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On April 1st 1972, five former IBM employees took a risk and decided to branch out on their own to develop the first real-time business applications.

With a vision to transform the world of IT and the drive to help companies run efficiently with standard solutions, these five engineers accomplished something no others were able to do at the time.

As SAP’s CEO, Bill McDermott, once stated, "few companies can lay claim to being the originator of an entire industry." But with their relentless drive for innovation, our founders Hasso Plattner, Dietmarr Hopp, Klaus Tschira, Claus Wellenreuther and Hans Werner Hector, made it possible for SAP to do just that.

“When we began in 1972, our vision was to build real-time business applications and we did so in close cooperation with our first customers,” said Hasso Plattner, co-founder of SAP and chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board. “Today, SAP continues to be the trusted innovator it was then. We are driving intellectual renewal with breakthrough innovations like the SAP HANA platform for the next generation of real-time management of businesses anytime, anywhere, from any device. And we have also returned to our roots, working closely with customers to make the impossible possible.”

Now, over four decades later, with more than 76,000 employees worldwide, SAP has become a global player in the software industry serving roughly 300,000 customers in 190 countries. Continuous growth, a hunger for innovation and a commitment to helping our customer’s has brought us to where we are today.

We’ve created the SAP Digital Boardroom, developed on the SAP Cloud for Analytics solution, which simplifies reporting across the business in real-time.

“SAP Digital Boardroom intends to provide total transparency to board members, executives and decision-makers with a comprehensive, real-time view of business performance across an entire company,” said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Products & Innovation. “We have incorporated fully automated business intelligence capabilities that aim to dramatically improve the quality and speed of reporting as well as collaboration in real time. As businesses continue to transform and evolve around the digital economy, executives will be able to use SAP Digital Boardroom for instant, data-driven insights that address ad hoc questions and improve decision-making. It will ultimately build trust between all board participants, employees and investors.”

SAP continues to invest in technology innovation with acquisitions of companies like Ariba, Concur and hybris that help broaden solution offerings to better suit our customer’s needs. These companies complement the business and vision that our founders set out to create.

With the integration of SAP Hybris we were able to invest in the future of commerce and customer engagement with solutions that deliver state-of-the-art customer data management and the best possible customer experience.

“SAP and hybris will deliver the next-generation customer experience for businesses and consumers in a world where digital and physical converge seamlessly,” said Bill McDermott. “With the addition of the hybris commerce platform, we intend to help enterprises achieve unprecedented intimacy with customers in real time and across all devices, delivery channels and touchpoints.”

And most recently, this passion for innovation has lead to a partnership with India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, when Bill McDermott announced SAP’s pledge to open 25 centers for digital learning in 12 cities throughout India, adding, “We’re committed to India precisely because of its people, their passion and their resolve to innovate.”

SAP’s evolution is a continuous reflection of the vision and spirit that our founders not only believed in, but created, with their goal to forever change the way companies do business by helping them run simple. So today not only marks the inception of SAP but also a celebration of innovators everywhere, who dare to dream and are determined to make their visions a reality.

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