SAP - A Humble Giant From The Reality Land?
During its international e-business conference, SAPPHIRE, on June 12--15,
SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), the leading provider of business software solutions,
released a spate of upbeat announcements in its effort to portray itself
as a reformed vendor of choice for all aspects of e-Business, including
planning and collaboration. As an illustration thereof, SAP cited that
its flagship mySAP.com suite has met with remarkable success in the market.
SAP reached a major milestone in 2000 when the number of licensed users
of its mySAP.com platform reached 1 million. Since then, more than 3 million
additional users have reportedly licensed mySAP.com.
This Note: This is a five-part note covering the announcements at
the SAPPHIRE conference, the market impact of those announcements, the
challenges SAP faces, and user recommendations. Part Five will contain
links to the previous parts.
Striving to shed the image of a stodgy, partnership-unfriendly behemoth,
SAP has announced a number of alliances, including:
- IBM Corporation
the most remarkable was an expansion of the long-standing global strategic
alliance with IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM). SAP and IBM are
expanding their relationship with significant investments on both sides,
to cover the entire mySAP.com e-business platform. As part of the agreement,
IBM will license and integrate technology from SAP Portals, Inc.,
a subsidiary of SAP AG, for IBM's WebSphere Portal Server, providing
customers with shared access from their desktops to a wide array of applications
and information across all industries.
SAPMarkets, Inc.,another subsidiary of SAP AG, is licensing WebSphere
for projects and development in helping businesses harness the Internet.
IBM has more than 5,000 consultants helping more than 1,900 companies
across the world in their SAP projects, which are among the leading partner-driven
sources of business for IBM. In recognizing the further growth in demand
for mySAP.com, IBM Global Services is retraining a significant
portion of its consulting practice to more completely cover the entire
mySAP.com e-business platform.
SAP has certified IBM as an SAP Global Hosting Partner, and consequently
IBM Global Services will extend Application Management Services offerings
to its portfolio of SAP services to help customers deploy mySAP.com e-business
applications. With these latest developments, IBM and SAP have forged
relationships across all their major brand offerings. The commitment of
IBM product brands, including DB2 Universal Database, WebSphere,
Lotus, Tivoli, eServer pSeries, iSeries,
xSeries and zSeries, IBM Storage Products, IBM business
consulting and information technology services, and IBM Global Financing,
underscores the 20-year relationship leading up to the announcement.
SAP and Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ: PALM) announced a global technology
agreement that will extend the reach of mySAP.com e-business solutions
to mobile users through Palm handheld computers. The two companies agree
to jointly sell this solution to enterprises, and to develop a comprehensive
SAP and Palm enterprise mobility solution on the Palm OS. Using mySAP.com
solutions on Palm handhelds, mobile workers will be able to access enterprise
portals, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management
(SCM), business intelligence (BI) and other e-business applications.
and mySAP Mobile Business showcased Palm VIIx wireless
handhelds by providing them to SAPPHIRE attendees, preloaded with online
surveys plus mySAP Mobile Business, event scheduling and live messaging
applications. As a result, with more than 8,000 attendees, SAPPHIRE 2001
Orlando was the largest company-sponsored, wireless-enabled e-business
conference in the world.
Its, now proverbial partnership with Commerce One (NYSE: CMRC)
is even stronger. In June SAP invested an extra $225 million in Commerce
One, bringing its stake to 20%. The deal is scheduled to go through before
the end of August. The agreement also includes SAP gaining the right to
buy a limited amount of additional shares of Commerce One common stock
in the future and the right to have representation on the Commerce One
the move fueled rumors that SAP is slowly positioning itself to buy the
e-commerce software vendor. Since the two vendors partnered over a year
ago, rumors have flown that SAP would eventually buy Commerce One owing
to SAP's past tactic of partnering with another vendor until it could
build the software itself or in the case of smaller vendors, simply assimilate
the vendor to gain its specific expertise. However, this time SAP insists
it is not interested in buying Commerce One and it wants Commerce One
to remain independent to reinforce its new openness and partner-friendly
image. On the other hand, SAP also needs Commerce One to survive because
it has no Internet market place product without Commerce One's partnership.
Therefore, as part of the increased investment, SAP pledged to limit its
stake to 23% and not to attempt a takeover without approval by the Commerce
concludes Part One of a five-part note on recent developments covered
by the SAPPHIRE e-business conference. Part Two will cover the Expanding
Functionality of SAP.