SAP show focuses on partners, deals

Sapphire, the annual conference held by software maker SAP AG, is focusing on partnership announcements and deal-making this year.

SAP, which makes customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management and other kinds of enterprise business software, announced on Wednesday a slew of partners and deals at the show in Orlando, including alliances with IBM Corp., Palm Inc. and Compaq Computer Corp., as well as sales to the U.S. Department of Defense and the Royal Dutch Shell Group Inc.

SAP announced a deal with IBM in which IBM will license technology through SAP’s SAP Portals Inc. subsidiary to include in IBM’s WebSphere Web Portal software. The deal will allow WebSphere users to integrate SAP, Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc. applications into their portals. The deal will also allow IBM to resell SAP’s Portal iView software.

Handheld computer maker Palm and SAP announced a deal by which SAP’s flagship software would be accessible over the Internet using Palm’s handhelds. Both companies will sell packages under the deal, which will allow users mobile access to CRM and supply chain management data.

SAP also talked up two deals with Compaq focusing on mobile business and product lifecycle management. The first deal, which kicks off a pilot program called the Compaq Mobile Business Starter Solution, is aimed at both speeding and easing deployment of mobile applications and access across an array of wireless devices such as Compaq’s iPaq handheld and a co-branded version of Research in Motion Ltd.’s Blackberry. The deal uses mySAP Mobile Business technology to enable mySAP access over the devices. Also, Compaq said it had chosen SAP’s mySAP Product Lifecycle Management system as the basis for its collaborative design and engineering efforts, the companies said.

Other announcements included:

– The Department of Defense signed a Blanket Purchase Agreement for mySAP as the platform for its DoD Enterprise Software Initiative. Additionally, the Naval Air Systems Command is expected to sign a 33,000-user deal, SAP said.

– Royal Dutch Shell Group Inc. selected SAPMarkets Inc. to provide the back-end for Shell’s global e-procurement system. Also, the two companies will work together on data synchronization of Shell’s systems.

– WebEx Communications Inc. said that SAP had integrated its communications technology into mySAP Product Lifecycle Management, now giving users access to real-time voice, video and data communications and collaboration.

SApphire runs from June 12-15 in Orlando.

SAP AG, in Walldorf, Germany, can be reached at Palm, in Santa Clara, Calif., can be reached at IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y., can be reached at Compaq, in Houston, can be reached at