Exists, Full Stop, Says CEO

BERLIN (05/24/2000) - One year after the launch of the suite of business applications, SAP AG's Hasso Plattner and Henning Kagermann, who are co-chairmen and chief executive officers, still find themselves explaining what benefits the software has and why companies should use it.

"I don't know what we did wrong," Plattner said at a press conference here today at Sapphire. "In the beginning, I got angry when I read that SAP missed the Internet because I was judging against (our) competition."

The main news coming out of the show, Plattner said, is that is in full operation, and the company sees it as a success.

"Perception is great ... but like the new economy, sooner or later you have to come to terms," he said. "In the new economy, companies eventually have to make money, and eventually perception has to become reality." has been available since last October, and now has more than 1 million users, Plattner said, noting that the end users are who the company wants to reach.

"To deliver on promises is something that SAP can be proud of," Plattner said.

"We will stick to our style of delivering on our promises, then we use user conferences to tell how things are going."

Plattner also addressed the company's ongoing problems with its U.S. subsidiary SAP America Inc. The CEO of the company became the most recent casualty when he left the company last month. [See "SAP America CEO Quits In Wake of Poor Results," April 19.]"The difficulty in the U.S. is how to communicate what is and what it does," Plattner said. "It was far easier for us to convey the message of in Europe."

Sapphire, in Berlin, continues through Friday. More information can be found on the Web at

SAP, in Walldorf, Germany, can be reached at +49-6227-74-7474 or on the Web at

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