Software adds content management to SAP NetWeaver

A San Francisco-based company is offering new content management software to help business users overcome what it calls the static nature of SAP’s NetWeaver Portal. A Gartner Research Inc. analyst thinks this holds value for customers given the widespread dissatisfaction with SAP regarding ease of use.

While SAP NetWeaver Portal is intended for integrating the slew of business applications that an enterprise uses, the reality is that organizations very often use the platform as an intranet, said Christian Weichelt, product marketing manger with CoreMedia Corp.

“They are using it as an intranet to get information on the updates of what’s going on and to be able to mix content and applications on the same page,” said Weichelt.SAP middleware gives customers ‘heartburn’: Forrester

The new software, CoreMedia CMS for SAP NetWeaver Portal, provides editors and publishers a much more powerful and flexible editing experience for various types of content including rich content, said Weichelt. “Web content management capabilities can really leverage the potential of this portal by being able to enter real-time content in there,” he said.

Users then have the ability to use SAP NetWeaver Portal as an intranet for tasks like travel expenses, communication, application planning, and even as a partner or customer extranet, said Weichelt.

Without a software like CoreMedia CMS, Weichelt said regular users without particular IT expertise will find it a complex process to create and publish content that, in the end, is locked in the platform anyway.

According to Jim Murphy, research director with Stamford, Conn.-based research firm Gartner, the “rigidity” of SAP in general is a popular issue among customers of the Germany-based enterprise resource planning vendor.

While SAP has begun to revise many of its application interfaces, the company’s strength still lies in managing structured data and automated processes, said Murphy. Content management, the focus on CoreMedia CMS is quite distinct from that, he said.

Wiechelt said given users’ familiarity with Web 2.0 capabilities in their personal lives, they are increasingly expecting similar functionality in the business platforms they use at work.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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