23 January 2002 SAP has announced plans to combine its SAP Markets and SAP Portals units into a single subsidiary, dedicated to “the rapid delivery of integration technologies and collaborative applications … through the use of open standards.”
The software produced by the new division will be integrated with the mySAP.com platform and the Walldorf, Germany-based software giant has also indicated that it will license the technology to other software vendors.
SAP currently has about 5,000 customers for SAP Markets and SAP Portals. The new unit will employ more than 1,700 staff worldwide from its headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Shai Agassi, currently the CEO of SAP Portals, will take over as CEO of the new unit, which will be chaired by SAP group co-founder and CEO Hasso Plattner.
The move adds to confusion surrounding the nature of the partnership between SAP and Commerce One, the business-to-business (B2B) software vendor that provided much of the underlying technology for SAP Markets.
Earlier this month, SAP moved to scale back its collaboration with Commerce One. This has prompted speculation of a complete divorce between the two companies. The future of their relationship is expected to be clarified at a press conference scheduled for early February 2002.
SAP said it plans to consolidate its two subsidiaries’ technology into a single platform that can combine an enterprise Web portal with content management and B2B exchange technology. It will particularly focus on supplier relationship management and business intelligence.
The move will also help SAP further its cost-cutting plans this year.