SAP links corporate performance management to supply chain

SAP today revealed a new corporate performance management (CPM) product and renewed its commitment to its Business Objects roadmap with new, integrated CPM releases.

BOSTON -- SAP today announced a new corporate performance management (CPM) application that will bring business intelligence to supply chain management professionals.

SAP Spend Analytics, available now, gathers procurement data from across the ERP system, as well as data from third-party software, in an effort to help companies develop better procurement strategies and purchasing patterns and to rationalize suppliers.

SAP also stuck to its Business Objects roadmap by more tightly integrating new releases of its core CPM products with the NetWeaver and Business Objects XI 3.0 platforms.

The move signals a commitment to the roadmap that SAP revealed in March, according to John Hagerty, vice president and research fellow at Boston-based AMR Research.

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The announcements were made at SAP's Business Objects Influencer Summit, being held here today. Since it acquired Business Objects in October 2007, SAP has released several new products, including consolidated CPM products and predictive analytics. Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Research recently named Business Objects a leader in business intelligence platforms.

"We are taking share from our competitors," said Sanjay Poonen, Business Objects' senior vice president and general manager, performance optimization applications.

The new product announcement is especially good news for SAP ERP customers, analysts said.

"For people who are centered around SAP business applications, this does create a much stronger roadmap," Hagerty said. "Take the SAP hat off and put a Business Objects hat on, some of these things are very specific to SAP customers, and they're not really targeted at non-SAP customers."

SAP has been encouraging its customers to move onto the Business Objects platform.

Eventually, all products will be marketed under the name "SAP Business Objects," according to Poonen.

"We're going to retain both brands," he said. "It allows us to appeal to SAP and non-SAP customers."

Both of the new SAP corporate performance management releases are integrated with NetWeaver. SAP Strategy Management is integrated with SAP's GRC Risk Management application to help companies link strategy and risk management. SAP Business Planning and Consolidation is optimized for the Microsoft SQL platform, according to Poonen.

The new Business Objects CPM releases -- Profitability and Cost Management, and Financial Consolidation -- are integrated with Business Objects' XI 3.0 platform.

SAP is also teaming up with its GRC partners to develop more tools and services, as well as an implementation framework to integrate risk management into corporate performance management and their day-to-day decisions.

"We want a risk-management application to alert well ahead of time to a potential risk, and then they could take action," Poonen said. "We are the first company to bring these together."

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