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March 19, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:54pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Not only is IBM Corp a big user of R/3 manufacturing software internally, but sales of the application suite running on its computers generated some $560m for SAP AG in 1996, or around 25% of its $2.27bn 1996 revenue. That’s why the companies are establishing an IBM/SAP integration and support center at Big Blue’s Santa Teresa Labs in San Jose, California to help users trying to implement SAP’s notoriously complex but much-in-demand suite on IBM hardware and software. Rounding out its DB2-based SAP product offerings, IBM will begin selling SAP for DB2 running on Windows NT from September. Early versions will ship to select customers in May. Although SAP has said in the past that sales of R/3 on AS/400 may account for as much as a third of its revenue by the year 2000 – with a third done on Unix and the remainder on Windows NT – the OS/400 version of R/3 has only been available since the middle of last year. It has clocked around 200 installations to date, SAP says, but expects sales to take off when typical AS/400 users begin to understand the return on investment that integrating accounting, warehousing, sales and ordering and personnel applications can mean. Indeed SAP is rubbing its hand with glee at the opportunity the proposed single European currency will deliver to it when users will need to overhaul a large number of their applications. SAP says it is now seeing R/3 installations being supported on Windows NT systems with up to 1,000 users, though the average NT sale is usually 150 to 200 users. The NT version of R/3 has been available for two years and SAP has some 2,500-odd customers. Its Unix installs average between 400 and 500 users, topping out a maximum of 1,800. SAP reckons there are around 1,200 AIX sites running R/3 (IBM claims 1,800), which is about the same number up on HP-UX. IBM consultants are SAP’s second largest source of consulting revenue behind Andersen Consulting. SAP is currently re- fashioning its ABAP development environment to support object- oriented programming techniques – it’s working with IBM on some aspects – and says it will use Java in some unspecified way.

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