Software company SAP is working with third-party suppliers and its customers to tackle poor trading conditions in the face of economic downturn.
This was the focus of the opening session of SAP TechEd 2008 taking place in Berlin.
SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker announced SAP EcoHub, an online marketplace he said was designed to enable customers to discover, evaluate and buy SAP systems developed by partners.
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Apotheker also spoke at length about the growing importance of business networks as the boundaries between enterprises are beginning to disappear.
He announced SAP's partnership with B2B integration services firm Crossgate.
Apotheker said SAP would be focussing future development of its business suite of products and Netweaver integration middleware at meeting business needs to develop and maintain collaborative networks.
"Business is becoming much more customer-centric, collaborative and relationship-driven, where there is shared risk enabled by business networks," he said.
Apotheker also announced a data privacy composite application developed with Cisco to enable organizations to enforce data privacy across the business network.
About 4,500 delegates are attending the event from 52 countries.