SAP is planning to hire as many as 600 new developers and other technology specialists by the end of 2002 as part of its effort to create an E-business "think tank" at its U.S. headquarters in Newtown Square, Pa. SAP says academics, business experts, customers, and top SAP software engineers will work on the site to research and develop E-business software.
SAP America president Chris Larsen says the campus, which is being expanded by 120 acres with more than 700,000 square feet of new office space, will house the company's new Global Solution Center. As many as 80 of the company's top software designers and architects will be moved from company headquarters in Waldorf, Germany, to the new center, Larsen says. A major initiative of the center will be the Institute for Innovation--which will bring business leaders and academics from more than 400 universities together with customers and SAP engineers to design software. Larsen says the center will be at the hub of efforts to align SAP development initiatives with customers' future needs.
The campus, which currently employs 1,500, double the number when the site was established as the company's Americas' headquarters in 1997, will house SAP development partners, such as consultant MarchFirst. SAP says as many as a dozen development partners may house employees at the site.
SAP also will use the center to develop features requested by some of the company's largest customers. As part of this effort, SAP will develop interfaces between SAP and other companies' products that may result in creating new business processes--methods of performing a particular function that simple integration of the products would not allow. If SAP finds there's a widespread need for a particular enhancement, it will be rolled into future release versions of mySAP.com, Larsen says. An important focus of this effort is that rather than customers having to request new functionality and then waiting for the next release to get it, SAP will begin work on it immediately and make it available as soon as it's tested.