SAP, eBay Setup Industrial B2B Marketplace

SAP AG has decided it is better to work with eBay for its front end, rather than try to build B2B marketplaces
on its own.

As eBay looks to cultivate its software trading mechanism for major
business-to-business transactions, SAP wants to create a location where its
nearly 20,000 customers can get rid of excess inventories in a
cost-effective and timely manner.

The new venture will provide product data and automatic scheduling eBay
listings on the frontend, while the backend will use SAP applications.

With SAP’s huge market share in the enterprise applications sector, the new
service will be specifically targeted to SAP’s customers as an eBay auction
module and transaction system for a variety of enterprise markets.

SAP is positioning itself as the broker for companies looking to put idle
assets, used capital equipment and warehoused inventory up for buy and sale.

The new service will leverage SAP’s NetWeaver technology, software and
services, while eBay’s APIs will be integrated with SAP R/3 and mySAP CRM
software.

The announcement was made Monday at SAPPHIRE ’03, SAP’s international
customer conference being held in Orlando, Florida, June 16-18.

“The new joint solution consists of software and services and will leverage
eBay’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect to eBay’s online
services and provide the integration and tight interoperability of data from
SAP R/3 and mySAP CRM to the eBay marketplace. SAP NetWeaver, the leading
open integration and application platform, will serve as the necessary
technology backbone for end-to-end integration, providing the adaptability
and extensibility for extracting key functionality from SAP solutions and
making it available as a service for the customer,” the companies said in a
press release.

“The offering will include an integrated auction management system that
automatically schedules eBay listings, aggregates product data, and
generates and manages listings
on the eBay marketplace,” the statement said.

On June 12, BlueStar Solutions said that eBay renewed and added new services
to its SAP contract for the next three years. Under the new deal, eBay has
added SAP’s BW (Business Intelligence) application module and selected
BlueStar Solutions’ Enhanced Disaster Recovery Services option. BlueStar
Solutions has been providing services to eBay for SAP R/3, SAP Financials,
and SAP Human Resources since June 2000.

SAP and eBay said they will initially focus this new initiative in North
America, and will focus on Europe in the near future. The partners said the
joint initiative would be available in the first quarter of 2004, and it is
working with W.W. Grainger, Inc., which is a major supplier of facilities
maintenance products.

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