SAP's e-business strategy 'comes two years too late'

Is SAP's change of direction towards becoming an e-business company too late?

Is SAP's change of direction towards becoming an e-business company too late?

In the week that manufacturing and purchasing software company SAP announced that it is restructuring to focus on the Internet, a key user has told the company that it is two years too late.

The ERP company has announced a change in its worldwide marketing plans in a bid to "redefine itself as a leading e-business company".

SAP's most recent attempt to gain e-business credibility,, has come under fire. One of its key customers said - the Internet ERP service - was not the way forward, and that SAP had missed the boat.

Kingston-based manufacturer GE Lighting believes SAP has moved too slowly in its Internet development. "We see as just an exchange, and right now we are evaluating whether that exchange has any value in our supply chain," a spokesman for the company said. "We don't see any value in having SAP introduce another intermediary between our customers or our suppliers. So we are not a player in

"If you look at the toolkits across the 'buy', 'make' and 'sell' side, it is Manugistics for supply chain, Lotus' Domino and Oracle e-procurement which are going to be our tool-sets of choice on top of SAP."

SAP's shortcomings mean GE Lighting is using additional suppliers. SAP should have started implementing a stronger Internet strategy two years ago, the spokesman said. But it has been moving too slowly and risks being punished in the market.

"We have not been able to influence SAP to move as quickly as we have been able to influence Oracle," he said. "Oracle seems to have got it a bit more quickly than SAP."

GE Lighting's director of information systems, Sid Deloatch, said SAP would continue to be the cornerstone of GE Lightings' business systems.

However, he said GE Lighting wants to use Internet services to differentiate itself from the competition.

Deloatch added that other divisions of GE may have a different view of SAP's Internet progress.

SAP said it would be discussing its future e-business offerings with customers such as GE Lighting in the near future.

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