Sap's Expanding Universe

The software giant's ambitious new goal: To be everywhere business is taking place

For a couple of years now, success has come to Germany's SAP on a silver platter. The $3.5 billion software giant capitalized on fears that two looming events, the new millennium and the creation of a single European currency, would wreak havoc on multinationals' information-technology systems. Instead of combing through their computer systems looking for bugs, many of SAP's 8,000 customers just bought new software packages. This contributed to sales growth of 62% in 1997. But it's getting late for companies to install all-new software before the year 2000, and now SAP must figure out what to do for an encore.

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