SAP to offer wireless access to corporate data

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor SAP plans to offer executives on the move the ability to receive alerts and updates about their business through mobile phones and pagers, the company announced yesterday.

Executives using the company's Internet-enabled ERP product will be able to specify a subset of business alerts which will be sent to them through wireless applications. Giving customers this kind of pervasive access to corporate data is an important part of, according to Henning Kagermann, co-chairman of the executive board at SAP.

Speaking at the opening of SAP's Sapphire Asia-Pacific user conference here yesterday, Kagermann said that the browser-enabled enables executives to access corporate data from anywhere they had an Internet connection and not just from a fixed workstation. The logical next phase is to offer access through wireless applications, he said.

The technology, which was developed at SAP's Tokyo laboratories, is currently undergoing trials and will be launched first in Asia, which has shown strong interest in wireless applications, SAP said., which was officially launched in Asia yesterday, has already picked up a number of large customers in the region, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Sterling Paper Group of the Philippines and Seagate Technology, said Les Hayman, chief executive officer of SAP Asia-Pacific.

The high interest in the product demonstrates that SAP's approach to Web-enabling its software was correct, added Hayman.

"We were accused of being late to get into the Internet," he said. "We may have been late in advertising and promotion, but in fact we were the first to deliver full ERP product functionality to the Internet marketplace." will be generally available by the end of this year, with support for the Japanese language and 15 industry-specific enterprise applications, Hayman said.

Kagermann confirmed that SAP will offer as an application leased over the Internet on the ASP (application service provider) model, but said that details of the pricing structure had not yet been finalised.

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