SAP Labs Ireland: Two Decades of Customer Service & Support and all Things Analytics
Written by Liam Ryan
Managing Director – SAP Labs Ireland
In SAP Ireland, over 40 lines of business with colleagues from over 50 nationalities offer key and diverse areas of Service and Support to customers. SAP first started in Ireland on April 1st, 1997 with just 35 employees, and the operations were set up as a remote Service Delivery Centre providing services for customers that were upgrading their systems and fiscal end-of-year conversions. Around that time SAP introduced the concept of regional Global Support Centres that delivered remote support along with remote services across all components of a customer landscape. Since then, Global Support Centre Ireland has evolved into SAP Labs Ireland. We now provide Services and Support to customers predominantly in EMEA and the Americas, Research & Development in Business Intelligence and Commercial functions. Following on from a number of acquisitions by SAP over the years, over 30% of employees are engaged in the Cloud.
SAP Labs Ireland has grown phenomenally in a short space of time and now has over 1,700 employees with an average age of 35. The Labs span across 2 locations, Dublin and Galway. The Dublin organisations focus mainly on the provision of Services and Support for its large enterprise Customer base in EMEA and the Americas along with Financial Shared Services and Commercial functions. There is an R&D Centre developing applications for Business Intelligence. It also provides internal IT support and hosts a Quality Engineering group focused on testing of Application and Technology releases. SAP’s operation in Galway focuses mainly on the SME sector and the Cloud. It has groups involved in Support of Business One, ByDesign, SuccessFactors, C4C, Cloud Services & Development, Technical Writing, Globalisation Services, License Auditing and Partner Services. It covers 46 languages and has colleagues from over 50 nationalities.
In Ireland, the R&D functions are focussed predominantly on Business Intelligence, developing core applications in Advanced Analytics including Predictive Analytics and Design Studio. The Emerging Technologies Team develop applications in the IoT space, based on BI technologies and there is also a User Interface and Design Team building technologies that assist Customers, Partners. Internal Development Teams develop applications with their end-customers in an interactive mode in our “AppHaus” – a fast paced, agile, innovative space created for SAP engineers to promote collaboration, foster creativity, and to provide the flexibility to adjust to changing needs of technology.
Our Services Teams develop applications on S/4HANA, Suite, ByDesign and the HANA Cloud Platform. These applications are across many industries including Insurance and Banking. Our Support organisation helps Customers in EMEA and the Americas in all SAP applications, databases and Cloud offerings. Our Mission Control Centre (MCC) is part of the Global MCC organisation and is the core support and services platform for Premium Engagement and Enterprise Support customers.
Our Commercial lines-of-business support Customers, Partners, ISV’s VAR’s, OEM and SI’s in many commercial related activities from sales through contract management to delivery. Moreover, all this done in many languages.
Ireland is an exciting and energetic place to work with a very customer-focused, flexible and motivated workforce which is part of a wider global SAP community. There are very active Community Involvement and Sustainability Forums, comprising of employees with a passion for helping others. Our commitment to the local community is driven from a number of directions. We financially support local charities and organisations that are linked with our employees. Employees also choose and fundraise for nominated charities and we have many volunteering projects that employees get involved with. These projects include Junior Achievement, EU Code Week, Coder DoJo, Africa Code Week, First Lego League, Skills@work and GirlSmarts4Tech. They are aimed at encouraging boys and girls to get involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
SAP Labs Ireland also has a very strong partnership with Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Technology with a strong focus on hiring Early Talent. More than 100 Student Interns annually join SAP across various lines of business and this has become a great way to identify future employees who know what Labs Ireland has to offer. The students are offered real-life scenarios and they receive both classroom and on-the-job training across many SAP technologies.
Finally, we are a very diverse Lab. Gender intelligence is actively pursued through our Business Women’s Network, GirlSmarts4Tech and the strong culture of women in leadership positions. 36% of management positions are held by women. With over 50 nationalities speaking 46 languages, cultural inclusiveness is part of Labs Ireland’s DNA. We also believe we have created an environment that supports and enables individuals of different abilities. Our Autism@work program in association with Specialisterne has brought significant benefits to the organisation. We currently employ 9 colleagues on the Autism spectrum.
The Customer is at the heart of everything we do and bearing in mind over 70% of our employees interact with a customer every day, learning is also key to our success.