Careers at Software AG
Software AG’s mission is to help its customers exploit the growth potential of digital business models.
Software AG is a provider of enterprise software. The company operates three reportable business segments:
- Digital Business Platform (DBP) – A platform that enables businesses to build digital applications for business and IT transformation, integration, analytics, and in-memory data management.
- Adabas & Natural (A&N) – Includes the Adabas Database Management System, which provides database processing for enterprise applications, and the Natural Application Development language, which enables rapid development and deployment of enterprise applications.
- Consulting – Customer-specific consulting solutions; they include implementation services, digital business strategies, education and training, and cloud services.
In 1969 six employees of German consulting firm AIV (Institut für Angewandte Informationsverarbeitung) founded Software AG. In 1971 the team unveiled its first major product, Adabas (short for adaptable database system). The solution was a high-performance database management system that gave users information they needed flexibly and quickly.
The company’s first customers came from Germany and Austria, and included Westdeutsche Landesbank, Hessische Zentrale für Datenverarbeitung (a Wiesbaden-based data processing center), and the Bavarian Association of Savings Banks and Giro Centers. In 1973 Adabas became available for Siemens PCs, a significant step as public entities in Germany only used that brand at the time.
In 1979 Software AG unveiled Natural, a 4GL application programming language that made it easier for customers to develop data processing applications. The product’s name referred to the fact that it supported the natural working method of developers. Natural was usable for both event-driven and procedural programming, and the firm used it to develop many other products.
The next two decades saw several milestones. The company opened new subsidiaries and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. By 1987 it had 500 employees and operations in over 50 countries. In 1999 it became listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with an issue volume of DM 850 million, the biggest-ever software IPO at the time. Six months later, it was listed on the MDAX stock index.
Benefits at Software AG
Business model of Software AG
Software AG has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at businesses of all industries and sizes that want to build their own digital applications.
Software AG offers three primary value propositions: performance, innovation, and brand/status.
The company has demonstrated strong performance through tangible results for clients. High-profile examples of these outcomes include the following:
- Nissan Europe used Software AG’s Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) technology to evolve its mainframe environment, resulting in overall vehicle inventory reduction of 35% over three years
- Flughafen Zürich AG used Software AG’s webMethods suite to achieve service ROI within one year, generating more than 100,000 CHF in savings
- Cargolux Airlines used Software AG’s ARIS products to find inefficiencies in its organizational processes, in the process identifying 180 areas for improvement
- CERN used Software AG’s BigMemory Max solution to reduce overall system response times, increase throughput, and reduce the number and cost of maintenance repair incidents
- ING used Software AG’s Apama Analytics & Decisions Platform and consulting services to achieve faster initial solution delivery – three months instead of 18 months
The company places a high priority on innovation. It is heavily involved with Software Innovation for the Digital Enterprise, a program managed by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research that creates partnerships between the business and scientific communities. It also participates in many projects funded by the European Commission for the research of new technologies.
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. It is the second largest software provider in Germany and the seventh largest such firm in Europe. It serves more than 10,000 enterprise customers in more than 70 countries. It claims to have developed the world‘s first end-to-end digital business platform. Lastly, it has won many honors, including recognition as the top vendor in the Streaming Analytics report by Bloor (2016), as a leader in the Big Data Streaming Analytics report by Forrester Research (2016), and as a leader in several Garner Magic Quadrants.
Software AG’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, webinars, live online demos, advertising, road shows, and conferences.
Software AG’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists customers in the following ways:
Support Services - The company offers the following paid services:
- Enterprise Active Support – Provides 24/7 phone support, prioritization of incident help requests with 2x faster response times, and a resolution plan within the first four hours
- Enterprise Premium Services – Provides access to Technical Engineers, who offer go-live support, after-business hours support, and operational readiness checks for new customers; Customer Success Managers, single points of contact who provide proactive management of support requests; and Dedicated Engineers, who provide complementary support for existing staff
Training Services – The company offers comprehensive instructor-led product training through public, on-site classroom, and remote formats, as well as a certification program.
Despite this orientation, there is also a self-service component. The company’s website offers an eLearning program for self-directed learning. It also features a “Resource Center” that includes analyst reports, books, brochures, videos, fact sheets, financial reports, free trial software, tutorials, newsletters, two-minute overviews, webinars, and white papers. Other parts of the site have case studies, product documentation, and answers to frequently asked questions. Lastly, there is a community element in the form of various forums where customers can interact with peers.
Software AG’s business model entails designing and developing its software and related services for customers.
Software AG maintains the PowerUp Partner Program, which includes over 300 members. Specific partner types include OEM Partners, Sales Partners, Service Partners, Value-Added Resellers, and Technology Partners. They do one or more of the following:
- Implement - Help deploy the company‘s technology for customers, while also advising and consulting with them
- Sell – Resell part or all of the Digital Business Platform as a solution
- Build – Create joint solutions with the company or incorporate its products into their own offerings to extend offering capabilities and create additional value for their customers
Program members receive benefits such as product documentation, training, sales and marketing support, invitations to customer-facing events, a presence on the company’s website, and access to the Partner Business Portal.
Specific Technology Partners include Braintribe, Connx, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Lanner, Microsoft, Oracle, Progress Software, RXP, and Zementis. Specific Service Partners include Accenture, Amazon Web Services, Capgemini, CGI, Cognizant, Deloitte, HCL, Infosys, PwC, Tata Consulting Services, Tech Mahindra, and Wipro.
Beyond this program, Software AG maintains alliances with universities, research institutes, and government institutions for the purposes of collaborative research.
Software AG’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, which serves over 10,000 customers.
It also depends on its human resources in the form of technology staff to maintain and enhance the platform, sales/marketing staff to promote and sell it, training/consulting staff to provide instruction, and customer service staff to provide support.
Software AG has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service. Its biggest cost driver is sales/marketing expenses, a fixed cost.
Other major drivers are in the areas of research/development, a fixed cost, and cost of sales, a variable expense that includes all production-related full costs, such as labor costs for consulting projects.
Software AG has four revenue streams: fees paid for software licenses (perpetual and temporary), charges for maintenance contracts, charges for service contracts, and fees for other services.
info: Karl earned an undergraduate degree in Communication Engineering and undertook postgraduate courses at Stanford University and Harvard University. He has held several management roles, including Head of Marketing Operations of ITT Europe in the UK.
info: Arnd earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Cologne. He previously served as a regional and office Managing Partner at BDO AG and as an accountant at Ernst & Young, where he worked for 10 years.
info: Wolfram earned a degree in Marketing and Economic Information and Science at the University of the Saarland. He previously served as Head of ARIS Product Development and Head of ARIS Product Strategy at IDS Scheer AG.
info: Eric has a Master’s degree in Economics and Finance, as well as a business degree. He previously served as Corporate Officer and President of Global Ecosystem & Channels at SAP and held several executive roles at Oracle Corporation.
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