SAPPHIRE: SAP unveils on-demand ERP apps for small and medium enterprises

SAP this week unveiled a set of integrated on-demand enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, code-named A1S, for small and medium enterprises that is due to ship next year.

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SAP this week unveiled a set of integrated on-demand enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, code-named A1S, for small and medium enterprises that is due to ship next year.

Executives at the company's Sapphire 2007 user conference in Atlanta this week said the as yet unnamed service will be offered as an integrated suite of tools for running various business processes, such as order to cash. The tools for the hosted service set have been in development for three years so far, executives noted.

The service will target small and medium enterprises that shy away from packaged ERP systems because of cost, complexity and other issues.

The company did not disclose its pricing plans for the hosted service.

SAP and Microsoft jointly announced plans at the conference to update the Duet product that first shipped in June 2006 to link SAP's ERP applications with the Microsoft Office business software suite.

Version 2.0 of Duet, which will ship by the end of 2008, will add new links to allow sales personnel to access the SAP's customer relationship management software through the Office desktop, the companies said. The new version will also add a link from SAP's business applications to Microsoft's SharePoint Server collaboration software.

At the same time, SAP also announced that the Duet software will be preloaded on Hewklett-Packard's ProLiant servers beginning this June.

Meanwhile, SAP also unveiled SAP E-Sourcing On-demand, a hosted application that can be used to automate requests for proposals and online auction processes. The service is priced at $10,000 and is now available, officials said at the conference.

SAP's Governance Risk and Compliance unit brought out the GRC Risk Management application, to help corporate chief financial officers react to financial risks, the company said.

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