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Artificial Intelligence: News Item

SAP Makes Decisive Move in EDI

New EDI strategy likely to shake-up EDI integration market

SAP Session at Cloud Expo

It is not every day that BIG news comes out of the world of EDI and B2B. I think GXS acquiring Inovis was BIG and Tibco acquiring Foresight was interesting, but today SAP and Crossgate announced that SAP will be reselling and private labeling Crossgate's EDI, B2B and e-Invoicing services. In the world of SAP this is huge!

Some of you may know that SAP is already a co-owner of Crossgate, and that Crossgate's EDI/B2B exchange is tightly integrated with SAP, but it was always sold as a separate service on Crossgate's paper. Now SAP's field sales teams can sell it directly from SAP's price list.

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I have a lot of experience working with SAP's sales teams and can tell you that making it to the SAP price list makes a BIG difference. The solution will be called the SAP Information Interchange.

This appears to be a definitive move by SAP to compete directly against GXS, Sterling Commerce and WebMethods. Why would SAP want to compete with these companies? Because each of these legacy EDI vendors has chosen to enter direct competition with SAP. They have been adding more and more business processes to their cloud computing services and threatening to take business away from SAP. SAP is making a bold move now to eliminate the need for third party EDI and B2B service providers in favor of a simplified SAP supported environment.

That is not all the BIG news - In my research I came across a recent report from German daily business magazine Handelsbatt that stated the following, "SAP has filed for approval with the German Cartel office to buy an additional stake in Crossgate."

The announcement of SAP private labeling Crossgate's EDI/B2B Exchange and services, plus this report from the German Cartel's office seems to suggest that SAP has finalized their strategy for EDI and B2B processes now and in the future. These developments do not bode well for Seeburger or other legacy EDI vendors hoping to partner with SAP.

Crossgate Announces Global Reseller Agreement with SAP; Relationship Encompasses Next-generation B2B Strategy
Crossgate Inc., the global expert in business-to-business integration (B2B), has announced a global reseller agreement with SAP AG, through which SAP will resell Crossgate’s B2B engine and associated partner profiles under the name SAP® Information Interchange application by Crossgate. The solution, available today, allows customers to streamline business-to-business (B2B) processes and enables a business-ready network, and also demonstrates SAP’s continued commitment to delivering additional choice and flexibility to customers through collaboration with partners.

“We estimate that upwards of 50 percent of an organization’s revenue and spend is coordinated with other enterprises utilizing SAP applications,” said Stefan Tittel, CEO, Crossgate. “By utilizing enterprise services and SAP Information Interchange by Crossgate, thousands of SAP customers will be turned into one network and enabled for business-to-business information exchange, transaction execution, and collaboration with each other and with the outside world.”

SAP Information Interchange allows companies to exchange electronic purchase orders, forecasts, invoices, delivery notes and other documents directly from their SAP applications, eliminating the need for legacy B2B translators and electronic data interchange (EDI) mapping tools. SAP customers will now be able to purchase a trading-partner-specific profile rather than building, deploying and adapting one-to-one mappings every time a new business-partner requirement surfaces.

The initial interfaces of SAP Information Interchange will be based on standard intermediate document (IDOC) technology and extended to support enterprise services as defined in a joint solution roadmap. Through the use of enterprise services, all users of SAP solutions will be turned into one network and enabled for “out-of-the-box” information exchange, transaction execution, and collaboration with each other. The resulting business-ready network will help make SAP customers semantically compatible with each other and with the outside world, reduce today’s B2B costs, and make internal ERP processes independent from ever-changing B2B requirements of trading partners.

“In today’s global economy, companies need to meet the challenges of an ever-expanding network of customers and partners,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, senior vice president, SAP Business Suite Solution Management, SAP AG. “SAP Information Interchange by Crossgate expands our commitment to help our customers integrate business partners around the world, while leveraging the investments they have already made. Enterprise services form the foundation of our applications, and through our cooperation with vendors such as Crossgate, we will be extending that expertise to transform their business networks.”

 

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.

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