SAP Portal Powers Getronics’ U.S. Intranet

SAP Portals Inc., the portal-providing subsidiary of Germany’s SAP AG,
said Tuesday that it has signed on to make its unification
portal the base for Amsterdam-based Getronic’s enterprise portal.

Financial terms of the deal were not made public. Specifically, IT solutions
and services provider Getronics will unleash the new SAP-powered portal this
September to its 4,000 employees to improve employee-to-employee
collaboration. A preliminary version is already being test-run by 600 U.S.
staffers, who use it for expense management and human resource applications.

The goal, as with most portals, is to provide greater unification to workers
who inhabit in remote, or even home offices.
Getronics US evaluated several portal vendors (the firm would not specify
who, but top enterprise portal providers include Sybase, Plumtree and
Eprise, all of whom compete with SAP in this space) and picked SAP “based on
a broad collection of strengths, including industry-leading cross-product
integration and low implementation cost.” Interestingly, perhaps SAP’s key
draw, according to Getronics, was how well it worked with Microsoft servers
and applications within the portal.

“We needed a technology that enabled us to bring our back-office ERP
information onto the manager’s e-business desktop,” said Glen Slater, vice
president of e-Business for Getronics US. “After a comprehensive evaluation
of a number of portal solutions currently available on the market, SAP
Portals was the only vendor that offered a solution with a unified platform
and the scalability and adaptability to grow with our company. SAP Portals
is now helping us support the increasing demand from our employees, clients
and partners for real-time access to mission-critical information stored in
our enterprise applications and systems.”

Michael Murdock, president and CEO of Starphire Technologies, which
specializes in content management services, talked about the importance of
intranets in a study.

Murdock said Intranet development is particularly important for
organizations with multiple offices or staff working from remote locations,
as well as for larger organizations with less frequent personal interaction
between management and employees.

“Internal communications is a ‘management down’ issue,” Murdock said. “If
management encourages the sharing of information with and among employees,
the intranet becomes a great tool.”

So, then, Getronics’ play makes sense.

“With good staff at a premium, more organizations are realizing the
importance of effective employee communications in gaining and retaining the
best employees,” said Murdock. “Using the intranet as a communications forum
or ‘one-stop shop’ for staff may well become a critical tool for employers
of all sizes.”

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