SAP has launched an enterprise resource planning suite that bundles traditional ERP components with integration features to allow customers to extend their systems beyond corporate borders.
MySAP ERP includes core modules drawn from the software maker’s legacy ERP arsenal, such as financials, human resources, order management and procurement software. In addition, mySAP ERP includes SAP’s newly announced technology platform, NetWeaver, that provides integration capabilities, business intelligence tools and portal software.
MySAP ERP created a new tier in SAP’s product lineup, the company said. In terms of functionality, it fitted in between the company’s core SAP R/3 Enterprise offering and its premier mySAP Business Suite, that added CRM, product lifecycle management (PLM) and supply chain management (SCM) modules to the core ERP platform.
ERP systems traditionally were inwardly focused, vice-president of public relations at SAP, Bill Wohl, said.
“R/3 as we know it today was designed to be an ERP system for the enterprise. Although it wasn’t closed externally, its primary function through the 1990s was to help companies organize themselves to run better and more efficiently.”
Today, companies needed to establish system ties to the outside world to work better with customers, partners and suppliers, Wohl said.
To provide those kinds of integration capabilities in mySAP ERP, “we took everything we know about R/3 and put it together with our NetWeaver platform,” Wohl said.
MySAP ERP laid out a clear migration path for R/3 users, SAP said. Companies could deploy only the components they needed and add on functionality as business requirements changed.
This strategy could appeal to buyers who favoured smaller up-front commitments and incremental expansion options, a senior vice-president at ARM Research, Jim Shepherd, said.
“SAP has obviously recognised that many prospects and existing customers are simply overwhelmed by the size and scope of its flagship product, mySAP Business Suite,” Shepherd wrote in a research brief.
While customers wanted to know that SAP offered CRM, SCM and PLM functionality, they were not necessarily ready to buy and implement those pieces, Shepherd said.
SAP unveiled mySAP ERP, which is available now, at this week’s CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany.
The company laid out its plans to expand sales of its software to small and midsize businesses.
SAP aims to provide tools – such as APIs, sample code and development guidelines – to make it easier for independent software vendors and resellers to build out the functionality of SAP’s Business One suite, that is aimed at small and mid-size businesses, with industry-specific capabilities and interfaces to third-party products.