IBM and SAP will announce an agreement at the end of November that will enable Net.Commerce, IBM's commerce Web server, to work with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications modules from SAP.
For example, a spare parts manufacturer can link its Net.Commerce server with its SAP inventory, logistics, and financial applications. When its customers order spare parts over the Internet, Net.Commerce logs the order, and the SAP logistics application checks that there is enough inventory in stock to fill the order. At the same time, the SAP financial application notes the order and bills the customer.
"The whole idea is to make back-end integration part of the value proposition for customers," said Dave Liederbach, IBM's director of Internet commerce marketing. IBM plans to develop a standard API so other ERP applications can easily link to Net.Commerce.
IBM is in discussions with all major ERP vendors, with the exception of Oracle.