Jim Hagemann Snabe, Member of the Executive Board of SAP AG

SAP Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe says the German software maker will remain independent

Europe’s biggest software maker, SAP, would like to cooperate more closely with HP.

“HP has been a good partner to us for many years and we are open to expanding that cooperation,” said Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEO of SAP.

In an interview with Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Snabe said cooperation with the US-based technology group makes sense because both companies believe growth in business applications will be driven by mobile solutions.

HP recently acquired mobile phone maker Palm. SAP is planning to launch its first mobile platform in 2011, in cooperation with Sybase, a software maker it acquired earlier this year.

HP’s new CEO, Leo Apotheker, used to head SAP.

In the interview, Snabe saidthat, despite consolidation in the IT industry, SAP intends to stay independent. “As SAP becomes more successful, it is more difficult to buy us. The danger of a takeover has decreased,” he said.

Snabe, who became co-CEO in February together with Bill McDermott, said that SAP wants to grow by offering higher value-added products and services to companies. He said he didn’t care whether revenue would come in the form of license payments, rental income from its software or a combination of both.

The SAP boss lamented the growing shortage of qualified IT engineers in Germany, which he put at 28,000 for the whole industry. SAP currently has 600 job openings in Germany alone.

More foreign students and experts need to be brought to Europe to fill these gaps, Snabe told Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Said the SAP CEO: “To do that, we need to better manage immigration of global talent into Europe.”