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  • Why we chose SAP: It’s a German society SAP considers France as one of its two most difficult markets SAP is also generally known by many people, but who really knows the company SAP and there outstanding managerial strategies ?
  • Known as an expression in the companies’ vocabulary, SAP is an ERP (Entreprise Reporting Program) but a company first. It does mean “Systemanalyse und Programmentwitcklung” (System Analysis and Program development) and is, of course, a German firm created in 1973 that covers nowadays 50 countries with its 28900 employees. SAP is the leader on the ERP market with more than 31% of market share. 12500 clients, 1500 partners and 23 Industry solutions embody its actual size and market. It is also the fourth software developer in the World.
  • SAP provides different products. The main is SAP R/3 and its different components adjusted to the users’ needs (finance, accounting, purchase, human resources, …). SAP R/3 is made principally for major companies with lots of BU or entities. The second product SAP is providing is a solution for small and medium-sized firms called Business One. The services linked to these products are: Maintenance : follow-up of the current customers Consulting : operational and optimization aspects Training : development of the SAP users’ skills
  • SAP France aims at reaching the level of 15 to 20% of turn over due to small and medium-sized companies. It tries to grow on markets like: Finance (Assurances and banks) Public markets Retail companies
  • Created in Paris in December 1987, SAP France is now settled in Lyon and in Sophia-Antipolis too. This last entity is dedicated to research and development. In addition to the other commercial French sites, about 639 persons are working in our country. They do generate a 366 Million € turn over and spread more than 40% of the market. More than 800 clients are now listed all over the country. Most of them are major French companies but a growing share of the clients is now composed by small and medium-sized societies or financial (assurances, banks), public and retail firms. SAP France’s aim for this share is about 15 to 20% of the turn over.
  • Furthermore, SAP in France is also a part of the Headquarters of the Group. Indeed, the European Headquarters are located in Paris. This part of the corporate entity is in charge of international operations management. Leo Apotheker, the group vice-president is responsible for the action of this entity as well as he is President of SAP France.
  • As innovation management is strategic responsibility across the SAP development organizations, various approaches have been established. SAP Labs allow to establish R&D centers where innovative talents and innovative environments exist. SAP Labs France S.A. was founded in 1998 as a complete subsidiary of SAP AG, Germany.
  • The main reason why SAP AG decided to settle in France through its SAP France subsidiary is to be closer to its potential clients. Indeed, SAP France has first of all a commercial purpose that is to sell licenses for its softs. The commercial relationships imply proximity between the customer and the seller. That kind of relation is of course unmanageable from Germany and the implantation on the French market was conditioning the increase of the number of clients.
  • SAP does not have particular values like American firms usually have. However no official value is promoted, the employees have implicit values that are: Integrity Responsibility Customers’ satisfaction This values fit to the expectations of customers and of the company’s environment.
  • The French market presents majors constraints that are not in favor of an easy implantation of SAP in France. They even create problems in the company everyday life. These are: Labor law: the 35 hours law creates a lack of competitivity due to the reduction of worked days in a single year (212 days). Not only French managers have two weeks holidays more because of “RTT”, but also the company can not recruit new persons to equilibrate this lack. French labor unions are another point that slow the company. They contribute to the social life and to the social negotiations. But their main drawback is about their political tendency and the block out they make concerning the employees’ advantages. Social negotiations should not be one way negotiations. The French “comité d’entreprise” is an other part of this social life. The trouble is about the full time-employed people working for this entity. Company law: The NRE (New Economic Regulation Law) is another major issue for SAP in France. A part of it is the financial security law. Companies have to redact an annual internal control report that is really heavy. Moreover the people and company tax system is felt as heavy too. Its major obligatory applications (professional tax, employees share in the benefits) appear as opposed to the employees’ advantages. A internal contract would have been more appropriated. Concurrency on the consulting market: Other consulting agencies have specialization in SAP environment and implantation. SAP consulting activity is not strong enough to put up with them.
  • In spite of the constraints we just have seen, France has major advantages in favor of SAP. The first one is the size of the potential market SAP found when arrive in France. 800 clients are now using SAP products. In 1987, no other major concurrent was settled in France at that time as it was an emerging market. Proximity to SAP partners and customers, as well as educational establishments in the region of French-riviera, provides SAP with an ideal working environment. Actually, it is possible to move outstanding developers and researchers form all-over the world to SAP Labs in Sophia-Antipolis thanks to the local quality of life.
  • At its arrival in France, SAP had to adapt to this new market: German speaking people were very needed to enable good comprehension among teams A French German manager (Leo Apotheker) was in charge of the launch of the new French entity Today the tendency is to have a “franco-francais” top management of SAP France, which allows assuring french clients. However, multicultural profiles are very appreciated and more than 10 different nationalities are actually represented within SAP France.
  • SAP has to apply general adaptations: Need for translation of the Software Development of the consulting activity Understanding of the French culture (particularly its social aspects) France is one of the two hardest cultures for SAP, along with the Japanese one
  • The experience of SAP on the French market enable us to identify basic recommendations: Use French consultants aware of social and company Law, for a good integration and good comprehension of France It’s worth mentioning that the juridical status of the firm is primordial and a bad choice could be the source of many troubles. From SARL, SAS to SA constraints and opportunities are very different. Be careful during social negotiations that acquired advantages stay for life
  • The key actor recommended by SAP France top management is the Human Resources Director. He has to manage social and labor Law as much as unions. He is more important than the Financial Director at that time. Take note that there’s a thin gap between social and political unions’ claims. Indeed the particularity of French unions is that they are a part of both social and political environment. As SAP did for its SAP Labs implementation on the French Riviera, employees should be able to take advantage of the French quality of Life everyday.

SAP SAP Presentation Transcript

  • SAP in France Best in France Case Study September 2003 – May 2004 Mrs. Chalandon – Mr. Duchesne – Mr. Egret – Mr. Fischer – Mr. Hébert
    • Part 1 : You said SAP ?
    • Part 2 : Conquest of France
    • Part 3 : Golden Rules
    • Part 1 : You said SAP ?
    You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • German company
    • Created in 1973
    • 28 900 employees, in 50 countries
    • Number 1 in ERP software
    • 12 500 clients, 1 500 partners, 23 industry solutions
    • 2003 turn over / profits : 7,025 / 1,08 Billion €
    SAP AG You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • ERP software: SAP R/3, Business One (solution for SMB)
    • Maintenance (follow-up of the current customers)
    • Consulting
    • Training
    Products & services You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • SAP clients are companies
    • 12 500 companies, 12 million of users
    • 800 companies in France
    Clients You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • SAP came to France in December 1987
    • 366 M€ of sales
    • 639 employees
    • 40% on the French market
    • More than 800 clients
    • Business: ERP software, maintenance, consulting and training
    SAP in France (SAP France SA) You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Corporate entity in Paris
    • In charge of international operations management
    • Directed by Leo APOTHEKER
        • Vice-president of SAP AG
        • President of SAP France
      • Crucial position of the French BU
    SAP in France (European HQ) You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • R & D entity in Sophia Antipolis (1998)
    • Leads the research in innovative technology to ensure that SAP remains on the cutting edge of e-business development
    • Bridges the gap between local market demands and SAP's development organization
    • Facilitates the country-specific and industry-specific enhancements to software
    SAP in France (SAP Labs) You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Part 2 : Conquest of France
    You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Proximity to their French customers
    • Contact B to C primordial, but difficult to do from Germany
    • Permit to develop the French business network
    Why did SAP come to France? You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Corporate value : Spirit of INNOVATION
    • European state of mind
      • Integrity
      • Responsibility
      • Customers’ satisfaction
    Company Values You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Labour law
        • Complexity due to the 35h law (consulting)
        • Labor unions
        • French “comité d’entreprise”
    • Company Law
        • NRE (New Economic Regulation)
          • Financial Security Law
          • People and company Tax system
    • Consulting market very competitive
    French market constraints You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Size of the potential Market
    • No major concurrent settled in France
    • Skills of employees
    • Financial advantages when installing in certain parts of France
    • French culture is an European one
    • The French Riviera presents ideal working environment for R & D teams
    French Market Advantages You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • At the beginning:
        • Necessity of German speaking people (enabling communication with the corporate)
        • SAP France founded by a French-German Manager
    • Nowadays:
        • French management
        • Multicultural teams (cross-cultural benefits)
    Adaptations to French Market You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • In general:
      • Need for translation of the Software
      • Development of the consulting activity
      • Understanding of the French culture (particularly its social aspects)
      • France is one of the two hardest cultures for SAP, along with the Japanese one
    Adaptations to French Market You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Part 3 : Golden Rules
    You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Use French consultants for good integration aware of :
      • Social and company law
      • Local implementation in such a business
    • Take care of the juridical status of the firm
      • SAS ? SARL ?
      • SA ?
    • Be careful during social negotiations
        • Acquired advantages generally are long-lasting
    Advices for other firms You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Recruit a good HR Manager first !
        • Experienced in social negotiations
    • Take note that there’s a thin gap between social and political unions’ claims
    • Make employees to take advantage of the French quality of Life
    Advices for other firms You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Emmanuelle BRUN
        • Chief Financial Officer
    • Sylvie PAUTOU
        • Administrative and financial director
    • Sandrine LAFUENTE
        • Large Accounts manager
    Thanks to You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Site SAP France
        • www.sap.com/france
    • Bun & Bradstreet
        • www.dnb.com
    • Site des marchés extérieurs
        • www.dree.org
    Bibliography You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules
    • Anne-Sophie Chalandon
      • [email_address]
    • Edouard Duchesne
      • [email_address]
    • Michael Egret
      • Michael. egret @mailhec.net
    • Viktor Fischer
      • [email_address]
    • Quentin Hebert
      • [email_address]
    Our Team You said SAP ? Conquest of France Golden Rules