SAP, Yahoo To Form Business Portal - InformationWeek

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SAP, Yahoo To Form Business Portal

SAP AG said Wednesday that it will broaden its presence in the enterprise portal market through a partnership with Yahoo Inc. and the formation of SAP Portals Inc., a new subsidiary. SAP Portals combines the assets of TopTier software, which SAP acquired last week, with staff from SAP's mySAP Workplace and Business Intelligence business units and eSAP GmbH, an SAP portal and E-business professional-services subsidiary.

The formation of SAP Portals was a key driver in SAP's partnership with Yahoo. During the second quarter of this year, the companies will unveil an enterprise portal that acts as a unified interface for accessing data from SAP and non-SAP applications and combines that data with Yahoo-supplied content, such as live stock quotes and new articles. This expands the SAP-only capabilities the company offers through its mySAP Workplace portal.

Clients are using different portals to manage information from a variety of back-office applications, including those offered by Baan, Oracle, and Siebel Systems, says SAP's CEO and co-chairman Hasso Plattner. "We have to live with the reality that not all of this information comes from SAP applications," Plattner adds.

SAP and Yahoo envision their clients using the new portal technology to build customized interfaces that cater to the individual user. A sales representative, for example, will be able to build a portal that lists top clients, information about their accounts, and contextual information about that company's stock performance for the day. Although pricing hasn't been set for the new portal offering, SAP and Yahoo say the cost to their clients will depend upon the number of users and the complexity of the implementation.

Baan, a partner of TopTier for the past four years and an SAP competitor for far longer, says it will work with SAP Portals and its new CEO, Shai Agassi, formerly CEO, president, and chief technology officer for TopTier. Says Baan president Laurens van der Tang, "We decided to continue our work with TopTier through SAP Portals because clients don't care where a solution comes from as long as it works."

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