SAP recently reiterated its commitment to supporting local talent and the SME sector at Saudi Aramco's first Trends, Industry and Entrepreneurs (TIE) IT Forum.
The world's largest enterprise software company attended the event to draw attention to its SME expertise, as well as its multiple training and development initiatives.
Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia, said: "SMEs have developed rapidly in Saudi Arabia and become a key economic driver. To support this momentum, SAP has developed localized solutions for Saudi Arabia that can enable many SMEs to gain a new competitive edge. We are proud to take part in the TIE IT Forum; Saudi Aramco's commitment to SMEs and the local IT industry is exceptional, and exciting, potential-rich times lie ahead."
Highlighting its SME track record at the forum, SAP indicated how more than 80 per cent of its customers worldwide operate in this sector, 88 per cent of new business clients are small and 35 per cent of SAP's sales come through indirect entrepreneurs.
SME-specific SAP solutions include SAP Business All-in-One (a customizable and extensible solution for midsize companies with deep industry best practices built in) and SAP® Business One (a single integrated solution for successfully managing small businesses and for managing subsidiaries of large corporation).
In terms of training and development, SAP emphasized that 2013 has been its best ever year.
As a part of its presence at the event, SAP demonstrated some of its expertise in this area by hosting a CodeJam event for over 50 students from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, the University of Dammam and members from Saudi Aramco Professional Development Program (PDPs). SAP CodeJam events are structured to engage budding developers with innovative technology, and to develop essential skills to succeed in the local job market. SAP's CodeJam at the TIE IT Forum focused on application development for the pioneering in-memory computing platform SAP HANA.
Other key SAP training and development initiatives set to have an impact in Saudi Arabia include the three-month Mawared (Young Professional) program. Designed for young graduates, the program includes hands-on project experience and spans everything from negotiation and communication to conflict management and "design thinking". In addition, the initiative will offer SAP certifications on associate level in core business and industry solutions. 108 talented students graduated in 2013 and over 50 are currently undergoing training, most of which are Saudi Nationals from Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia's Human Resources Development Fund recently reached an agreement with SAP to support the program.