SAP to increase investment in PH

Software giant unveils plan to set up local hub to serve region

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Germany-based SAP AG is investing significantly in the Philippines to expand its operations and set up a regional hub that will lead company efforts to tap prospective opportunities across the Asia-Pacific.

In a briefing Tuesday, SAP Philippines Inc. managing director Darren Rushworth explained that the decision to set up a hub was due partly to the availability of a skilled labor force and the relatively competitive costs of doing business here.

“Another factor is that we have a lot of business opportunities that we cannot continue to pursue the old way. We have a lot of opportunities in a lot of countries and it doesn’t make sense anymore to hire another thousand sales people because it’s not productive. We need to scale up. So instead of hiring people in every country, we’ve decided to invest in a hub in Manila which will be leading our sales efforts in new territories in new areas,” Rushworth explained.

“The idea is to provide a more scaleable sales engine across Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific, and we’ve chosen the Philippines to be the base for that,” he added.

According to Rushworth, the Philippines, being a hub, will serve as a central team covering multiple countries in the region. This will be made up of sales and business development personnel as well as technical consultants.

In setting up this hub, SAP Philippines will be setting up a call center that will take care of the sales support requirements across the region, and a shared services facility that will provide back office support for SAP companies across the world.

“We’re setting up several things. One is a call center which is more sales oriented, to service Asia-Pacific and we’re calling it Project Nucleus. The idea for that is, it’s a small thing to start with. This year we’re looking to hire 50 people and we’ve had about half of those on board already today. But we’ll expand that, probably double that [number to 100] next year,” Rushworth explained.

“We’ve also decided to invest in a shared services facility for our finance and human resources. We already have shared services for our global HR in the Philippines and we’ll continue to grow and invest in those areas,” he added.

The said hub will be located in Ortigas Center, where SAP expects to move in by end August this year.

Meanwhile, SAP has also tapped Shore Solutions as its channel partner authorized to resell SAP cloud solutions including SuccessFactors, the leading provider of cloud-based human capital management (HCM) software.

According to Shore CEO Darcy Lalonde, they will initially target the business process outsourcing companies as potential clients for SuccessFactors, which is currently being used by a number of local firms, conglomerates and multinational companies in the country engaged in consumer goods and manufacturing industries.

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