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SAP teams with NetBase to support social analytics

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13th Dec 2011
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SAP is muscling in on the social analytics market after forging a partnership with NetBase to resell and support its social media analytics software.

NetBase applications ingest large amounts of data from social websites such as Facebook and Twitter, and then analyse it to give companies a sense of what people are saying about their products, strategies and brands.
The move follows Salesforce.com's acquisition earlier this year of NetBase competitor Radian6, and Oracle's recent $1.5 billion acquisition of RightNow, which has social-media monitoring software among its offerings.
SAP’s vice president of information management solution marketing, Byron Banks, told Network World that although it could have developed NetBase-like technologies on its own, partnering with the vendor gave it a faster route to market. He declined to address why SAP didn't acquire the company instead, saying SAP does not discuss its "buy versus partner" strategy publicly.
The software will be sold as SAP Social Media Analytics starting in January, with pricing will be based on user seats and the number of topics a company wants to track, said Lisa Joy Rosner. The companies have declined to provide more specific pricing information.
NetBase's cloud-based system has a 30TB database of social media information that gets refreshed on an ongoing basis at the rate of about 90 million posts per day, according to Banks. "Anyone can connect to this system and get access to a year of trend data."
SAP has come up with about a dozen potential integration points with its other products, including a number of CRM (customer relationship management) modules and various members of its Business Objects BI (business intelligence) portfolio. None of those integrations will be available at launch, but customers will have access to a Web-services API (application programming interface) that they can use for immediate projects.
SAP is hoping to push the NetBase product to beyond the marketing department, Banks said. Sales people can use it to fine-tune pricing strategies and get closer to customers, while consumer product development groups can improve their planning processes, he said.

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