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SAP buys MaXware and Wicom

14 May 2007  |  1869 views  |  0 Source: Sap

Delivering new solutions to help CIOs increase security in today's heterogeneous IT environments, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced that it is extending the identity management capabilities in the SAP NetWeaver platform. These enhancements come with the acquisition of MaXware, a privately held provider of identity management software.

Building on SAP's knowledge and expertise in core business processes, the addition of new identity management capabilities in SAP NetWeaver will deliver an integrated platform to work across systems and across business processes, to manage identities and ensure security in real-time. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE '07, SAP's international customer conference, being held in Vienna, Austria, May 14 - 16.

Improving security around information workers involved in one or more business processes is becoming increasingly important as companies move to the highly distributed environment of enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA). In addition to increasing security in an enterprise SOA, CIOs are looking to reduce the total cost of running IT through an integrated approach to assigning and administering user roles across many systems. As companies service-enable their applications, the combination of distributed enterprise services with powerful cross-system business processes requires that identities are managed in an integrated, straightforward and simple manner. By combining MaXware's proven, flexible and easy-to-configure identity management solution with SAP's industry-leading business applications and SOA- based platform, SAP can offer an identity management solution that increases flexibility and agility of business units when managing employee identities and when managing identities across company boundaries with customers, distributors or suppliers.

"Security ranks at the top of CIO agendas as they look to further improve security and control access, while lowering the administrative costs associated with managing identities," said Klaus Kreplin, corporate officer and member of the Executive Council, head of SAP NetWeaver Technology, SAP AG. "With the addition of MaXware capabilities, SAP will deliver to customers a lean, integrated and proven identity management solution for heterogeneous IT landscapes. This will be of tremendous benefit to both MaXware and SAP customers."

MaXware provides a comprehensive solution suite and a world-class professional services delivery team, helping companies optimize, integrate and evolve their current identity management processes. MaXware's virtualization and user provisioning technologies form the core of its identity management solution are built on an enterprise SOA and offer identity management as a service-providing scalable, real-time and standards-based access to identity information residing in multiple repositories. MaXware serves 300 customers worldwide in a diverse range of industries, such as technology, manufacturing, business services, defense, energy, healthcare, financial services and public sector. MaXware's corporate headquarters are in Trondheim, Norway, with sales subsidiaries in the United States and the United Kingdom.

"This is a very exciting time for MaXware customers, as they now have access to the global reach and deep solution offerings of SAP," said Stale Svenning, president and CEO, MaXware. "For our employees, this is also an exciting time as we look to new innovations and value we can collectively deliver to CIOs who are managing the heterogeneity of enterprise SOA landscapes."

The addition of MaXware complements SAP's business applications and platform and will enable customers to extend the value of their SAP investments. While the new MaXware capabilities in the platform will provide the functionality to centrally manage and provision identity information in SAP and heterogeneous environments, SAP GRC Access Control can deliver business value to the customer through its rich capabilities and content to support end-to-end compliance and risk management.

The acquisition of MaXware is continuing evidence of SAP's strategy to use well-placed, fill-in acquisitions to complement its broad solution offering by gaining innovative technologies while maintaining its successful organic growth track record. Integration planning is still underway for MaXware's offices and its 30 employees. The acquisition is expected to close May 2007. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Separately, in a move that will enable companies to streamline and improve the agility of their customer- facing processes, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced the acquisition of Wicom Communications, a leading, privately-held provider of all-IP contact center and enterprise communications software based in Espoo, Finland.

The acquisition will enable SAP to offer companies the ability to better integrate communications technologies and business systems so that they can more effectively serve their customers, regardless of how they connect to the business; connecting functions such as customer service, marketing, finance and sales; and making sure that all customer-facing employees wherever they are located have access to the same relevant knowledge and data.

Founded in 1999, Wicom delivers concrete business benefits for approximately 200 contact centers and contact-intensive multi-sited enterprises in 18 countries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE '07, SAP's international customer conference, being held in Vienna, Austria, May 14 - 16.

SAP sees a growing market trend for companies to create, mature and service their business network: including customers, partners, suppliers and competitors; extending business processes beyond the traditional enterprise boundaries. To successfully leverage these network members, companies must be able to build and manage virtual business processes and teams to harness the full range of knowledge, resources and communication channels. With the addition of Wicom, SAP will enable our customers to leverage communication- enabled business processes to more effectively serve and manage their business networks to deliver superior customer experience.

"To successfully create an agile enterprise, executives must radically alter how they harness their communications to create more-effective business processes," said Bern Elliot, Gartner, Inc. "These changes will result in faster response times, more accurate interactions and better social context for the communications."(1)

In today's global business marketplace, people, processes, knowledge and contact points are distributed across multiple geographies, functions and organizations. At the same time, customers are increasingly seeking service by connecting to companies' personnel through multiple channels; including voice, SMS, Web, e-mail and mobile phones; making it challenging to synchronize activity across these communication silos. With Wicom Communications, SAP will deliver a multichannel all-IP, end-to-end contact center solution, integrating communication processes into customer service. This solution will help customers streamline the integration of disparate hardware and software components while allowing for central management and reporting of dispersed resources and processes.

"Wicom firmly established itself as an innovator in improving the performance and quality of customer service, telesales and daily business interactions for our growing customer base," said Ilkka Kivimaki, CEO, Wicom. "Together, SAP and Wicom will support communication-enabled business processes, starting with a complete solution for a multichannel all-IP contact center. Joining SAP opens up our innovation to a larger set of business and development opportunities. I'm excited for our employees to join the SAP team and for our customers, who will benefit from a unified solution to manage communication-enabled business processes."

Today, Wicom solutions focus primarily on improving the performance and quality of business processes within contact centers and contact intensive multi-sited enterprises. The company's current solution can be deployed flexibly (using hosted, on-premise or hybrid deployment models) and provides standard Web service-based integration to SAP® Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM). Wicom capabilities are complementary to and integrate with SAP's existing contact center application, SAP® Interaction Center, which will continue to integrate with a range of different telephony options and vendors, meeting a broad range of customer needs.

"The market is moving to a more communications-intensive enablement of business processes, and SAP's acquisition positions us to leverage our leadership in CRM, and our unique understanding of business process to help customers benefit from the transition," said Bob Stutz, senior vice president and general manager, SAP CRM Strategy and Product. "With the addition of Wicom Communications, SAP will offer game-changing communication-enabled business processes to organizations to help improve the customer experience, streamline operations and lower TCO. At the same, our powerful ecosystem provides customers with the best possible range of choices and options for the deployment and execution of CRM and communications technologies. We welcome the Wicom team, partners and customers to the SAP family."

The transaction with Wicom Communications is continuing evidence of the SAP strategy to use well-placed, fill-in acquisitions to add to its broad solution offering by gaining specific technologies and capabilities that meet the needs of its customers, within industries or across industries, while maintaining its successful organic growth track record. SAP reported that the acquisition of Wicom was completed on May 7, 2007, and integration planning is underway.

(1) Gartner, Inc., "Achieving Agility Through Communication-Enabled Business Processes," by Bern Elliot, Steve Blood and Bob Hafner, April 4, 2006.

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