SAP NetWeaver is delivered as one product, helping organizations integrate people, information and business processes across the enterprise to enable flexible business strategies and drive innovation at a sustainable cost structure. SAP NetWeaver combines platform components such as SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Business Intelligence and SAP Master Data Management that focus on people and information with process components such as SAP Exchange Infrastructure that facilitate data exchange between heterogeneous IT systems. SAP NetWeaver supports open industry standards as well as interoperability, giving customers a wide array of options when integrating SAP and non-SAP systems. At the same time, SAP NetWeaver provides the technical foundation for SAP applications.
In addition to reporting on the progress of SAP NetWeaver over the past year, SAP today also announced important enhancements to the technology platform. For additional information please see today’s announcement, “SAP Announces 2004 Release of the Technology Platform SAP NetWeaver.”
Customer installations continue rapid growth
Since its inception, SAP NetWeaver has been a focal point of the company’s market strategy and development resources. With more than 14,000 component installations at customer sites, SAP is delivering on its strategy of driving wider adoption of the total platform to best help customers turn IT assets into strategic value drivers. SAP NetWeaver has achieved strong traction in several key industries, including the chemical, consumer packaged goods (CPG), high tech and aerospace industries.
“SAP will help support our innovation pipeline”
Whirlpool Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of over $12 billion, 68,000 employees and nearly 50 manufacturing and technology research centers around the globe, is focused on leveraging IT to lower operating costs by simplifying their IT infrastructure and creating an integrated global platform and organization that is focused on innovation to drive its customer loyalty. The company, which markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Brastemp, Bauknecht, Consul and other major brand names to consumers in more than 170 countries, turned to SAP NetWeaver to help support the creation of one global operating platform through system consolidation and simplification. Whirlpool expects that this simplification will help decommission legacy systems and diminish the need for regional platforms worldwide. It plans to deliver returns that make the effort self-funding by lowering its IT operating costs through server, application and other system consolidation. SAP NetWeaver also provides Whirlpool with a 360-degree view of their customers, partners and processes through aggregation and analysis of data from internal and external application data sets. With SAP NetWeaver supporting its standard business processes and allowing for integration across the enterprise to support business unit information sharing, Whirlpool IS has set a goal of a five per cent annual productivity increase.
Additionally, Whirlpool has created innovation as a core competency and is leveraging information systems to improve and accelerate the innovation chain from idea to final product. In support of this project, Whirlpool is re-engineering its processes that used to slow down the process and implementing SAP xApp Resource and Program Management (SAP xRPM), SAP’s packaged composite application that helps customers manage and execute complex IT and R&D projects, to support an innovation chain that extends across the entire employee base.
“We are committed to driving the embedment of ESA via SAP NetWeaver throughout our organization,” said Esat Sezer, chief information officer, Whirlpool. “SAP NetWeaver will provide the flexibility and speed necessary to drive the innovation and responsiveness needed to succeed in a globally competitive marketplace. In addition, SAP will help support our innovation pipeline. We needed the power and flexibility to support an entire innovation chain that involved all employees and gave them the training, collaboration technology, access to expertise and seed funding they needed to make their ideas a success. We selected SAP xApp Resource and Program Management to manage the process.”
SAP NetWeaver makes the corporate strategy fly
Eclipse Aviation, which is in the business of designing, certifying and producing modern, affordable jet aircraft that will revolutionize the transportation market, is using SAP NetWeaver to manage workflow across disparate applications and departments and also to collaborate and share information with customers, partners, employees and FAA regulators. The company’s staff of 275 can now organize and manage all information electronically, eliminating time-consuming paper-based processes and expediting compliance with FAA specifications and inspections.
“Our IT strategy using SAP NetWeaver to achieve new levels of efficiency and cost reduction is a perfect fit for our corporate strategy to make private jet travel more affordable,” said Michael Brown, chief information officer, Eclipse Aviation. “We chose SAP because the company understands the needs of a start-up, midsize company, and they worked closely with us and put together a package where we could start small and then add capabilities as we mature and grow into a leading airframe manufacturer. Other vendors didn’t offer that option and approached us with a cookie-cutter solution.”
Linde Gas Division, one of the most important gas suppliers worldwide, headquartered in Germany, is utilizing SAP NetWeaver to simplify its IT infrastructure, better optimize and harmonize business processes, and drive collaboration. With products that cover a vast range of applications in industry, medicine, environmental protection and research and development, Linde Gas Division depends on SAP NetWeaver to support collaboration across its far more than 1,000 sales and distribution partners and to foster team working-scenarios. SAP NetWeaver also allows Linde Gas Division to provide its sales and distribution partners with easily accessible up-to-date information from order to invoicing.
Momentum through the partner program
From the moment of its introduction, SAP NetWeaver has attracted partners that have signed on to support the installation and implementation of SAP NetWeaver and to develop their own software to run on the platform. Today, more than 300 partners have been “SAP NetWeaver Certified,” which involves partner certification for at least one SAP NetWeaver component. In addition, there are currently more than 30 “Powered by SAP NetWeaver” solutions delivered by partners, including independent software vendors and system integrators who have made a commitment to the SAP NetWeaver platform, as their software is now running on SAP NetWeaver.
Independent software vendors (ISVs), such as Merant, are leveraging the flexible SAP NetWeaver platform to build unique business applications. Since SAP’s software runs on SAP NetWeaver, the easy integration of partner products with SAP and third-party solutions makes the partner software highly desirable to SAP’s large customer base. In addition, partner software built on the SAP NetWeaver platform helps the end customer keep integration complexity and costs to a minimum. Finally, SAP offers incentives for ISVs to deliver software according to SAP’s quality standards. ISVs have an opportunity to tap into the SAP sales and marketing forces as SAP may choose to sell and market the partner product.
Merant has turned to SAP to provide an open platform to develop its Web content management solutions. “Developing our solution for use on the SAP NetWeaver platform has helped us to attract new customers,” said James Rogers, vice president of product marketing, Merant. “One such customer – a large paper company in the eastern United States – is implementing our software because it offers the ideal integration of Web content management with SAP Web Application Server and SAP Enterprise Portal – key components of SAP NetWeaver. We won this business in large part because our offering can be quickly implemented within the SAP NetWeaver environment, and we believe this is just the beginning of a strong market that we plan to serve together with SAP.” Partner companies have indicated their strong support for the enhanced SAP NetWeaver platform. Further information concerning partner support can be found in the addendum to this press release.
Growing Developer Community
Since launching the SAP Developer Network (SDN) six months ago, the SDN has attracted more than 40,000 members to the community, with approximately 2,000 unique users on the site daily. The SDN, which itself is powered by SAP NetWeaver, offers high quality technical information, expert Web logs, code samples and evaluation tools and discussion forums. The community has also generated thousands of posts on the discussion forum and for the first time delivered downloads of evaluation software for SAP NetWeaver. This collaborative online community of developers, implementers and administrators is a growing resource for technical information related to the development of SAP NetWeaver and SAP xApps packaged composite applications.
Promoting Business Potential
In response to demand for information on SAP NetWeaver and the opportunities it presents to customers and partners, SAP is launching a 50-city worldwide tour that will take place throughout 2004. The tour will bring SAP executives, including SAP executive board member Shai Agassi, customers, prospects, partners and industry analysts across five continents to discuss the opportunities that SAP NetWeaver presents to customers and partners. Next tour stops include New York City, Lisbon and Istanbul. For more information about the SAP NetWeaver tour, locations and dates.
“The strong success of SAP NetWeaver in its first year is credible testimony to the value proposition it offers customers as a single product, offering deep application server functionality combined with market-leading integration technologies,” said Henning Kagermann, chief executive officer, SAP. ”We are entering a new era for software architecture, defined by a services-oriented design philosophy, and SAP NetWeaver is helping customers take significant steps in that direction already today. SAP’s evolutionary approach to architectural change allows customers to take measured steps as they are ready and preserve the value of their existing IT investments while offering a clear path to the promises of increased flexibility, superior integration and business process-driven solutions that come with our vision of an Enterprise Services Architecture. While client-server-based ERP solutions successfully transformed business operations, the visionary approach of an ESA, facilitated by SAP NetWeaver, opens the door to a new wave of solutions that will reap substantial returns for customers while transforming IT into a powerful enabler of business change and innovation.”
Source: SAP AG