The tenth anniversary of doing business in our country SAP marked not only with better business results and increase of the number of users but also with introduction of in-memory technology on to Serbian market. SAP HANA platform brought a revolutionary innovation that allows users quick and cost-effective management and analysis of large amounts of data.
In this way, SAP has made available for companies the applications that combine large-scale transactions analytics, and thus greatly improve the processes that require large amounts of data, such as optimization of planning, forecasting and pricing...
- All the solutions that customers in Europe have became available to our customers in Serbia - says Steve Stathis Tzikakis, Senior Vice President of SAP, for the largest users in the EMEA region, at the beginning of the interview for eKapija.
SAP, the leader in business application software, this year marks the 40th anniversary, and recently in Belgrade held its annual conference SAP Forum 2012.
eKapija: How is Serbian market developing when it comes to the area in which SAP operates? Is our country specific in some way?
Serbia is developing in the same way that other countries in the region do and I think that in terms of technology there is no lag behind other countries. What is important when it comes to software implementation is that SAP in Serbia is growing rapidly, and most important is that, apart from large companies, more and more small and medium-sized companies use our solutions. Although I am very pleased with financial results, for me, success is not how much you increase profit, but how many new customers you acquire.
In Serbia, more than 120 organizations are using SAP solutions, and we have reason to believe that this market, which is already growing rapidly, in the future will grow even faster.
eKapija: Why is that?
- I think that your country will, in couple of years, surely become part of the European Union. This means that the companies, regardless of their size, will find the exceptional market opportunities. It is therefore important for them to have right technology, to prepare for the challenges.
Serbian economy must be ready to participate in new markets. If you aren’t, someone else will be.
eKapija: Who are the biggest SAP users in Serbia?
First I have to point out that we don’t rank users just by their size but also by organization of their systems.
Among the largest SAP customers in Serbia are very big names, such as NIS, Delta Holding, SBB, Direct Group, Nelt, MK Grupa, Hemofarm, Peštan, Komercijalna banka, Rudnap grupa and many others. Of course, in Serbia, our solutions are used by the branches of many international companies that use SAP in their home countries.
eKapija: Despite the fact that, in the world, the IT sector is stagnating in the last fiscal year, according to published data, it was the best one in the history of SAP. What is "the key of success"?
- Constant innovation. The point is that users want our products more and more because they allow them to be mobile, to be fast and to reduce their costs. We speak the same language as them; we don’t sell technology but solutions.
In 2011 we recorded the software sales growth as much as 25%, while our competitors remained on the same level, or increased by only a few percent. The number of customers around the world that use our solutions in 2011 reached 190 000.
eKapija: Does that mean that global economic crisis has not affected your company?
- Of course the economic problems affected us, especially when the crisis started. We have not had a drop in business, but our growth was slowed. On the other hand, a good portion of our customers took the time to reorganize, so crisis in some situations brought benefit to us.
eKapija: In which way?
- Some companies that in these moments didn’t have a lot of work, used that time to work on themselves and to introduce new solutions. One of the most interesting countries regarding this situation was Russia - there in a time of crisis our customers invested more, because it was a great time to fix things, primarily because they were not busy with their regular activities, because they had less work.
eKapija: What is the situation in 2012? On which area of business do you intend to focus this year in particular?
- This is a great year for SAP. We have a good financial performance; we continue to grow - both in Serbia and globally. Each of our five key categories – applications, analytics, databases, mobility and cloud computing grows. This means that SAP's strategy is successful.
In 2012 we plan to focus primarily on the in-memory and mobility solutions. On the one hand, there is HANA, which helps users to facilitate decision making, because they can now analyze what they couldn’t without it. The second sector is mobility - enabling users to be able to deal with their job from a taxi, plane, swimming pool.... Here we will particularly make special effort to continue with progress and to be even better.