Hard on the heels of its announcement that it will move a large chunk of development to India (see Newswire 13 August), German software giant SAP is to open its first Russian subsidiary to make use of the country's pool of low cost, highly qualified programmers.
Co-founder Hasso Plattner said the reservoir of talent in Russia was second in size only to the US, where skills shortages are acute and qualified programmers are enjoying huge salary increases. Plattner said SAP, like other software companies, was suffering from salary inflation and from headhunters constantly approaching its staff, both in the US and Germany.
"It's difficult to hire even standard people in Germany," he told a press conference at the weekend. "What makes Russia attractive is that, for the same amount of money or less, we get class A people."
He added that the Russian subsidiary is designed as a springboard for a major sales and marketing push for the R/3 business software suite, not just as a development centre. SAP believes Russia will be its fourth largest market by the turn of the century, after the US, Germany and Japan.
The new subsidiary will open early next year in Moscow or St Petersburg. The company is also opening a development centre in Bangalore, India and an additional one at its headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, and expanding its existing facility in California.
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