SAP to Stick to Software, Says CEO

SAP’s new CEO Leo Apotheker says the software giant will focus on its core software business, even as its rivals expand beyond their traditional boundaries.

The latest trend in the tech industry–at least among its biggest companies–is to offer products and services that used to be provided by partners. H-P (HPQ) expanded into consulting last year when it bought EDS, Cisco announced in March that it was moving into the server business, in April SAP’s (SAP) software rival Oracle agreed to buy hardware maker Sun Microsystems (JAVA), and in June, Intel (INTC), which makes chips, agreed to buy a software company.

SAP has no such ambition, says Apotheker. Whereas Cisco (CSCO), Oracle (ORCL) et al. say that they can reduce complexity for customers by developing all-in-one products, SAP plans to keep making software and work with partners to achieve the same goal. “People want to reduce complexity, but they don’t want it all to come from one company,” he says.

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