On December 14, 1999 during the New York E-Business Conference and Expo, SAP
AG (NYSE ADR: SAP), announced the availability of new functionality for its
mySAP.com e-commerce solutions. The announcement covers both buy side and sell
the buy side: The mySAP.com buying solution, using SAP's Business-to-Business
Procurement component, supports multiparty transactions directly or via the
mySAP.com Marketplace. SAP Business-to-Business Procurement also supports multiple
back-office systems - SAP and non-SAP - as well as catalog content management
buying solution will include e-business products that allow real-time integration
with legacy systems and non-SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications.
SAP has also partnered with Requisite Technology to provide a catalog-finding
engine and related content management services. This coupled with an open catalog
interface (OCI), will provide customers access to third-party catalogs. The
buying solution is also linked via the mySAP.com Marketplace, an online trading
community with a business directory of more than 2,500 companies.
the sell side: The mySAP.com selling solution is designed to support multiple
sales channels, including selling to consumers, business partners and resellers.
Customers are linked to customers using sell-side solutions based on mySAP.com
and other vendors leveraging the XML-based SAP Business Connector. This connection
enables buyers and sellers to transmit orders, invoices and other documents
through their personalized mySAP.com Workplace portals.
design of mySAP.com is based on the Internet Business Framework. That means
the mySAP.com buying and selling solutions are web-enabled, allowing buyers,
sellers, customers and business partners to collaborate in real time.
announcement represents a crafted approach to the Internet market. By aligning
with service providers, establishing an implementation plan, and developing
a rich feature set, it stands to distance itself from vendors like PeopleSoft
or Baan, both of whom have yet to publish an information rich strategy document.
announcements detail SAP's initiatives with service providers (See TEC News
Analysis article: "The
First Step in mySAP.com" Janauary 7th, 2000), data and hardware solutions
(See TEC News Analysis article: "Oracle
gets SAPed by IBM" December 8th, 1999), and partnerships to enhance
the development of web based solutions.
the small to midsize ERP market is exposed to a competitive web based solution
threaded together by SAP. SAP is clearly on the move to capture market share
in the burgeoning business to business industry. We expect further customer
partnership and technology announcements within the next 4 to 6 months.
companies such as Ariba, Concur and Commerce One continue to shape the market
with unique partnerships and solution strategies. Between the pursuit of ERP
companies and the digital market place vendors, the goal of highly efficient
web integrated solutions is in the future. Both sides have considerable resources
to offer and much to gain. Ariba and Concur offer web based HR and procurement
functionality but lack the resources, installed base and robust back end integration
with the major ERP products, while major ERP players have a large base, but
nascent, as yet untested, web products. As a result, we expect significant advances
in end to end web integrated ERP solutions within the next 9-12 months.
Current SAP customers interested in e-commerce solutions should consider this
option, as leveraging an existing solution may be more easily received and cost
justified. We suggest smaller organizations looking to capitalize on a web based
procurement and ERP solution adopt a wait and see strategy, as SAP's solution
has not been proven.