"Microsoft plans to open its own retail stores to 'transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience,' the company said [in February] as it hired an executive to run the retail operation.... Microsoft has long been perceived as lagging behind rival Apple in appealing directly to consumers, and Apple has a head start of several years in running a chain of stores." -IDG News Service
Not to be outdone by Apple and Microsoft, perhaps SAP executives will quickly build several US retail stores to increase the general public's awareness of one of the world's largest software companies. And sell some SAP products too!
Here's how we imagine the SAP Store "experience" might go:
"Guten Tag. Bon jour. Hola. Ni Hao. Ciao. Hello," says Hans, the official "greeter" of the brand-new SAP Store located at the Paramus Park mall in Paramus, N.J. He's dressed like Dieter from "Sprockets." And he apparently speaks multiple languages. "Just like SAP software does," he cheerfully tells a husband and wife who have just wandered into the store.
"Why is the company named sap?" asks the beleaguered middle-aged woman.
"It's not pronounced 'sap,'" replies Hans, rather curtly. "It's pronounced S - A - P."
Undaunted, he presses on. "It's German. The original name was 'SAP Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing.' Or in German, it's 'SAP Aktiengesellschaft Systeme, Anwendungen, Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung.' Say it with me....."
"SAP Aktiengesell...," responds the woman. "Do you have a bathroom I could use?"
"Of course," Hans says. "It's right over there by the posters of our five founders, which are for sale." The woman looks puzzled, looking left and right. "You know," says a nearly exasperated Hans. "Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, Klaus Tschira, and Claus Wellenreuther."
Silence. "It's by the Exit sign," Hans finally says.
The woman scuttles away, and her husband glances around the austere concrete-and-glass store, which offers two unoccupied HP PCs (with labels that read "For Power Users Only") and display case after display case filled with shimmering CDs, with names such as: Business Suite, NetWeaver, BusinessObjects Edge, Business ByDesign, Crystal Reports, Service-Oriented Architecture and lots more.
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