Software company SAP has said it will ride out the downturn by pursuring a strategy of collaboration with its business partners.
The firm's CEO, Henning Kagermann, said at the company's Sapphire conference in Berlin yesterday that collaboration represents a change in business practice. "Collaborative working is the most important market transition going on in business.
"We have accelerated our efforts to work with our partners. The primary reason is better service for our customers."
Kagermann said he expects collaboration with its business partners and the development of joint ideas to see the company through difficult economic conditions.
Quarter one of 2008 in America was "worse than expected," the company said. Although there is still a high volume of transactions, the size of the deals has been smaller as businesses try to spend less money.
But Kagermann said that strong growth in Asia and Europe meant SAP had been relatively untouched by cutbacks. "We have looked at our expenses. We will make sure that we do not spend money where we do not need to spend it," he said.
"We are in challenging economic times. But even in a tough economic climate you have to innovate. To do that, we have got hundreds of partners. The more people you have the greater the ideas. Collaboration is a low-cost source of innovation."
The company announced new customer contracts, including deals with the Metropolitan Police Force and Bayer Material Science.
About 9,000 delegates from 74 countries attended the conference in Berlin.