NEC and SAP Japan Collaborate on Applications for Product Development in Manufacturing Industry

NEC’s industry-leading software, Obbligato II, integrated with mySAP ERP

TokyoNEC and SAP Japan announced today that the companies have started to collaborate in the field of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). PLM is the management of various types of technical information in the manufacturing industry, such as design graphics and component tables (BOM), throughout the entire product lifecycle.

The collaboration involves: 1) the development by NEC of software that integrates NEC’s PLM software Obbligato II, which has top market share in Japan, with SAP’s mySAP ERP on the SAP NetWeaver platform; and 2) joint marketing and sales of PLM solutions integrated with ERP to assembly and manufacturing industries, primarily the electrical and electronics industries.

Through the collaboration, users of SAP products will be able to quickly install NEC’s Obbligato II, which flexibly meets the unique needs of Japanese manufacturers through such means as integrated BOM management capabilities. In addition, based on SAP’s Enterprise SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) concept – namely, promotion of flexible system construction by combining the capabilities provided by a system as services – users can select Obbligato II in addition to mySAP PLM.

The version of Obbligato II with built-in capability for integration with mySAP ERP will be available from the third quarter of this year.

By collaborating in this way, NEC and SAP Japan aim to sell PLM solutions to 50 companies during the next three years.

Features of the collaboration are as follows:

  1. Integration of mySAP ERP and Obbligato II PLM software
    NEC is developing software that integrates mySAP ERP and Obbligato II on the SAP NetWeaver platform, and will release a version of Obbligato II that includes this software in the third quarter of this year. This feature will substantially reduce the time required to install Obbligato II.
  2. Joint sales and marketing
    In the PLM field, 30 people from NEC and SAP Japan combined will aggressively conduct a joint promotion and make joint proposals to customers. Based on customers’ needs ascertained through these activities, the two companies will reinforce the software’s capabilities, and plan and provide services that meet industry-specific needs.

In the manufacturing industry, value-added products that meet a range of customers’ needs must be developed through a short cycle and released on the market with good timing. In this way, the product development process plays a key role as the wellspring of business competitiveness. However, in the product development process, it is difficult to share and utilize in timely fashion the component tables and cost data held by various individual business units. This results in lost development time and higher costs. In particular, between design and production, the tasks of converting from design BOMs to production BOMs and reflecting design changes constitute bottlenecks. This increases the lead time before production can start, which is a major obstacle to the prompt market launch of new products.

The PLM solution provided by NEC and SAP Japan through their collaboration will help to eliminate such bottlenecks and boost businesses’ ability to compete.

The aim of this collaboration is to provide optimal PLM solutions for customers in the manufacturing industry by integrating mySAP ERP, which has top share of the ERP package market, and Obbligato II, which has top share of the PLM software market.

From now on, NEC and SAP Japan will pursue sales activities that utilize each other’s strengths, notably joint proposals to customers and promotions.

■About Obbligato II
Obbligato II software enables efficient use of information throughout the entire development lifecycle, from planning to design, production, and mass production. It has so far been installed by 450 companies in Japan, and maintained top market share for 10 years.

■About SAP NetWeaver
SAP NetWeaver, an integrated application platform, supports and manages the upgrading of systems integrated with current IT infrastructure. SAP NetWeaver integrates SAP applications with solutions other than SAP products and with business partners’ products, enabling customers to design, configure, introduce, and execute new business strategies and business processes flexibly and quickly.

Details about mySAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver
Details about Obbligato II