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SAP plans to expand U.S. presence, add 600 jobs

The German software giant is planning to build a resource center at its Pennsylvania headquarters, which could create about 600 technology jobs.

German software giant SAP on Wednesday said it would expand its headquarters in the United States, a plan that could create about 600 new jobs.

The company, which makes software that helps automate companies' human resources, financial and customer service needs, said it will build a new resource center in Newtown Square, Pa., the home of the company's SAP America unit.

SAP, based in Walldorf, Germany, said the expansion will bring the company's investment in its U.S. campus to nearly $200 million. The plan calls for adding about 600 technology jobs at the site by the end of 2002, which would be in addition to the 1,500 people it already employs there.

The move is part of SAP's recent efforts to market and push the adoption of its core Internet-based software applications, which fall under the name SAP, which has faced some challenging quarters in the past, posted stronger third-quarter earnings last week fueled by increased sales of its newer business software.

SAP's latest version of its business software is meant to be easier to use with interfaces that replicate a typical Web page. Rival software makers Oracle and PeopleSoft have also begun offering Internet versions of their business applications.

SAP has acquired an additional 150 acres and nearly 700,000 square feet of office space in Newtown Square as part of the expansion plan.

The company is building the center, which will focus on research, development, customers and partners, in hopes of better understanding the business needs of its clients and to work closely with customers to help them transition some of their business processes to the Web.