Enterprise software giant SAP is well on track to achieve its goal of $1-billion in revenue in Africa by 2016.
Although yesterday’s quarterly results showed global double-digit growth for the company – the 13th consecutive quarter to do so – Africa led the charge with meteoric growth.
Franck Cohen, president of SAP EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) tells IT-Online that Africa is more in the spotlight than ever before at SAP, and the local office is currently finalising a growth plan for the continent that will be presented to the board in November. The plan will call for even more investment and focus on the region, to accelerate SAP’s opportunities and revenues in Africa.
“Africa is one of the fastest growing markets in the world for us,” he says. “EMEA as a whole grew about 15% in the last quarter: Africa is far above that number. We are definitely in track to achieve $1-billion by 2016. We have had a fantastic quarter and year to data in Africa.”
The big winners in the African market are cloud computing and HANA in-memory computing, he adds.
Not surprisingly, cloud is more popular in geographies where a networking infrastructure exists, but as more countries roll out networking capability, cloud adoption is not far behind.
“South Africa has the infrastructure and, as a mature market, we are seeing a good appetite for cloud computing here,” Cohen says. Many other countries are well advanced in developing infrastructure to give citizens Internet access and this is driving cloud services.
In the rest of Africa, on-premise software revenue is healthy, with significant growth particularly in Nigeria and Angola, with traction coming from East Africa as well.
Overall, SAP reported 13% growth for the quarter. Software and related servives saw 12% growth, while cloud computing and HANA in-memory computing realized growth rates of 90%. The company also increased its operating profit to 32%.
Helping to drive strong HANA growth, Cohen points out that two-thirds of new SAP enterprise software customers are not adopting HANA as their database platform from the start.