German software giant SAP is shelling (U.S.) $400 million for its technology partner TopTier Software, a maker of portal software and integration products, according to AMR Research’s daily report on technology issues.
SAP currently uses TopTier as the drag-and-relate technology within mySAP. Itls TopTier’s technology running underneath mySAP that would grab, for example, a FedEx account number of a role-based user and drop it into mySAP.
SAP sees a definite role for TopTier, which will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, within its larger technology plans. SAP is finally realizing it is not the only software system its customers and its customers’ partners are using. It also sees that private exchanges mean many systems need to be acknowledged and accommodated, according to AMR’s Dave Boulanger and Randy Weston. So, as SAP stretches its and partner Commerce One’s joint product MarketSet to handle a variety of Enterprise Commerce Management (ECM) functions such as collaborative Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) with planning and execution, it will need to create a workflow veneer to sit across the disparate systems in a private marketplace. Enter TopTier.
Boulanger and Weston also say the TopTier may have been a defensive move to keep TopTier from providing technology to SAP competitors. TopTier has deals with Baan and i2 Technologies among others. SAP competitors like Oracle and PeopleSoft are also heavily investing in portal strategies.