SAP to double staff in India

SAP is expanding its development staff worldwide, will add 2000 to staff in India

BANGALORE, INDIA -- SAP announced Monday that it is doubling the number of staff it employs in India to about 4,000 by the end of next year.

"About 70 to 80 percent of the staff in India will be in development," Shai Agassi, president of SAP's product and technology group and a member of the company's executive board, told reporters Monday in Bangalore, India. SAP, of Walldorf, Germany, currently employs about 2,000 staff in India, of which about 1,800 are employed at the company's development subsidiary, SAP Labs India, in Bangalore.

SAP is not shifting jobs to India from other locations, Agassi said. The company is expanding its development staff worldwide, and in the last 24 months the company added about 3,000 development staff to take its total development staff worldwide to about 10,000, he added.

SAP Labs India does both technology and application development. It is SAP's largest development facility outside Germany. The Bangalore lab is one of SAP's four global labs and is involved in the development of key SAP products, Agassi said. The others are in Palo Alto, California; Walldorf, and Tel-Aviv in Israel.

The Indian lab, which currently has about 20 percent of SAP's development staff worldwide, will have about 25 to 30 percent of the company's worldwide development staff once the planned expansion of the lab is completed, Agassi said.

SAP has also set up an SAP NetWeaver Center of Excellence in India. The center will provide support for the company's NetWeaver integration and application server middleware to SAP partners such as system integrators and ISVs (independent software vendors). The center, the first set up by SAP, will support partners in India to start with, and later offer support to partners around the world, Agassi said.

SAP opened a new research and development (R&D) center in Budapest, Hungary, this month. The center will work on supply chain management systems. It will also offer localization and language consulting services from SAP's Globalization Services group, according to the company.

In an interview in November, Peter Zencke, an executive board member of SAP, said that the company was planning to set up a new development center in Eastern Europe. "Our main driver is not to save cost but to have huge (development) hubs where the growing markets are," Zencke said then, adding that there are local market requirements that SAP needs to understand.

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