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SAP Reopens Newport Beach Office, Adding Second Site

SAP SE, one of the largest software companies in the world, plans to open its second office in Newport Beach this summer and has bumped up its local headcount with a goal of making a big impact on the local tech scene.

“There’s a lot that we’re doing, especially with UC Irvine,” says Anamarie Franc, the SAP chief operating officer for California.

“There’s a collaboration we’ve had with them from the beginning.”

UCI is a source of “great talent” for SAP, she said, adding: “We guest lecture there, we host industry showcases where some of the CS (computer science) students come and pitch ideas to our teams here at SAP.”

The company’s OC’s office, a waterfront location at 3366 Via Lido in Newport Beach, was opened with great fanfare in September 2019, complete with company co-founder and supervisory board chairman Hasso Plattner acting as host.

The initial office is also the home of HanaHaus, a café and community workspace founded and operated by SAP to help spark creativity.

Plattner is “absolutely” happy with the Newport Beach location, according to Franc.

The new, second office just down the street had been scheduled to officially open in the first three months of last year, but was delayed by COVID-19. It is slated to open this summer based on employee demand to come into the office and on health regulations.  

The total number of employees in Newport Beach has risen more than 60%, from 200 to 330 people.

The German-based company (NYSE: SAP), the world’s third-largest software company, had a market value of about $173 billion as of last week.

Spurring Innovation 

The recently reopened Newport Beach office combines a trendy interior with a relaxing view to the scenic harbor front outside—just the mix to spur more innovation for the enterprise application software giant.

Employees have been coming back to the initial Orange County facility as of May 24 in a “limited capacity” after the pandemic shutdown, company officials said.

“We have just opened our office in a controlled fashion” based on government regulations and guidelines, Franc said. There is still the option to work from home.

In a companywide policy statement on June 1, SAP said that “moving forward, employees can work when, where and how they want, in accordance with local regulations.”

Franc said Plattner himself wanted to be sure that HanaHaus is in the Newport Beach location, in addition to an initial domestic spot in Palo Alto. She said the concept is a reminder of the great coffee houses of Europe that have produced plenty of cutting-edge ideas over the years.

The OC facilities bring “entrepreneurship and innovation together in different ways,” according to Franc.

Joern Keller, the Newport Beach office chief, said that Plattner himself “drops by once in a while.”

“He’s a fan of what we’re doing,” Keller says.

When the company was looking for a new site in California, “Orange County was on the top of the list as a great area with lots of great universities,” according to Keller.

“We already had a good affiliation with UCI,” he said.

“It’s been fairly easy to find that talent in Orange County,” said Keller, whose longer title is senior vice president and Global Head of Consumer Industries Product Management & Development while he also serves as head of the Newport Beach location. 

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Kevin Costelloe
Kevin Costelloe
Tech reporter at Orange County Business Journal
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