10 Muharram 1446 - 16 July 2024
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Eye of Riyadh
Technology & IT | Thursday 7 March, 2024 8:56 am |

LEAP 2024: SAP Ramps up Investment in Saudi Arabia to Foster Innovation Ecosystem and Enhance National Technology Skills

SAP today announced it is increasing its investment in Saudi Arabia, a critically important market for the global technology company. To enable further co-innovation with new and existing customers and partners, SAP has launched a first-of-its-kind regional SAP Innovation Hub in the Kingdom and will also open an SAP Experience Center in Khobar this month. In addition, SAP is extending its elite program for training in advanced technology skills, organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), until at least 2025.




His Excellency Eng. Haitham AlOhali, “As Saudi Arabia increasingly diversifies its economy and strategically deploys technology to transform key industries, it is vital that organizations such as SAP invest further in their operations and training across the Kingdom. The Ministry is collaborating with SAP to support the creation of a digital-centric workforce enabled by training programs such as the SAP Academy of Engineering. We encourage a collaborative approach to leveraging new technologies for the benefit of all organizations and individuals. One example of how this can be achieved is through the new Innovation Hub, where SAP will work with partners and customers to solve challenges facing companies today, while also creating new best practices across diverse industries.”




On behalf of SAP, Ahmed AlFaifi, SVP & MD, Middle East Africa – North, said, “We are committed to supporting the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s role in championing regional digital transformation and harnessing new technologies in a responsible way to benefit the region. Our investment in the SAP Experience Center and Innovation Hub as well as the SAP Academy of Engineering is part of our four-pronged strategy to support the rapid development of the Kingdom’s digital market, alongside accelerating new technology adoption and establishing a robust partner ecosystem.”




SAP Experience Center and Innovation Hub




AlFaifi explained that the SAP Innovation Hub will serve as a pivotal platform for fostering a vibrant community of innovation and co-creation in Saudi Arabia. Designed to empower individuals and organizations to collectively tackle operational challenges and drive incremental business value across various industries, custom-tailored to the Saudi market, the hub will bring together SAP global and regional experts, local businesses, startups, and partners in a collaborative environment.




Key enterprises across multiple industries including oil and gas, energy, supply chain and logistics, manufacturing, telco, sports, entertainment, and the public sector have been invited to participate in the SAP Innovation Hub and Experience Center.




SAP has reiterated its commitment to Saudi Arabia's digital transformation by supporting the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology Center of Digital Entrepreneurship, (CODE) startup program as part of the SAP Innovation Hub, fostering cross-company learning and collaboration to drive innovation in the region. CODE, is dedicated to promoting digital entrepreneurship and fostering a culture of innovation, making it an ideal partner in advancing Saudi Arabia's technology landscape.




SAP has established a network of experience centers across the globe. The center in Khobar holds a unique position featuring the Innovation Hub, dedicated to fostering collaboration among SAP, customers, and partners. With a focus on creating business value through connections, collaboration, and co-creation, it aims to raise awareness of digital trends across global industries.




SAP Academy of Engineering Program




The extension of the SAP Academy of Engineering program is the result of the success of the first two intakes, according to AlFaifi.


In 2023, through its partnership with the MCIT, SAP saw a total of 127 IT talents graduate from its flagship SAP Academy for Engineering in San Ramon, California in the Unites States. The program targets the most promising Saudi national technology talents to foster their IT technology, application-development, and AI skills, while priming their leadership expertise.


The 2023 cohorts comprised 127 professionals from organizations including MCIT, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Sports, the National Center for Government Resource Systems, STC Solutions, Arab National Bank, NEOM, KAUST, DGDA, SATORP and Elm. Of the trainees, 30% were women.


SAP intends to enroll 150 additional national IT talents in 2024, accepting the first cohort of applicants in March. The enrolled employees complete four weeks of study in the Kingdom before heading to the US to train onsite at SAP’s facilities in San Ramon, California.


Participants in the program undergo a rigorous five-step application process, starting with a coding challenge to determine their existing skill set, followed by onboarding, virtual and in-person learning, and ending with a graduation ceremony. This program complements other skills-development strategies that SAP has launched in the Kingdom, including the SAP University Alliances, the SAP Dual Study Program, and the SAP Young Professionals Program, which are intended to develop the knowledge economy and enhance career opportunities for Saudi nationals in the technology sector.




AlFaifi commented, “Technology is the engine that will drive much of Saudi Arabia’s growth, and SAP programs such as the Academy of Engineering help to create a long-term bench of executive decision-makers to harness emerging technology and address real-world opportunities and challenges in the Kingdom. SAP will continue to deliver innovative programs to meet the demand for skilled Saudi professionals while creating employment opportunities around new technologies including cloud computing and AI.”






About SAP


SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent, sustainable enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives.


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