only innovation partner for Expo 2020. We are building a digital platform for 25 million visitors visiting the Expo 2020 to have a unique and tailored experiences when they come,” he said.