SAP targets Southeast Asia with Singapore digital R&D hub

SAP’s first digital innovation hub in Southeast Asia reinforces firm’s confidence in Singapore as a hub for enterprise software development and innovation

SAP has launched its first digital innovation hub in Southeast Asia, as the software giant looks to drive product leadership, foster local digital talent and boost ecosystem and community engagement in the region.

Spotlighting the fast-growing Southeast Asia region, SAP Labs Singapore will focus on catalysing deep technology such as AI and machine learning to advance transformative digital supply chain, intelligent business network and sustainability solutions.

SAP’s Labs network – Singapore is 21st global hub

Located in Singapore, SAP Labs Singapore joins a network of 20 strategic high-tech clusters across 17 countries, including Japan, Korea, China and India, which have been designed to drive thought leadership globally and in local ecosystems with each lab focusing on specific applications, technology and markets.

The German US$120bn enterprise software giant, which is known to be the world’s largest provider of software that helps businesses run operations and improve customer experience, invests significantly in R&D to build solutions that help its customers digitally transform and further creates value for their businesses and the communities in which they operate.

“Our global and diverse labs network is SAP’s unique innovation backbone and a source of inspiration, creativity, and innovation,” says Thomas Saueressig, member of the executive board of SAP SE for SAP Product Engineering.

SAP investing in early digital local talent

SAP, which has been in Singapore for more than three decades, plans to employ more than 500 highly skilled digital professionals locally for the Lab by 2025, doubling its existing team of product engineering professionals in Singapore, and enriching the city-state’s already thriving digital ecosystem.

The focus will be on early digital talent sourced from Singapore’s local universities and institutions of higher learning, with a focus on software engineers and areas including AI, data analytics, machine learning, cloud and sustainability.

“By investing in a diverse local early talent pool here, SAP Labs Singapore aims to strengthen the engineering core in Singapore, and create more high-skill, high-value career opportunities and paths for Singapore residents,” says Manik Saha, newly appointed Managing Director for SAP Labs Singapore.

“This will in turn spur product innovation for Singapore and the rest of Asia, while delivering best-in-class solutions and sustainable products for organisations in the region.”

Singapore is hub for digitalisation in Southeast Asia

The opening of this new lab reinforces SAP’s strong confidence in the city-state as a hub for enterprise software product development, innovation and investment that boasts highly educated and skilled talent and stands strong as a regional beacon of excellence in technology innovation and digitisation.

Saueressig said that Singapore’s focus on sustainability and its 2030 Green Plan are draws for SAP, as is the city-state’s diversity as a “multi-ethnic, multilingual and multicultural society”.

SAP follows other enterprise tech companies that have set up R&D innovation hubs in the city-state, among them IBM, Accenture and Oracle

While IBM unveiled the IBM Watson Centre in Singapore in 2016, as an incubator for business partners and IBM experts to co-create solutions that leverage IBM’s cognitive, blockchain and design capabilities; Accenture unveiled its Digital Hub there the following year – helping clients accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

Singapore remains a key contributor to SAP’s regional growth story, with more than 1,100 employees, working with businesses such as Changi Airport Group, Hilleman Laboratories, JUMBO Group, Love Bonito, PCI Private Limited, Singapore LNG Corporation, Singapore Exchange Limited and Sunningdale Tech Ltd.

“SAP has a deep history in Singapore, and we recognise its status as a regional economic, financial, technology and innovation powerhouse, and its embodiment of a skilled population and a leader in cutting-edge innovation, which has helped propel the nation to the global stage,” says Eileen Chua, Managing Director, SAP Singapore.

According to a new SAP regional study, 75% of Singapore SMEs are at least moderately optimistic about growth in the next 12 months, with 69% saying digital transformation is very or extremely important to their organisation’s survival for the next year.

Fundamental to the mission of SAP Labs Singapore will be engagement with organisations to understand how innovation and new technologies are transforming their capabilities to weather challenges and drive long-term, future-ready growth.

“With the support from EDB, and our recently launched Centre for XM Innovation in Asia and SAP Labs Singapore, we continue to cement our position as a leader in innovation, and remain committed to collaborating with our customers, partners and community to harness cloud technology to accelerate growth in the digital economy,” adds Chua.

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