SAP unveils Singapore lab, plans to double local team

Its 21st such facility worldwide, the software vendor's digital innovation hub in Singapore looks to focus on technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and will double the local engineering team to 500 by 2025.

SAP has launched a digital lab in Singapore that will focus on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as well as drive digital supply chain and sustainability capabilities. The new facility will see its local engineering team double to 500 and collaborate with peers around the world.

SAP Labs Singapore is the first of such sites in Southeast Asia and fifth in the wider Asian region, where there are similar development sites in India. The German software vendor operates 21 labs across 18 markets. Singapore serves as its Asia-Pacific headquarters and currently is supported by 1,100 employees. 

The local lab would hire more than 500 professionals by 2025, doubling the company's engineering team here, Verena Siow, SAP's Southeast Asia president and managing director, said at the launch Wednesday. 

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It would look to do so by recruiting from local universities and institutions of higher learning, with focus on software engineers and areas such as AI, data analytics, cloud, and sustainability.

Siow said: "We hope that SAP Labs Singapore will play a decisive role in creating compelling new sources of value and competitiveness for Southeast Asia businesses, which will help them navigate broader challenges like sustainability and supply chain disruption."

She added that digital transformation and innovation were "twin engines of growth" in Asean, underpinned by a skilled workforce.

"By encouraging a startup ecosystem where early-movers can come together to co-create, foster business networks, and develop unique innovation and solutions for the region, we aim to generate sustained, positive impact in areas such as AI and machine learning, digital supply chains, and sustainability, across all industries," she said. 

The Singapore lab also would look to adopt low- and no-code development principles, said Thomas Saueressig, SAP's executive board member for product engineering, in response to ZDNet's question at the launch.

He noted that such development approach was strategic for the software vendor, as it provided a foundation for business agility and speed. It also offered businesses a way to differentiate themselves in the market. 

SAP last November launched low- and no-code tools for enterprise customers and developers, integrating these capabilities in its SAP AppGyver and Business Application Studio offerings. The move was touted to automate tasks and ease application development.

It also fit into SAP's RISE strategy, Saueressig said, to help its customers drive their digital transformation and better respond to supply chain movements with data intelligence and insights. 

Manik Saha, managing director for SAP Labs Singapore, said: "As companies look towards a new era of growth, businesses need to be agile and continually re-invent themselves. In a digital-first future, organisations must rapidly develop an innate ability to innovate--not just to adapt to the changing customer landscape, but to also create new sources of value and competitiveness as they consider broader challenges like sustainability."

SAP RISE subscription service is pitched as an offering to help customers move mission-critical SAP workloads to the cloud. It is delivered alongside partners such as IBM, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services, that provide infrastructure and management services.

According to SAP's Singapore managing director Eileen Chua, 14 customers in Singapore signed up for RISE last year. 

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