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SAP goes on spending spree

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16th May 2007
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“We have already world-class CRM and they will make it even better so there’s not even an intention to change something,” said Henning Kagermann defiantly at the Sapphire user conference in Vienna this week.

He admitted to to development issues with the company's hosted mid-market application code-named A1S, but insisted that this was normal. "We have some problems we expect with a normal launch. As long as the product is not volume-ready, we'll have problems every day," he said.

Elsewhere, SAP and SunGard announced plans to collaborate to address the needs banks have to comply with increasing regulatory requirements and to control costs while simultaneously driving revenue growth. The first offering will be a joint asset liability management solution.

“This is the first step in what we hope will become a fruitful partnership between SAP and SunGard. It’s a win for customers, a win for SAP and a win for SunGard. The availability of the offering will begin in Europe,” said Harold Finders, division chief executive officer of SunGard’s Financial Systems business.

“At SunGard we expect the number of enterprise infrastructure providers to get smaller in the coming years, so we are pleased to collaborate with a world leader to offer banks our best-of-breed BancWare ALM solution on SAP. SunGard’s BancWare solution is used by over 500 customers in more than 40 countries, including seven of the top ten global banks and six of the top ten European banks, and we look forward to expanding this footprint with SAP.”

“Banking is one of the key growth opportunities that many software and IT services providers are trying to unlock,” said David Bradshaw of research firm Ovum. “Projects are typically very large and complex, with many of the tier-1 banks having more software developers than some of the household-name software companies. These tier-1 vendors are harder for a package software vendor to access, with easier pickings being found among the tier-2 banks.

“The SAP and Sungard offering aims at both of these tiers and gives SAP a very strong partnership in the banking and financial services sector. It greatly improves SAP's chance of succeeding in this sector. Banks are widely seen as offering enormous potential for software companies, but they are also deeply conservative institutions that keep extending the life of their in-house developed core systems. This moves SAP forward in its campaign to be the preferred vendor when banks finally do get around to renewing their core systems.”

Elsewhere SAP made two new acquisitions - identity management software developer MaXware and communication technology integrator Wicom Communications. MaXware's software provides a centralised view of all identity data within an organisation while automating and streamlining workflow around managing the data while Wicom Communications' CRM software is used to help companies improve the performance of contact center processes.

Finally Kagermann refused to be drawn on whether he would agree to have his contract extended again or retire.

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