HP, SAP Team On Service

Companies offer ERP applications package for small and midsize businesses
SAP America and Hewlett-Packard last week introduced a combined hardware, software, and services package geared toward businesses that generate less than $1 billion in annual revenue. The package covers enterprise applications such as customer-relationship-management and ERP software and includes integration, maintenance, support, and training. At $325 per user, the two vendors say the offering is more affordable and gives small and midsize businesses an IT platform that can be scaled up as their companies grow. The offerings are customized for the consumer-goods, high-tech, and technical-services-provider industries; support for other industries will be added in the future.

SAP and its partners will provide software and implementation and maintenance services, and HP will host the software at its data centers on Windows NT servers. Customers will access the service through a VPN.

Enterprise-class technology is reaching prices that put it in range of small and mid-size businesses "looking to compete on a more even footing" with larger companies, IDC analyst Rebecca Segal says. They need not just the hardware and software, but also IT services: "They need partners to help them put it all together."