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Eric Viardot (EADA Business School)
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24 pages
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Field research


This case study is set in 2014 and examines the innovation strategy of SAP, the largest global vendor of integrated management software for companies and organisations. After a short introduction which introduces SAP, the case study opens with a summary of SAP’s major milestones over its 40 years of history. The following sections outline SAP’s strategy and business model and present an overview of its products portfolio, solutions and services as well as its main customers and its marketing strategy. The case goes on to describe Sap’s main competitors before moving on to address Innovation at SAP. This section begins by describing the various research organisations at SAP, and then focuses on the SAP Labs with a detailed presentation of their organisation, their operations, and the role of the Lab Directors. The case concludes by looking at the future challenges that the R&D structure is facing at SAP. The case has been tested with MBA students in a course of corporate strategy where it can be used to analyse the different strategic choices involved in innovation. The case can also be used in specific Executive Programs dedicated to Innovation Management as a general introduction.


Strategy; Strategic management; Innovation; Innovation management; Open innovation; Ecosystem innovation; Platform innovation; Software; IT industry; R&D management; R&D globalization; Technology innovation; Innovation adoption; Innovation in business-to-business; Lead users
65,000 employees+
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