Why SAP Will Open a New Tech Innovation Lab in Delco

The global software giant unveils the space on Tuesday.

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Trend alert: Large local institutions are making way for small offshoots that can serve as innovation control centers. Global business software giant SAP is the latest company to get on board locally. On Tuesday afternoon, the company will open a Co-Innovation Lab at its North American headquarters in Newtown Square.

SAP says it plans to use the Co-Innovation Lab, or COIL, to develop new solutions to challenges facing the digital economy. Teams at the lab will focus on creating business applications specifically related to emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and Big Data analytics. The space will feature project support for teams and even reduced development costs and shorter time-to-market for new applications.

“Co-innovation builds an agile and vibrant partner ecosystem that drives value through external expertise in digital technologies, hardware and networks,” said Rodolfo Cardenuto, SAP president of global channels & general business. Tuesday’s launch represents a strengthening of SAP’s innovation power, Cardenuto said, and that of its local partners as it expands its digital ecosystem in the region.

One example of the company’s co-innovation capacity is SAP’s expanding relationship with Microsoft. Both companies agreed to a long-term partnership where they’ll each expand the use of one another’s cloud-based products and services. Microsoft plans replace older SAP software with SAP’s s/4 HANA database to run its core internal financial planning functions. SAP will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud service to run its internal financial systems.

The lab is SAP’s second in North America and brings the company’s global total to 15. Other labs have been set up in Brazil, Germany (at the company’s global headquarters), India and China. The company opened its first lab in Tokyo in 2006. In the region, the company joins other giants like Vanguard that have set up similar innovation spaces.