SAP to cut 3,000 jobs

Summary:SAP, one of the world's largest software-application companies, overnight released healthy results for its fourthquarter, but said it planned to cut 3,000 staff in the face of tough economic times.

SAP, one of the world's largest software-application companies, overnight released healthy results for its fourth quarter, but said it planned to cut 3,000 staff in the face of tough economic times.

In its preliminary quarterly results, SAP said its software and software-related services revenue increased by eight per cent year-on-year. However, revenue from software fell seven per cent, from €141bn to €132bn.

The German software maker also issued financial results for all of 2008. For the full year, software and software-related services revenue rose by 14 per cent, while software revenue alone was up by six percent. Yearly net income was €188bn, down two per cent.

The results were something of a positive note for SAP, which in October withheld its revenue outlook for the year because of the uncertainty of the economic climate.

In announcing the job cuts, co-chief executive Leo Apotheker said in a statement that SAP "intends to reduce its workforce globally to 48,500 [from 51,500] positions by [the end of] 2009", a drop of 3,000 posts. The company didn't say where the cuts would be made, but noted that "all countries ... will contribute in some way".

The first six months of 2008 had been successful for the company, Apotheker said, noting it had started with "strong organic growth" and "an excellent contribution from Business Objects", which SAP bought in October 2007. Tim Payne, a senior analyst at research firm Gartner, agreed that the purchase of the business-intelligence software specialist had proved very successful for the company. "SAP has had a lot of success in winning over people who were Business Objects customers," he told ZDNet.com.au sister site ZDNet UK.

According to Payne, SAP has had success in finding income in other areas. "Their figures show that they are having success in getting people to pay up on their software licences," he said. "Auditing and compliance is important for them."

SAP has been actively checking the level of software use by customers through online checks and comparing these with the licences held, Payne said. Where there is a discrepancy, SAP makes sure the customer pays for the undeclared use.

"SAP is not alone in this," Payne said. "Oracle and other software companies are going through the same process of auditing and customers notice when their software runs slower as it is being checked."

Topics: SAP, IT Employment, Software

About

Colin has been a computer journalist for some 30 years having started in the business the same year that the IBM PC was launched, although the first piece he wrote was about computer audit. He was at one time editor of Computing magazine in London and prior to that held a number of editing jobs, including time spent at the late DEC Compu... Full Bio

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