After Hindi, SAP to ‘speak’ in 5 other Indian languages

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After its largest localisation effort ever with Hindi, enterprise software company SAP is working on converting its software into five other Indian languages to tap the growing demand from the public sector, Asia Pacific and Japan head Adaire Fox-Martin said.

The company, which grew its on-premise software in the double digit range and its cloud-based software in the triple digit range in the first quarter, expects the growth in India to help it reach its lofty 22-billion revenue target by 2017. To reach that goal the company will sharpen its focus on the public sector and smaller enterprises in India.

“The public sector is an important segment. After Hindi, we’re looking at translating our software into five other Indian languages to make it easier for various governments and people to adopt the software,” Fox-Martin told ET. The conversion of the entire software to Hindi required rewriting of some 40,000 lines of code and was the company’s single-largest investment in localisation.

She declined to name the five languages as the company had not finalised the details but said they were the next five major languages in the country. The Hindi version of SAP’s software is currently being used by the Airports Authority of India and the Life Insurance Corporation of India.

The software is currently being implemented at India Post, NTPC, State Bank of India and Air India, the company said. The Indian government is expected to spend $6.4 billion on IT products and services this year, according to Gartner.

Fox-Martin added the company was also expecting to do well in the Indian public sector market as the software had been customised for reporting, budgeting and legislative process in the market. The Indian software market totalled $4.8 billion in 2013, according to research firm Gartner.

SAP had the fourth largest share of that market, totalling $324 million, the research firm said. Another source of growth for the company will be the large number of smaller enterprises in the country, most of who are just adopting technology as the cloudbased delivery makes technology more affordable.

“In emerging markets in Asia Pacific, we have the opportunity to make markets. In India, small companies could leapfrog onpremise and move directly to the cloud, like you did with the mobile phone. Our goal here is to work with the next generation multi-nationals to grow with them,” Fox-Martin said.

SAP is focusing heavily on bringing its service offerings to the cloud, on its HANA platform. Fox-Martin said the HANA was a significant proportion of the company’s pipeline in Asia Pacific.

“Companies like SAP and Oracle are working very hard to ensure their business can move to the cloud. They are making significant shifts internally to make the transition their business,” Mike Harris, research group vice president at Gartner, said.

Though SAP has had leadership issues in the past in India, analysts expect the new India head to improve the company’s performance in this market. In April, SAP appointed Ravi Chauhan as India head. Chauhan joined the firm from Juniper Networks.

Filed in: Computer Hardware, News, Technology News

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