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March 23, 2005

Seeburger super sizes with SAP

Privately held business-to-business integration vendor Seeburger claimed it is seeing tremendous growth and winning customers from more traditional integration software vendors, saying it has shot up from 275 to 475 employees in the last twelve months.

By CBR Staff Writer

UK managing director Rakesh Harji told ComputerWire that much of Seeburger’s claimed recent success is down to a deal signed with SAP in November 2002 which made Seeburger SAP’s preferred partner for B2B integration. Seeburger is said to complement the SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI) with adapters for business partner integration and EDI. SAP customers can now also directly purchase Seeburger adapters from SAP and get support via the SAP Services Marketplace (OSS).

As a privately held company, Seeburger does not break out its sales figures except under non-disclosure agreements with its largest customers, so it is not possible to corroborate its growth claims. The company also claims to have been profitable for every one of its 18-year history.

Seeburger sells what it calls a Business Integration Server that enables companies to deliver business to business (B2B) integration with all of their trading partners, and integration between enterprise applications such as ERP, supply chain management, finance, CRM, as well as the applications, marketplaces and portals of trading partners. It enables integration of paper-based transactions, web applications, EDI, XML and business process management (BPM).

The company’s Harji said the UK operation is winning five or six new deals every quarter, around 30% of all new business thanks to the SAP relationship. Today 1,500 of its 6,000 customers worldwide are also customers of SAP, although its software can also be integrated into other ERP platforms from the likes of Oracle and SSA Global. Customers that it has won with SAP in the UK include Diageo, WHSmith, and Rexam. Selling direct it has won the likes of P&O, Bentley and Yazaki.

According to Harji, it competes with the likes of fellow B2B integration player Sterling Commerce, as well as more generic integration players such as Tibco, SeeBeyond, webMethods and Vitria. What sets Seeburger apart, he claims, is that it can also handle all of a company’s paper-based B2B integration needs, while other companies have concentrated on electronic integration.

Founded in 1986 in Germany, Seeburger has 16 offices in Europe, the Americas, Australia and Hong Kong, and partners in Asia and Africa. 90% of the company’s shares are owned by founder and chairman Bernd Seeburger.

Asked whether Bernd Seeburger has any intention of taking the company public or selling it now that it appears to be a relatively mature organization, Harji said: With other companies suffering from public valuations and investor pressure I am not sure that [Bernd Seeburger] would want to take the company public. He is growing the international presence further and growing the brand presence very strongly. As for selling up, Harji said, There have been many offers on the table and he has turned every one down flat.

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