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SAP Customers Worldwide Exploit New Business Opportunities With Web-Based Real-Time Business Solutions


KARLSRUHE, Germany - Dec. 8, 1998 - Today at SAP TechEd '98, SAP AG (NYSE ADR: SAP) announced that customers worldwide are using SAP Internet solutions to conduct real-time business operations over the Internet. The SAP presence in the Internet continues to gain momentum as more and more SAP customers embrace such SAP Internet solutions as SAP Online Store, SAP Employee Self Service and SAP Business-to-Business Procurement (SAP BBP). These solutions enable customers to deploy comprehensive intranet, extranet and e-commerce solutions that provide full-cycle, real-time integration between Internet, front-office and back-office systems and feature intuitive user interfaces for casual users. As a result, companies are able to exploit new business opportunities, extend their reach to new user communities, and execute business processes at Internet speed.

Check out the SAP Internet Solutions Information Center.

"The Internet represents a significant new sales channel for us. Currently, 10 percent of our orders come in directly through the Internet, and we expect that rate to increase substantially over the next few years," said Wolfgang Nobeling, e-commerce business director for ELFA AB, a distributor of electronic instruments and components based in Stockholm, Sweden. "Our SAP infrastructure ensures that we have the scalability to manage the 40,000 items in our catalog along with our anticipated growth. The Web will provide significant long-term benefits to our business. Not only can we provide better customer service, but our sales force is freed up to spend more time pursuing new customers."

Prisma Express GmbH, a wholesaler specializing in consumer high-tech hardware and software with more than 4,500 dealers throughout Germany, has deployed an SAP-based extranet that manages information flow and communication and is tightly integrated with core business processes. "This integrated solution prepares Prisma Express for the real-time requirements of the digital age," said Peter Rohwer, president of CKS Europe, one of the consulting firms on the project and co-founder of Prisma. "The tight integration of the extranet into SAP R/3 ensures consistency between online and transactional data and keeps maintenance overhead to a minimum."

SAP Internet Solutions
For hundreds of SAP customers, the Internet is taking on increasing importance as a way to improve employee communication, build better partner relationships, and market or buy products and deliver services directly over the Web. On one hand, customers require a robust infrastructure that is integrated with their business systems and that provides security, scalability and reliability. On the other hand, they need the flexibility to adapt quickly to changing markets and build solutions that allow rapid convergence of new customers and new ideas. SAP customers are deploying such solutions today to create a whole new way of doing business.

SAP delivers a multilevel approach to its Internet solutions to fully meet these diverse requirements. First, SAP delivers to customers a complete, open Internet infrastructure-leveraging the SAP Business Framework technology and its open Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs) - that allows Internet solutions to access SAP enterprise applications. Second, SAP delivers prepackaged Internet application components that include intuitive Web interfaces designed for casual users, Internet-specific business processes and easily customizable and extensible templates. Finally, SAP combines the components to deliver complete Internet business solutions and business scenarios. SAP offers customers the choice whether to implement comprehensive Internet business solutions or to implement components individually on a gradual basis. In addition, SAP offers Internet solutions within its vertical industry solutions, for example, a KANBAN Internet application component for the automotive industry or a consignment stock status information component for the retail industry.

"The Internet is changing the way smart companies conduct business, and we are pleased to be playing a key role in making this possible," said Dr. Peter Zencke, executive board member, SAP AG. "Since we have already built and delivered an open and scalable Internet application infrastructure, we are now able to continually evolve and innovate Internet solutions that better enable our customers to build virtual communities across their value chains and within their organizations."

The critical role SAP plays in helping corporations leverage the Internet was reinforced by Larry Kittelberger, vice president and chief information officer for AlliedSignal Inc.: "SAP R/3 is a key component of AlliedSignal's overall Six Sigma quality program for driving world-class performance in each of our businesses. It's also the application infrastructure on which AlliedSignal will heavily expand its electronic commerce capabilities." With headquarters in New Jersey, AlliedSignal is a $14.5 billion materials supplier for the aerospace and automotive industries.

Ease of Use Expands User Communities
Ease of use is one of the key advantages that the SAP Internet solutions bring to companies. Because these applications are both highly functional and simple to operate, companies are finding that large numbers of employees are embracing these applications on their own initiative.

Thomas Bromma, project director for UBS AG, one of the world's leading financial services groups, with headquarters in Switzerland, said, "The SAP Internet solution for internal address management, Who-Is-Who, covers all organizational information within the bank and is our most-used Web application, available for all 45,000 employees, with 300,000 transaction calls per day. This application has proven to be a major tool for supporting the merger processes of the two former banks SBC and UBS into the new bank UBS AG."

Georgia-Pacific Corp., which is deploying SAP Employee Self Service as the core of a new Employee Service Center, is experiencing similar success, with nearly 7,000 employees choosing to use SAP Employee Self Service to view electronic paystubs, update tax withholding and personal information, view the online personnel directory, and enroll in benefits and flexible spending plans. Employees access the system about 10,000 times each month, resulting in roughly 5,000 monthly transactions that would otherwise be handled by human resources staff.

"Employees are eagerly embracing this new technology," said Carr Lucas, director of employee management systems at Georgia-Pacific. "SAP Employee Self Service supports our strategy to empower employees to handle routine business functions. We're lowering our per capita administrative costs, improving the accuracy and timeliness of our HR data, and freeing HR personnel for tasks of greater strategic value." The company, a $13 billion producer and distributor of paper and pulp products, is rolling out SAP Employee Self Service to employees as they gain access to the company's intranet.

Bertelsmann Media Systems, the world's third-largest media company, also reports high levels of acceptance from user communities. Klaus Reitmeier, project manager for Bertelsmann, said, "The SAP Internet solutions enable us to further leverage our investment in the SAP system by extending the functionality of the system to casual users. The numerous requests from various profit centers within the Bertelsmann group for similar solutions show that SAP is heading in the right direction by Internet-enabling its powerful system."

Easy Deployment Gives Customers Agility
Many customers have also benefited from the ease of implementing SAP Internet solutions and the resulting increase in agility, including Novartis Services, a Novartis company based in Basel, Switzerland. "The SAP Internet procurement solution represented the ideal way for us to empower our end users and reduce overall procurement costs while improving efficiency and service," said Klaus-Peter Sehling, head of IT for Novartis Services, a global leader in the life sciences focused on improved health and well-being. "Because of the out-of-the box integration with R/3-based business processes, implementation was straightforward and now requires minimal maintenance effort. The intuitive Web interface enabled us to quickly deploy an employee procurement solution to more than 2,000 users."

Employment National, a major recruitment and employee services firm with headquarters in Sydney, Australia, also found SAP Internet solutions easy to deploy while offering significant benefits, according to Dick Hancock, manager of IT user services. "Using SAP's Internet solutions, we have rolled out a suite of employee self-service applications, including an employee purchasing solution, to our more than 1,400 employees in more than 200 offices throughout Australia," Hancock said. "We expect to realize considerable cost savings in our purchasing and human resources organizations over the next several years."

SAP Internet Solutions Extend the Supply Chain
Another popular role for the Internet is bringing companies closer to their partners through the creation of virtual supply chains. Mercedes Benz Japan, for example, now provides many of its vendors with sales order entry and tracking capabilities via its extranet. "Our Internet-enabled R/3 solution not only increases the speed and efficiency of communication with our dealers for order entry and tracking but also improves communication content reliability," said Tae Ikada, system engineer, Mercedes Benz Japan. "This improved business-to-business communication in turn means that we now have more resources to enhance the quality of our service and products."

SAP Business-to-Business Procurement and SAP Online Store
SAP recently delivered two new e-commerce solutions, SAP Business-to-Business Procurement and SAP Online Store, that give customers comprehensive solutions for driving business activities over the Internet. SAP Business-to-Business Procurement leverages the integration and strength of SAP technology and SAP Business Workflow with a new Web-based user interface that handles the entire requisition-to-payment cycle via one easy-to-use single-entry screen. End users are empowered to purchase goods and services directly from their desktops while the purchasing department maintains the benefits of centralized control and power and can refocus on strategic purchasing operations and economies of scale.

Gruner + Jahr AG & Co., a major publishing house based in Hamburg, Germany, will roll out an SAP Internet-based procurement solution to more than 2,000 employees early next year. "We selected SAP Internet technology because of its comprehensive features and ease of use," said Peter Klotz, director of facilities management at Gruner + Jahr. "We expect that this solution will greatly streamline our MRO (material repair and operations) processes using an electronic catalog, provide better overall management control, and be readily embraced by our user base."

The SAP Online Store solution functionality covers the entire demand chain in a comprehensive system, from the customer order in the store to warehouse logistics and procurement processes in the main office to manufacturing. This end-to-end solution provides store-level managers with improved access to information, greater control over their local store activities, and the ability to analyze local market conditions and react quickly to changing customer and business requirements.

"In our industry it's not enough to provide top products, we also have to make it convenient for customers. That's where our SAP Internet solution comes in," said George Rogers, senior staff analyst for Perkin-Elmer Corp., the world leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of analytical instrument and life sciences systems. "Within three months we were able to create an advanced order entry Web site, working interactively with our customer service department. Customer feedback has been extremely positive because they can create 'what if' scenarios to leverage shipping costs. This can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process over the phone."

For customers implementing e-commerce solutions, SAP provides full confidentiality, integrity and authentication. SAP Internet solutions support all important Internet security protocols, including secure socket layers (SSL), secure hyper text transfer (SHTTP) and secure electronic transaction (SET), ensuring full business data protection.

 

SAP   Contact
Natalie Sharif
SAP AG
69190 Walldorf
Fax ++49 (6227) 7-46331
e-mail: www.press@sap-ag.de

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