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Thứ Năm, 23 tháng 1, 2014

SAP to expand 'cloud' alliance with China Telecom on the mainland - South China Morning Post

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SAP, the world´s biggest maker of business software, plans major investments in China this year. Photo: Reuters

German technology giant SAP will step up investments on the mainland this year in anticipation of rising software sales, spurred by increased spending of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and small businesses.

That initiative will be led by the expansion of SAP’s co-operation with China Telecom in so-called cloud-computing services, which deliver software over the internet on a subscription basis to customers.

SAP, the world’s biggest supplier of business-management software, saw information technology expenditure by SOEs pick-up steam in the second half of last year, after a sluggish first six months, which helped the company record “outstanding double-digit growth” for the full year, SAP Greater China president Mark Gibbs said on Wednesday.

Gibbs declined to break down SAP’s revenue on the mainland, but said the company “added about 100 new customers on average every quarter last year, which gave us an optimistic outlook moving forward”.

Big contracts won by SAP last year included cloud-computing implementations at the Agricultural Bank of China, China Minsheng Banking Corp and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec.

“We saw 427 per cent year-on-year growth from the banking industry, 267 per cent year-on-year growth in oil and gas, and 131 per cent in retail,” Gibbs said. He added that SAP had about 100 mainland customers at the end of last year on its high-end “Hana” platform, a technology that allows companies to process massive amounts of data faster than on traditional database software.

SAP reported on Tuesday that its total worldwide revenue last year rose 4 per cent to 16.817 billion euros (HK$176.826 billion), up from 16.223 billion euros in 2012. It predicted revenue by 2017 to reach 22 billion euros, bolstered by up to 3.5 billion euros in cloud computing business.

The company is currently in the middle of a five-year, US$2 billion investment programme on the mainland, where information-technology spending is expected to see considerable growth this year.

Forrester Research recently forecast total government and business expenditure in information technology on the mainland would reach US$124.5 billion, up 10.5 per cent from last year.

Gibbs said SAP plans to broaden its collaboration with China Telecom later this year to drive new growth opportunities with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SAP customers on the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan number about 11,600, with SMEs accounting for about 74 per cent.

“We are currently exploring with China Telecom the prospects of bringing SAP’s full suite of cloud offerings over the public internet on the mainland,” Gibbs said. Those include various business applications, such as SAP’s enterprise resource planning system, delivered at a low monthly cost online to subscribers.

Cloud computing enables enterprises to buy, lease, sell or distribute software and other digital resources on the internet as an on-demand service, similar to the way electricity is drawn from a power grid. Resources are hosted in data centres.

The existing cloud alliance between SAP and China Telecom has been focused on so-called human capital management (HCM) programmes from SAP unit SuccessFactors.

SAP last November formed a joint venture with China Communications Services (CCS), a Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of China Telecom, to deliver online HCM software – which companies use to automate employee recruitment and administration processes – across the mainland. Telecommunications services firm CCS also signed up as the first customer and is expected to have 12,000 users.

Research firm CCID Consulting estimated sales of cloud-based applications on the mainland exceeded 80 billion yuan last year.

SAP competes against US rivals Oracle,, NetSuite and Microsoft in providing business applications online across the mainland.

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