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2/4/2005
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Ex-Sun Exec Paolini Joins SAP

He'll run SAP's expanding ISV program, a key part of the company's efforts to get independent software developers writing products that enhance SAP's apps.

You might be hearing more soon from George Paolini, the former Sun Microsystems exec who found himself in the middle of the Java wars in the 1990s. German software maker SAP hired Paolini about two weeks ago to work out of its Palo Alto, Calif., office to run its expanding independent software vendor program. He'll be a senior VP at SAP and will report to executive board member Shai Agassi.

The company will spend "millions" more this year on efforts to get independent software developers writing products that enhance SAP's apps, says Aliza Peleg, an SAP managing director. It's part of a strategy to look for new growth beyond the roughly 10% that sales of enterprise-resource-planning apps are expected to expand this year. SAP also is looking for new ways to blunt the clout of a newly combined Oracle and PeopleSoft.

Paolini, who'd spent the last two years at Borland Software Corp., spent eight years at Sun before departing in 2001. He was perhaps best known there for running the Java Community Process, a system Sun established for making technical and business decisions about its Java programming language. By the late '90s, Paolini was involved in industry spats with IBM and Microsoft over Sun's control of Java.

After he left Sun, Paolini worked at a startup called Zaplet, which was funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

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