SAP reorganizing in U.S., cutting staff 7 percent

SAP AG is shifting the sales and marketing priorities of its U.S. division, SAP America Inc., and cutting 7 percent of its employees in the country, according to a spokesman.

SAP America will cut approximately 300 jobs as it redirects its sales and marketing efforts for the upcoming year toward 12 vertical industry clusters, down from the 21 clusters previously targeted, said spokesman Jim Dever. The 12 chosen areas include the high-tech, chemical and pharmaceutical, retail, aerospace and defense, oil and gas, insurance and automotive industries. Some previous areas of focus, such as the banking industry, have been dropped, while others have been consolidated. Media and communications, previously handled separately, will now be treated by SAP America as one market.

Delays in customer spending prompted the reorganization, Dever said. "These moves will align our resources with profit and revenue performance, and align them with current market and economic conditions," he said.

Current customers won't be affected by the changes, which primarily apply to SAP America's strategy for pursuing new business, Dever said. He emphasized that the changes also do not reflect a global shift in SAP's priorities -- they apply only to the company's U.S. operations.

SAP America will also focus its sales and marketing on just three software tools from SAP's broad portfolio: SAP's supply-chain management, customer-relationship management and enterprise resource planning applications.

The changes were announced internally to SAP employees in late November, according to Dever. Job cuts, which will come from all areas of SAP America, began immediately, and will be completed by the end of the year, he said.

SAP America will "continue to invest in growth solutions" and hire in those areas, including supply-chain management, Dever said.

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