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SAP Business Model Canvas

SAP Business Model Canvas
Photo By luis gomes, Edited By Grey Knight

A Brief History of SAP

SAP SE is a German multinational software corporation that was founded in 1972 by five former IBM employees: Dietmar Hopp, Hasso Plattner, Claus Wellenreuther, Klaus Tschira, and Hans-Werner Hector. The company’s name originally stood for Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung (System Analysis and Program Development), but later changed to SAP SE.

SAP started as a small software company, but quickly gained traction in the 1980s with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which helped businesses manage their operations more efficiently. The company expanded globally and went public in 1988, experiencing rapid growth and success.

In the following years, SAP continued to innovate and develop new software solutions for various industries, including customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management, and business intelligence. The company also made strategic acquisitions to broaden its portfolio and enhance its capabilities.

Today, SAP is one of the largest software companies in the world, serving customers in over 180 countries and employing more than 100,000 people. The company’s software products and services are used by a wide range of businesses, from small enterprises to multinational corporations, to run their operations more effectively. SAP’s continued focus on innovation and commitment to helping businesses run better has solidified its position as a leader in the enterprise software industry.

Who Owns SAP?

SAP SE, a multinational software corporation based in Germany, is owned by its shareholders. The top 10 shareholders of SAP SE as of September 2021 are as follows:

1. BlackRock, Inc.
2. Vanguard Group, Inc.
3. Norges Bank Investment Management
4. State Street Corporation
5. DWS Investment GmbH
6. Capital Research & Management Co.
7. AllianceBernstein L.P.
8. UBS Group AG
9. RBC Global Asset Management Inc.
10. Deutsche Bank AG

These shareholders collectively own a significant portion of the company and have a vested interest in its success and performance in the market. SAP SE operates as a public company, with its shares traded on various stock exchanges, allowing ownership to be distributed among a wide range of individual and institutional investors.

SAP Mission Statement

SAP SE’s mission is to help organizations of all sizes and industries run better, by providing them with innovative technology solutions that enable them to streamline their operations, maximize their efficiency, and drive sustainable growth. They are committed to supporting their customers in their digital transformation journeys and helping them stay ahead in the fast-paced and competitive business environment. Their mission is underpinned by a dedication to delivering quality products and services, as well as fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and environmental responsibility.

How SAP Makes Money?

SAP SE’s business model is primarily based on enterprise software solutions and services. The company generates revenue through licensing its software solutions to businesses, as well as providing maintenance and support services to ensure the functionality and performance of its products. SAP also offers cloud-based solutions and subscription services, which contribute to its recurring revenue stream. Additionally, the company earns income through consulting and professional services, as well as training and education programs for its clients. Overall, SAP SE’s revenue streams are diverse and driven by its core capabilities in providing innovative and integrated business software solutions.

SAP’s Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual representation of a company’s business model. It consists of nine key building blocks that cover the main areas of a business and helps to identify potential trade-offs and opportunities for innovation. The canvas offers a holistic view of the business, making it easier to align activities and assets towards the company’s strategic objectives. Below is a detailed Business Model Canvas for SAP SE.

Customer Segments:

– Large enterprises and mid-sized companies in various industries
– Government organizations and non-profits
– Small businesses and startups

Value Propositions:

– Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions
– Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
– Supply Chain Management tools
– Business Intelligence and Analytics solutions


– Direct sales force
– Online marketplace
– Reseller and partner network
– Marketing and advertising campaigns

Customer Relationships:

– Account management
– Customer support and training
– Online self-service portal
– Community forums and user groups

Revenue Streams:

– Software license sales
– Subscription-based cloud services
– Maintenance and support contracts
– Professional services and consulting

Key Resources:

– Patented software technology
– Skilled workforce (developers, sales, marketing)
– Data centers and cloud infrastructure
– Strategic partnerships

Key Activities:

– Research and development
– Software development and maintenance
– Sales and marketing efforts
– Customer service and support

Key Partners:

– Technology partners (e.g. hardware manufacturers)
– System integrators and consultants
– Value-added resellers
– Independent software vendors (ISVs)

Cost Structure:

– Research and development expenses
– Sales and marketing costs
– Employee salaries and benefits
– Infrastructure and operational costs

SAP’s Competitors

SAP SE, a leading enterprise software company, faces stiff competition from several major players in the industry. Some of its top competitors include Oracle Corporation, IBM Corporation, Microsoft Corporation,, Inc., and Adobe Inc. These companies offer a range of software and services that directly compete with SAP’s offerings, creating a dynamic and competitive landscape within the enterprise software market. However, SAP SE has continued to innovate and expand its product offerings in order to maintain its position as a top player in the industry.

SAP SWOT Analysis


1. Strong brand image and reputation in the enterprise software industry.
2. Diverse range of software products and solutions for businesses of all sizes.
3. Wide global presence and customer base.
4. Strong partnerships with other industry leaders.


1. High pricing and complex implementation processes may deter smaller businesses.
2. Slow adoption of cloud-based and subscription-based models compared to competitors.


1. Increasing demand for cloud-based and digital transformation solutions.
2. Growing market for the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI-driven technologies.


1. Intense competition from other enterprise software companies.
2. Rapid technological advancements and changing customer preferences.

Concluding Analysis

So, as I look ahead to the future of SAP SE, I see a company that is well-positioned to continue its success in the enterprise software industry. With a strong focus on cloud computing, digital transformation, and customer experience, SAP has a solid business model that will drive growth and innovation in the years to come. The company’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility also bodes well for its long-term success. As an analyst, I am confident that SAP’s business model will continue to thrive, and I look forward to seeing how the company will continue to evolve and make an impact on the global business landscape.

Additional Resources

To keep learning and advancing your career, we highly recommend these additional resources:

Business Model Canvas of The Top 1,000 Largest Companies by Market Cap in 2024

A List of 1000 Venture Capital Firms & Investors with LinkedIn Profiles

Peter Thiel and the 16 Unicorns: The Legacy of Thiel Fellowship

9 Biggest IPOs of All Time

List of Fortune 500 Companies in 2023

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