SAP unveils new xApps

SAP AG unveiled two new composite applications called xApps Tuesday designed to create cross-functional business processes.

SAP detailed a new xApp for plant productivity and another to support product design process at its SAP TechEd 2002 conference in New Orleans. The xApp Visual Information for plants (xVIp) was developed by Canadian electric generation company TransAlta in conjunction with software vendor NRX using SAP technology to boost productivity and support the plant decision-making process, said Peter Graf, vice president of marketing at SAP, in Walldorf, Germany.

The new xVIp is designed to unify disparate asset management applications, including product lifecycle management, financials, asset lifecycle management, and stand-alone databases where current equipment maintenance and performance information data resides. xVIp leverages this disparate plant operating data while adding new process capabilities, such as support for unexpected maintenance problems.

"The outcome is a solution that helps to minimize disruptions by aggregating information from a whole variety of systems," Graf said. "All of these systems are connected by a process that helps the people at TransAlta to really get support for unexpected maintenance problems."

The new Product Definition xApp (SAP xPD) is designed to streamline the process of developing and designing new products. It works across existing applications that support development from idea to implementation, collecting, and managing ideas and requirements from all involved business areas at each point in development to drive products to market faster.

SAP also announced that key partners Accenture Ltd., Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting, and BearingPoint Inc. have continued to expand their commitment to develop and bring xApps to market using SAP technology.

"[Systems integrators] can easily capture business knowledge and deliver it more than one time," Graf said. "Now the SIs are able to repeat the process of deliver a new business process to the customer, not by sending people but by sending a product."

Since June, Accenture has introduced four xApps that support real-time integration, collaboration and supply chain capabilities for the oil and gas industry, while Deloitte is moving forward to create new xApps targeted at the public sector, consumer business, and manufacturing.

SAP announced its first xApp, Resource and Program Management, in June. It will begin shipping Dec. 6, officials announced Tuesday.

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