NTT DoCoMo and SAP ink mobile deal

NTT DoCoMo Inc., business software maker SAP AG and its Japanese unit, SAP Japan Co. Ltd., signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) Thursday to explore development of mobile business systems.

At a press conference in Tokyo, the two companies announced in broad terms what they hoped to accomplish, but were able to deliver few specific details.

“The objective is to utilize our own technology and combine it with SAP’s corporate solutions,” said Hajime Muto, senior manager of NTT DoCoMo’s solution business department. First concrete results from the feasibility studies planned under the MoU are to be seen in between six months and one year, he said, although declined to mention specific applications, saying they are still under consideration.

The two companies will also explore the possibility of jointly marketing any systems as a result of the MoU in other countries, they said. The marketing plans would be handled on a country-by-country basis and not necessarily limited to countries where NTT DoCoMo has already signed alliances with local cellular carriers, Muto said.

The announcement comes almost a year after SAP announced plans to add WAP (wireless application protocol) access to the MySAP range of services. In a deal with Visa International Inc. and Nokia Corp., SAP said in May 2000 that it would integrate the former’s corporate purchasing system into MySAP and allow access via WAP browsers in cellular telephones.

In September last year the company also announced a deal with Compaq Computer Corp. to put MySAP access on the company’s iPaq Pocket PC handheld devices.

NTT DoCoMo, in Tokyo, can be contacted at SAP, in Walldorf, Germany, can be reached at