SAP boss predicts ‘wave of growth’

With an eye towards possible acquisitions, Europe’s biggest software firm SAP is on the verge of a substantial “wave of growth,” company CEO Léo Apotheker said on Tuesday in Berlin.

SAP boss predicts ‘wave of growth’
Léo Apotheker, CEO of SAP. Photo: DPA

“In the next 10 years, I see lots of good things ahead for SAP,” he said, while cautioning against unbridled euphoria. “The economic crisis isn’t over yet,” the head of the German software giant said. “But I think the worst is behind us.”

He said the company was looking to purchase other companies that would complement and add value to SAP’s business. He rejected speculation, however, that US technology firm IBM could snap up the software company based in Walldorf.

He said the world leader in business software is reworking its operations to keep up with rapid changes in the information technology sector. Innovations include partnering with chip manufacturer Intel to develop new in-memory databases with increased storage capacity and access that is 10,000 times faster than with current models.

Apotheker said the company’s ultimate goal is making SAP products simpler and faster. In the future, customers should be able to decide whether to rent or buy the license to the company’s software.

Moreover, the company has worked to address problems with the launch of SAP’s new “Business by Design” software, which was repeatedly postponed: “We see a bright light at the end of the tunnel,” Apotheker said. SAP plans to release a detailed schedule for introduction of the software by early next year.

The company’s CEO has implemented a strict cost-cutting programme to help SAP along a path to recovery in the midst of the economic crisis, which saw the company make more than 3,700 layoffs. But Apotheker said there are no plans for another round of job cuts.

SAP currently employs some 47,800 people worldwide.

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.