SAP Starts Pushing - “Politely”

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Event Summary

SAP AG (NYSE ADR: SAP), and BackWeb Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: BWEB), a provider of push technology for e-business solutions, announced an alliance making BackWeb's patented Polite push technology an underlying component of the Marketplace from SAP.

As part of the solution, SAP is working with BackWeb to provide a push platform for its popular business-to-business online community and solution set. The new service will allow companies to streamline processes and cut the time and costs associated with requests for proposals (RFPs) and requests for quotes (RFQs).

The new alliance means Marketplace portal visitors and customers will benefit from push-enabled applications to "politely" deliver and receive business information, content, and software. BackWeb's solutions allow companies to deliver vital or time-sensitive information to users, complete with unique attention management tools that ensure important information is noticed and acted upon. The new agreement with SAP also means that BackWeb technology can be incorporated into applications built with solutions.

The Marketplace's new push-enabled services will initially include an application using BackWeb's Polite push technology, a publishing and distribution technology. It will provide a streamlined, interactive environment for buyers and sellers in the electronic distribution of RFPs and RFQs to potential buyers and sellers.

Market Impact

With BackWeb's Polite push technology, Global 2000 companies can deliver multimedia-rich digital packages of any size or format, including audio, video, graphics, and HTML. BackWeb's Polite Agent avoids disrupting the customer by using only available bandwidth and delivering the information in the background.

Commonly used to select vendor proposals for major contracts involving large corporations, federal agencies and municipalities, RFPs and RFQs can involve thousands of pages of information sent to each vendor, currently via courier either in paper format or on CD digital media. The process often includes frequent updates based on design changes by the buyer or suggestions by potential vendors. leverages more than 20,000 SAP installations and more than 10 million users including those in their partner ecosystem. Combining push technology with the solution bolsters SAP's offering and adds a new level of functionality to the Marketplace. We can expect similar moves by vendors offering exchange or marketplaces, as they seek to improve their collaboration capabilities.

User Recommendations

Considering an SAP solution? The notion of push technology is an attractive feature, but one should consider if all the whistles and bells are required. If you're a small to mid-sized company considering SAP's new outsourced model, is this something you need?

While not stipulated in the press release potential users should inquire about cost. Will this be a standard feature, or will the functionality cost a little extra? If you're an existing SAP customer, ask your sales representative when the functionality might be available to you. In the same breath, ask if it's included in an upgrade and how much that will cost.


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