SAP Rolls Out mySAP Update, BI Accelerator Appliance

MySAP ERP 2005 features a new user interface, dubbed Project Muse, and stronger vertical-industry capabilities, the company said at its Sapphire user group show in Orlando, Fla.

SAP said the interface will let users tap into SAP applications directly from their Macintosh, Linux or Windows desktops and from mobile devices.

The software vendor also continued to talk up its "hybrid CRM" implementation that lets customers deploy the same code on-premise or opt for an "on-demand" hosted version.

SAP also tapped into another industry trend with a new business-intelligence accelerator, an appliance that pairs SAP NetWeaver analysis with IBM or Hewlett-Packard blades running Intel 64-bit Xeon processors. No pricing was disclosed, and it was unclear whether the accelerator would be available direct or through partners.

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SAP has been dribbling out news for weeks heading into the conference. Last week, the company unveiled new CRM functionality. And the week before, it re-announced its Mendocino initiative with Microsoft. The resulting product, due out next month, will be Duet, which links Microsoft Office front ends with SAP back ends.

SAP, a superpower in enterprise applications, is fighting hard to win credibility and market share in midsize companies, where it must rely more on VARs and other partners than it has traditionally. But SAP isn’t alone in that gold rush. Oracle, now armed with PeopleSoft and Siebel applications, is making a midmarket push, and Microsoft is making the midmarket a priority with its Dynamics applications and an army of solution providers.

Sanjeev Aggarwall, principal analyst with the Yankee Group said SAP, Oracle, Microsoft all have to contend with Intuit and Sage Software which are very well entrenched in mid-market accounts.

For larger customers, SAP executives reiterated the company’s view that enterprise customers can move incrementally to new ERP capabilities without pain. CEO Henning Kagermann stressed that by using NetWeaver as an integration platform, users can update "without touching" current systems.