SAP details plans for expansion of India unit

SAP AG’s facility in Bangalore, India will not only develop key new products for the company, but will also work on the localization of software for customers in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, according to a company executive.

The official, SAP executive board member Peter Zencke, was in Bangalore Monday for the inauguration of a new facility for its Indian software development subsidiary, SAP Labs India Pvt Ltd.

Zencke reiterated the SAP announcement earlier this year that the company plans to hire more workers for the unit, and added that the lab is focused on product development in three key application areas: manufacturing, customer relationship management (CRM) including mobile solutions and human capital management (HCM). Teams at SAP Labs India are also involved in developing the platforms and tools necessary to build the Mobile Business Applications of SAP of which SAP NetWeaver forms the backbone.

SAP, based in Walldorf, Germany, plans to increase the number of software developers at its facility in Bangalore to approximately 1,500 by end 2004 from the current 750, according to Zencke.

SAP Labs India is the largest development hub for SAP outside Germany, according to Zencke. About 40 per cent of SAP’s application development for manufacturing and distribution is done at the facility in Bangalore, making it SAP’s largest development centre for the manufacturing sector.

SAP is the latest among a large number of technology companies, including rival Oracle Corp. in Redwood Shores, California, that have announced plans to increase the size of their software development centres in India. Like Oracle, SAP is also looking at using India as a base for delivering both product development and services such as customization.