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November 23, 1998

IBM DRASTICALLY CUTS R/3 IMPLEMENTATION TIME FOR SMES

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM has given details of its plans to drastically cut the implementation time of SAP R/3 for small and medium businesses from a year or more to between 10 and 16 weeks. The Armonk, New York-based IBM said it can achieve the time savings by providing customers with a complete hardware infrastructure based on SAP’s Ready-to-Run R/3 program for IBM Netfinity or AS400 servers. SAP Ready-to-Run R/3 includes production, development, utility servers, networking infrastructure and pre-configured system based on best business practices, IBM said in a prepared statement. IBM’s plan is aimed at those companies wanting to roll out SAP’s financial applications. The implementations will be carried out by IBM’s Global Services Division and customers will be given the option of finance programs from IBM Global Finance to pay for the roll-out. Reducing the installation time to between 10 and 16 weeks is a significant improvement. In the past, SAP has been criticized for taking too long, up to and over a year, to install its ERP (enterprise resource planning applications), software. Now Big Blue is is hoping its program, particularly with the added incentive of financing options, will go down well with cash-starved small and medium businesses, many of whom turn to SAP’s financial applications as a way of streamlining their business processes. IBM announced its Ready- to-Run R/3 program for its Netfinity server in September. The program for the AS/400 has been available for a year. IBM’s initiative is part of SAP’s overall TeamSap program; the marketing term used to describe the German software giant’s push to get its partners to work closer with it on implementations and integration projects.

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