SAP's Kemna: weak economy means careful customers

While it's doubtful that any technology company executive welcomes a slowdown in the global economy, SAP America's Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Kemna believes that tough economic times can have a positive effect on the company's software sales.

"This uncertain economic climate to some extent is good for SAP; it makes customers more deliberate," Kemna told the audience at his keynote address Wednesday during the ComNet Conference and Expo being held in Washington D.C. this week. "We have tools that can help companies maintain the bottom line, even improve it."

The fifteen-year veteran of SAP said the company currently has 17,500 customers across the globe.

One money-saving advantage that SAP's software offers over competing products is the tight integration of its parts, Kemna said. Users of software that comes in separate pieces are paying US$10,000 a year, on average, to maintain the interfaces between programs, he said. And that doesn't factor in the hassle of getting these complex software pieces to work together.

"Our goal is to solve the integration problem of our customers," Kemna said.

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