The demise of SAP AG’s somewhat mystifying brand name probably won’t provoke much mourning anytime soon.

The applications vendor recently announced it was changing the name of its flagship suite from to SAP Business Suite. The reason, according to SAP Americas Inc. spokesman William Wohl: to better reflect the way customers buy their software, which more and more frequently is done under a suite licensing arrangement. While Wohl said the launch back in 1999 was a huge success, a half-dozen users and analysts indicated they either found the concept confusing or just so much marketing hype. This reflected existing issues raised by users over a year ago. Users weren’t sure if it was a new technology, a new pricing scheme or just a new name. Analysts agreed the concept was a fuzzy moving target. And while SAP has made strides in recent years to clarify the brand and cost, Oracle Corp. has had greater success in pushing out a pricing list that lets customers see exactly what they are buying and what it costs, said analyst David Dobrin at B2B Analysts in Cambridge, Mass.

Groove upgrades collaboration suite

Groove Networks Inc. has announced an upgraded version of its collaboration platform that gives users broader access to e-mail and calendar items and gives network executives more tools to manage Groove users’ profiles and bandwidth consumption.

For end users’ convenience, Groove Workspace 2.5 features tighter integration with Microsoft Corp. Outlook and new tools for working with Microsoft’s collaboration suite, SharePoint Team Services. In the old version, users working within the Microsoft Outlook client could forward e-mail messages and attachments to create a new collaborative workspace in Groove. In Version 2.5, users can now forward Outlook messages and attachments to existing Groove workspaces as well. Users also can now swap calendar items, so they don’t have to maintain separate scheduling applications. The standard edition of Groove Workspace 2.5 lets users send Outlook calendar entries to Groove project calendars. The professional version adds the ability to do the reverse: users can publish Groove calendar entries to their Outlook calendars. For IT administrators, Groove Workspace 2.5 includes enhancements to Groove’s Enterprise Server family of products. One upgrade pertains to synchronization with LDAP, Active Directory and Lotus Notes directories. In the past, administrators could generate Groove identities from their existing directory system. Version 2.5 adds the ability for administrators to designate their LDAP, Active Directory or Notes directory as a master, so that any changes made to the master directory – a name or address change, for example – will be passed automatically to Groove Workspace.