IBM becomes SAP's launch partner for SAP Business Suite 7

by Editor 2/6/2009 3:31:00 PM
SAP AG (and IBM have announced that IBM is one of the first worldwide systems integration and application management services providers to fully adopt the Run SAP(R) methodology. IBM has become a launch partner for SAP(R) Business Suite 7 software in support of the newly launched flexible and modular software suite.

As global partners, SAP and IBM will help joint customers reduce the total cost of ownership for their SAP solution-based systems and accelerate the adoption of SAP Business Suite 7 with leading consulting and technology capabilities, such as global SAP implementation and applications management services, dynamic infrastructure, DB2 and Alloy.

IBM Global Services (GBS) plans to roll out the Run SAP methodology and the value assessment service for SAP Business Suite to new and existing customers in the first quarter of 2009.

"By adopting the Run SAP methodology into our own SAP implementation standards, we will help customers integrate SAP applications across the enterprise and enable them to manage their SAP applications more efficiently and at a lower cost," said John Leffler, Global and Americas SAP Lead Partner, IBM Global Business Services. "Combined with our capabilities as a launch partner for SAP Business Suite 7, IBM is uniquely positioned to help customers reduce cost while driving transformational growth."

SAP today unveiled the new SAP Business Suite 7 software (see announcement, "SAP Helps Customers Respond Quickly to Economic Downturn With Introduction of New Modular Business Suite"). As a launch partner, IBM will help customers quickly ramp up the new software suite to optimize business performance while preserving the value of their investments.

SAP's partner ecosystem is a core element of its go-to-market strategy for SAP Business Suite 7. As a launch partner for SAP Business Suite, IBM will provide consulting resources and participate in product ramp-up activities. IBM plans to train business consultants in the new software to provide a high standard of service for customers. Additionally, IBM is introducing a comprehensive value assessment service for SAP Business Suite 7 that will allow organizations to quickly identify business opportunities across a wide spectrum of areas, including process excellence, operational excellence, infrastructure optimization and application portfolio rationalization.

"We are pleased that IBM intends to strengthen its long-standing relationship with SAP by fully adopting the Run SAP methodology into its own world-class AMS and implementation methodologies," said Dr. Uwe Hommel, executive vice president, Active Global Support, SAP AG. "IBM will be one of the first global AMS and implementation providers to fully adopt the end-to-end solution operations approach provided by Run SAP into its application management services. The new SAP Business Suite 7 makes enterprise support even more important to customers, and companies such as IBM that are adopting the Run SAP methodology are well prepared to help customers derive the full value from investments in SAP solutions."

About Run SAP Methodology

The Run SAP methodology is ASAP methodology for operations. A phased methodology based on world-class knowledge, it provides best-practice procedures, content, services, training and tools for end-to-end solution operations, along with a standardized and proven implementation method.

The Run SAP methodology focuses on application management, business process operations, and administration of SAP solutions. The methodology describes how support should be implemented across the lifecycle design, set-up, operations and optimization. In addition, with its best-practice documents for solution operations, it describes how to implement end-to-end solution operations for different SAP software-based business processes. IBM GBS consultants, utilizing their extensive expertise and experience with SAP solutions, will also have an opportunity to help shape Run SAP, playing a key role in the direction of the next-generation applications management offerings for customers.

For enterprises looking to consolidate multiple ERP environments into one or more global instances, the Run SAP methodology coupled with the implementation experience of IBM's consultants will help drive success around many objectives, including the following:

• Tighter integration among different groups within the enterprise

• Reduced time to market for new products

• Faster acquisitions or divestments

• Increased efficiency and cost reduction of IT operations

• Unrelenting focus on continuous improvement

Such consolidations will be accompanied with the integration of end-to-end solution operation standards of the Run SAP methodology, as well as new tools from IBM and the SAP(R) Solution Manager, enterprise edition. The consolidation is accelerated and the operations of such a consolidated system is made easier through integration technology, which integrates the SAP Solution Manager application management solution and IBM management tools. These benefits will also be leveraged by customers of SAP Business Suite 7. SAP Solution Manager provides content that accelerates implementation of the new software suite.

Features of the Run SAP methodology that incorporate the added value of IBM GBS implementation experience include the following:

• Global template and localization management. The template approach of SAP Solution Manager enables the definition of business process standards for each customer. The templates can be used by individual groups to ease the adaptation of the existing processes to the company standard and the adjustment of standards to local requirements. Coupled with IBM GBS business process, functional, technical, as well as industry expertise and experience, the customer will achieve higher effectiveness levels of its business operations.

• Standardized solution operations. Besides standardization of business processes, SAP customers are looking to standardize their IT operations. Combining the application management capabilities of SAP solutions and the market-leading systems integration and application management services capabilities of IBM GBS, enterprises will benefit from a faster and single global instance implementation.

• Customer CoE implementation. The Run SAP methodology is supported by a corresponding training and adoption support program provided and supported by SAP and IBM. To best maximize the benefits promised by service-oriented architecture, it is essential to closely manage the integration and management of business processes along with software and system components. SAP and IBM work together to help joint clients past the go-live phase by focusing on application management, business process operations and administration of the technology platform. For more information on IBM and SAP solutions, visit www.ibm.com/solutions/sap.

About SAP

SAP is the world's leading provider of business software(*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 82,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol "SAP."

(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications.

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations.

The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.

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