SAP upgrades build consistency

Hoping to capitalize on the confusion among its competitors Oracle, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards, SAP will unveil extensions to its...

SAP will unveil extensions to its product portfolio at its Sapphire user conference next week.

The company hopes to capitalise on the confusion among its competitors, following Oracle's hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft.

The show in Florida will introduce latest versions of SAP's CRM and supply chain management software that will be optimised to leverage its NetWeaver architecture.

SAP will also give a progress report on mySAP ERP, which was announced in March, detailing how its architecture facilitates server consolidation.

The company will announce vertical solutions for small and medium sized enterprises in the high-tech industry, wholesalers for the company's all-in-one ERP bundling, and new channel partners for the SME market.

Bill Wohl, an SAP spokesman, argued that the upgrades build the company's case as a consistent player.

"[Consolidating] companies take their eye off the ball with customers. That's exactly what we are not going to be doing," Wohl said.

But AMR Research reports that the enterprise application market will grow only 3% this year.

A recent survey revealed that 65 SAP ERP users which average $3bn (£1.8bn) in revenue, have expressed little interest in deploying the latest versions of SAP's J2EE application server, ERP offering, or the NetWeaver architecture, said Jon Derome, an analyst at Yankee Group.

"I need to gain an understanding of NetWeaver and how it could be used in my enterprise because of our plan to create a seamless integration of our value chain," said Paul Martin, chief information officer of Rexam Americas, a beverage-can manufacturer that is standardising on all of SAP's ERP modules.

The latest versions of SAP's CRM and SCM will be among the first enterprise applications to fully feature and use the NetWeaver platform, the company's enterprise services architecture for delivering web services to enterprises.

Heather Havenstein and Ephraim Schwartz write for Infoworld

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