SAP suite targets supplier relationships

Building on its existing procurement and sourcing products, SAP AG this week unveiled a suite of applications aimed at helping companies get a better handle on their relationships with suppliers.

Called mySAP Supplier Relationship Management, the suite is intended to work with and draw data from a company's other SAP and third-party applications - such as supply chain management, product lifecycle management and enterprise resource planning. MySAP SRM also integrates with trading partners' e-commerce products.

The goal is to give users a full view of their transactions with suppliers and reveal ways to shorten cycle times, improve collaboration and lower the cost of sales. Functions cover supplier qualification and selection, purchasing, contract negotiation and management, and relationship monitoring, for example.

According to SAP, users can link to their suppliers that have existing sell-side systems through the mySAP Technology exchange infrastructure, which incorporates integration capabilities from SAP partner Commerce One.

For trading partners that don't have the technological capabilities to support e-business collaboration, SAP has partnered with vendors that offer hosted supplier enablement services, such as Content Europe and Requisite. Through these services, small and midsize suppliers will be able to process orders, generate invoices and provide updates on pricing and specifications with just a Web browser, says SAP.

MySAP SRM is put out by SAP Markets, the business-to-business exchange division of SAP. It replaces the company's mySAP E-Procurement line. Most mySAP SRM components are available today, excluding mySAP Technology components, which are due in the second quarter. Pricing is not available.

SAP's competition in the SRM market includes i2 Technologies Inc., Manugistics, Ariba Inc., Commerce One Inc. and Oracle Corp. PeopleSoft Inc. also has an SRM suite in the works.

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