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SuSE First Linux SAP Partner

SuSE Linux got a boost in the enterprise world after being named a SAP technology partner, officials announced Monday.

Linux, an open source OS popular with computer enthusiasts and network administrators alike, has been making headway in the enterprise market lately, due in part to the increasing popularity and legitimacy of the platform's two largest private companies -- SuSE Linux and RedHat.

SAP has long supported Microsoft , Sun Microsystems and Unix companies as the premier platforms to run its e-business applications, but Linux' presence has been noticeably absent to date.

A lot of it has to do with the relative "newcomer" status the OS holds, and until recently, it was considered a platform used primarily by the end user. But in recent times, a growing number of big-name SAP customers have underscored Linux' use in the enterprise.

Last month, the federal government in Germany announced it would run its SAP e-government applications on Linux servers. Because of this, SAP officials are now warming to the prospect of bringing Linux into the fold, saying, "companies in the financially-restrained public services sector and firms who need to keep a tight rein on their budget are also migrating to Linux."

Back in May, Siemens AG officials said they were going to begin running SAP back-office applications on a Linux server.

In fact, SAP has been a big Linux fan, long before branding SuSE Linux with the "generally available for mySAP.com" moniker last year. It has embraced the potential of thousands of Linux developers developing custom SAP applications; so much so, SAP made its database application open source under the GNU General Public License in 2000.

As a "Global Technology Partner," SuSE Linux can sell its enterprise servers to SAP customers around the world, opening a door to corporations around the world who build their systems around their mySAP applications.

SuSE is in direct competition with another company providing a Linux-based enterprise service -- RedHat, which is releasing its latest OS upgrade today. Two weeks ago, Red Hat scored a win of its own in the enterprise community, working with IBM to deliver a clustered Oracle database on a Linux platform.

In related news, SAP board of directors announced the appointment of William McDermott as president and chief executive officer of SAP America, Inc., Monday. McDermott, 41, was enticed from Siebel Systems, where he was executive vice president for worldwide sales. He begins work at SAP Oct. 7.