SAP and eBay hook up in online marketplace

Customers of SAP will be able to use their existing business software together with a new, integrated auction management system to sell excess inventory, used equipment and other idle assets on the online marketplace of eBay under a new relationship announced Monday by the two companies at the Sapphire customer conference in Orlando.

SAP and eBay have come together to address a need of enterprises to sell idle assets without much effort or investment by offering the new integrated system that is easy to use, is low in cost and is designed to deliver a rapid return on investment, SAP said in a statement. As part of their new partnership, eBay will work closely with SAP to jointly market the solution to SAP customers, including educating these customers about selling assets on the online marketplace.

The new joint system consists of software and services that leverage eBay's APIs (application programming interfaces) to connect to its online services, while providing the integration and interoperability of data from SAP's R/3 and CRM (customer relationship management) software systems, SAP said in a statement.

The new NetWeaver integration and application platform will serve as the backbone technology to provide the end-to-end integration, the Walldorf, Germany, software company said.

The integrated auction management system automatically schedules eBay listings and aggregates product data while generating and managing listings on the company's electronic marketplace.

Initially, the joint initiative will focus on the North American market, with European and other countries expected to follow, according to the statement. SAP and eBay will work closely to make the system generally available in the first quarter of 2004.

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