SAP picks LEWIS for e-conomy PR

Top 5 global software house SAP has handed LEWIS PR a pounds 250,000 account to handle the firm's UK PR needs.

Top 5 global software house SAP has handed LEWIS PR a pounds 250,000 account to handle the firm's UK PR needs.

LEWIS founder and CEO Chris Lewis will lead the account, reporting to SAP corporate communications head for the UK, Joanne Kersey. An eight-strong team will work on the business.

'SAP has been undergoing a major shift in approach over the past 18 months and now plays a significant role in shaping the new economy. Our choice of agency reflects this,' said Kersey.

The company appointed LEWIS following a four-way competitive pitch including the three-year incumbent agency, Harvard Centro. Harvard group account director, Gareth Zundel, confirmed his agency had lost the business.

The history of German SAP is the stuff of business legend. The company was formed by four friends at IBM who left when their computer project - Systems, Applications and Projects - was shifted to another department. The four went on to write a programme for ICI and SAP was born.

Twenty-five years later the company made sales in 1999 of over pounds 3bn and employs an estimated 21,000 staff globally. Its software - integrating the management of business functions as diverse as financial control, HR, production and distribution - is used by 12,500 companies around the world.

The LEWIS brief is to raise the profile of mySAP.com, an online marketplace hosting transactions between SAP clients and their vendors.

Appointing LEWIS also seems a neat cultural fit for SAP, which is unusual among German firms for its relaxed working practices. CEO Lewis is notorious for his laid back style and carries the title 'Grand Enchilada' on his business card.



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