New Neighbors and Joint Forces

Junji Yasui and Takayuki Okada from NEC Foto: SAP AG

SAP INFO: Two high-tech industry giants – NEC and SAP – have joined forces. What is this partnership like?

JuNJI YASuI: There are four main areas of collaboration. We will integrate NEC’s IT platform products, hardware as well as software, into SAP solutions, and jointly market them. Together we will develop and bring to market our system integration solutions. We will also push the joint development of application service business and, finally, collaborate on workforce training, research, and development activities.

SAP INFO: That’s a tall order. How do you plan to do this?

TAkAYukI OkAdA: Our alliance will ensure that NEC storage servers are 100 percent compatible with SAP solutions. We will also take care of the security and operations man- agement fields, where NEC software products will be integrated with SAP-related solutions for OEM sales. They will be first rolled out in the high-growth markets in Asia.

YASuI: Another of our aims is to leverage enterprise service- oriented architecture (SOA), SAP NetWeaver, and SAP ERP by developing new solutions on the back of industry- spe cific solutions. Here we will especially be targeting manu facturing and distribution industries. Actually, we’re already involved in a partnership with SAP ERP on five types of solutions, including Japan’s best-selling PDM solution “Obbligato II.” Certainly we plan to use the new alliance to enhance this existing lineup.

SAP INFO: Will the alliance affect your presence in the market?

YASuI: Our partnership will enable joint provision of services utilizing SAP application software throughout Asia. At first, these services will be deployed in Japan and such Southeast Asian countries as Singapore and China. SAP will provide product development, software sales, and maintenance ser vices. We will provide the infra structure environment that supports the application service business platform. We will also be selling licenses to customers and offering ser- vice customization. And both companies will work closely together on validation activities.

NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation, established in 1899, is one of the world’s leading providers of internet, broadband network, and enterprise solutions dedicated to meeting the spe­cialized needs of its diverse and global base of custom­ers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking, and electronic devices by integrat­ ing its technical strengths in it and networks, and by pro­viding advanced semiconductor solutions. The NEC Group employs more than150,000 people worldwide. In 2007 its revenues totaled approximately U.S.$31 billion.

SAP INFO: What priorities have you set yourself?

YASuI: First we want to strengthen our SAP-focused sales in the high-growth Asian market. And we aim to boost the current number of engineers dedicated to SAP from 300 to 600 by 2010. By the way, NEC employs the most SAP con sultants in Japan. R&D activities are another focus. Here we will be using leading-edge technology, such as biocertifi- cation technology and next generation networks. Our global colla bo ration will speed the adoption of these new tech- nologies in the SAP business. We see NEC and SAP then expanding the coverage globally. This will reinforce support and service capabilities to better meet the requirements of diverse in dustry customers.

SAP INFO: NEC has recently opened a research office in Walldorf, just next door to SAP’s headquarters. What bene fits do you see from this proximity?

OkAdA: Being such close neighbors will help us in our col laborative efforts, for example, co-innovating projects to help joint customers exploit the benefits of enterprise SOA and delivering SAP Business Suite and SAP NetWeaver with NEC products. The opening of our Walldorf office is a bilateral commitment to the partnership.

YASuI: Of course, it’s clearly an advantage to be physically close to each other while collaborating. At our new site, we will – in addition to conducting compatibility tests – employ experienced sizing specialists to configure and size NEC solutions to match the specific requirements of SAP customers. In addition, we have plans to combine NEC’s industry- oriented software and experience with the SAP NetWeaver technology platform so that joint industry customers can better use enterprise SOA to increase their business agility.

SAP INFO: NEC spearheads the industry in so-called green IT. Will the partnership also be active in that area?

OkAdA: Both NEC and SAP will optimize the use of SAP NetWeaver with NEC’s green solutions, supporting our efforts to develop energy-saving products, including servers, storage, and middleware. YASuI: In fact, you could even say that our common future will be green in addition to being rosy.

Junji Yasui and Takayuki Okada talked to Stephan De Maria, freelance journalist.