SAP Doubles Staff in Brazil to Capture Growth Opportunities

SAP AG, the world’s largest business-management software maker, has doubled its staff in Brazil in the past 18 months and is hiring more people to capture growth opportunities in Latin America’s biggest economy.

“We have to grow our footprint in this country,” said SAP’s Chief Financial Officer Werner Brandt in an interview today at the company’s office in Sao Paulo. Brazil is among the company’s biggest markets in terms of revenue from the software business, he added.

Since the beginning of 2011, SAP has hired 698 people in Brazil, bringing its headcount to 1,533 by the end of March this year, company-provided data shows. This year alone, SAP hired 264 people in Brazil. SAP will “continue to hire” in 2012, said Brandt, who didn’t provide more details.

The Walldorf, Germany-based company aims to increase sales to 20 billion euros ($24.7 billion) by 2015, with growth driven by mobile products, services and data analysis software. Emerging markets will play an important role in achieving this target, according to Brandt.

“It’s very important that we not only deliver solutions to the market, but that we deliver solutions that were developed here, for this market,” he said.

SAP, which agreed to pay at least $7.7 billion in two acquisitions since December to strengthen its position in the cloud-computing market, doesn’t see any potential target in Brazil, the executive also said.

The company earlier this month agreed to buy Ariba Inc., based in Sunnyvale, California, to add a cloud-computing applications maker to its businesses, in a transaction valued at about $4.3 billion. In December, it acquired SuccessFactors Inc., a maker of online personnel management applications, for $3.4 billion.

SAP will pursue partnership with other developers in Brazil and in Latin America to integrate local know-how to better serve clients, Brandt said.

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