SAP Boosts Business One Integration

SAP's new Integration Scenarios for Business One software, will make it easier for customers to link Business One business processes directly to MySAP and R/3 processes.

SAP AG has software that will enable customers to integrate the companys Business One applications with its enterprise-class offerings. The software, called Integration Scenarios for Business One, will make it easier for customers to link Business One business processes directly to MySAP and R/3 processes, a capability that was lacking when Business One was released in the United States last year.

SAP is redoubling its efforts with Business One by expanding its reach with partners and building Integration Scenarios,

which will drive the suite into large customer sites and push adoption of NetWeaver, the SAP integration platform required with Integration Scenarios, officials said.

Integration is an important issue for SAP customers because Business One is not built on the R/3 or MySAP code base but on technology created by TopManage Financial Solutions Ltd., which SAP acquired two years ago.

"Larger [companies] are saying, Look, we need to talk to our subsidiaries. What do you have for us?" said John Cucciniello, president of Direct Link Worldwide Inc., which implemented Business One in October.

The new software extends SAPs existing library of Integration Scenarios, which work with MySAP applications to provide predefined interface certifications for third-party applications. However, the new Integration Scenarios also resemble composite applications in that they provide technology that assembles functionality from a number of applications to address specific business processes, according to officials at SAP, of Walldorf, Germany.

The first three of these new Integration Scenarios, which will be introduced at SAPs Sapphire user show next month, address consolidation of financial information, sales order and purchase order consolidation, and reporting. Other Integration Scenarios in the works will focus on more industry-specific business processes, such as enabling customers of a parent company to check the availability of a product created by that companys subsidiary.

Another will enable the creation of purchase confirmations from the parent company and scheduling of shipments locally, said Gary Fromer, senior vice president of small and midsize businesses for SAP America.

SAP has had some success selling Business One to small and midsize businesses, Fromer said, expanding its reseller base over the past year from 130 to about 450. But the company has garnered only about a dozen sales to subsidiaries of big companies.

Fromer acknowledged that SAP did not understand exactly how to do the integration between subsidiaries and parent companies until it had several customer implementations of Business One under its belt.

"Were now able to focus and to be a little more intelligent about the needs of large customers," Fromer said. "Its really just managing their requirements for where they have gaps in their business that need to be solved by a small-business solution—and what ... the business requirements [are] that corporate and local entities have around those operations."

One caveat with Integration Scenarios is they require the part of the company running R/3 or MySAP to use NetWeaver, which comes with the latest versions of MySAP. Enterprises that still have SAPs older R/3 systems will need to license NetWeaver separately.

Direct Link, the U.S. subsidiary of the Swedish postal services company Posten AB, was required by its parent company to buy a business application suite that could interface with MySAP and R/3, both of which Posten uses. Cucciniello said Posten welcomed the link to NetWeaver.

"For the parent company, its a question of functionality," said Cucciniello in Elizabeth, N.J. "If there is a way to interface Business One and then interface with the larger SAP system, it is going to be instrumental for us."

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