SAP unveils on-demand ERP apps for small, midsize firms

Also joins Microsoft to unveil new version of Duet at Sapphire conference

SAP this week unveiled a set of integrated on-demand ERP applications, code-named A1S, for midsize companies 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 midsize firms 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 CRM 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 US$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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