SAP's new leadership duo addressed market concerns on Tuesday with promises of continuity on strategy and targets and vows to rebuild management's ties with disgruntled staff and clients.
We want our customers to love us again, Co-Ceo Bill McDermott told reporters in a first public appearance with his counterpart Jim Hagemann Snabe at a news conference at the CeBit trade fair.
And everyone at SAP knows that if customers love you everything else takes care of itself, he added.
Both managers said they wanted to create a mood in the company that fostered staff creativity and innovation.
SAP stock gained 0.9 percent by 1458 GMT, in line with the German blue-chip index .GDAXI.
SAP, the arch-rival of U.S.-based Oracle Corp, announced a surprise management reshuffle last month that saw Leo Apotheker quit after just seven months as sole CEO and the company return to a split leadership structure.
SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner had said customers lost trust in SAP and that it needed to be a happy company again.
Some investors had wondered what Apotheker's two replacements have in store for SAP. Some analysts had questioned whether McDermott and Snabe would be up to the job.
McDermott tried to dispel those fears, arguing he and Snabe have been with the company for a long time and that their different way of thinking complented each other while striving for the same goal -- to see SAP thrive.
Jim and I have been together for many years now...we have many complementary skills, which is why this works so well..so in case you haven't noticed, we're having fun, McDermott said.
McDermott also said that SAP was a growth company focused on tight cost control and increased productivity.
The two executives said that company strategy will not change with new management and that there was no reason why it will not return to double-digit growth as soon as market conditions permit.
McDermott said signs were positive.
Growth is back on the agenda, everyone is trying to run day-to-day operations more effectively so they can free up cash flow to invest in innovation, he said.
The two managers reiterated 2010 operating margin targets of 30 to 31 percent, revenue growth predictions of 4-8 percent this year and SAP's mid-term goal of a 35 percent operating margin.
On possible takeovers, SAP said it was focused on organic growth but would not rule out large acquisitions if conditions were right.