SAP, Google gearing up Google Apps, Business ByDesign integration

Some of the finer details still need to be ironed out

SAP and Google executives on Tuesday provided a preview of the companies' plans to tie their respective cloud-based business applications together, but a number of details have yet to be finalized.

The current plan is for SAP to deliver an integration between its Business ByDesign on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite and Google Apps early in the third quarter of next year, as part of a ByDesign feature pack update, said Bernd-Uwe Pagel, senior vice president of outsourcing and on demand ecosystem for SAP, during a conference call with press and analysts.

Business ByDesign is sold by subscription, as is Google Apps, and customers will need to license both products to take advantage of the integration. It's not completely clear whether ByDesign customers will be charged any extra fees to turn it on, however. "I don't foresee this will cost additional money," Pagel said.

SAP has long worked with Microsoft to integrate Office and SAP's ERP applications, and that relationship won't change, according to Pagel. "We have requests from customers and the Google Apps are great, so we think we need to have a level playing field here."

A number of customers are already working with SAP and Google on the integration, Pagel added. Google's APIs (application programming interfaces) for the Apps family are up to the task, but SAP intends to weave the software into ByDesign's process flows, which will take some time, he said. For example, one integration point might allow a ByDesign user making an appointment within the suite's CRM module to then push the entry into Google Calendar, Pagel said.

SAP is also "endorsing a couple of Google platforms as key standards," namely the Android mobile OS and Google App Engine, according to Pagel. Developers will be able to build applications on the App Engine and tie them into ByDesign, providing a broader ecosystem than that granted by SAP's own SDK (software development kit) for ByDesign.

The Apps integration will be available in France, the U.S. and UK during a pilot phase but will then be extended to other countries, according to Pagel. SAP also intends to offer the integration for its growing family of line-of-business on-demand applications, he said.

There's also an intent by both SAP and Google to encourage their resellers to offer each other's products, but the full details and scope of this plan weren't available Tuesday.

Several Google Apps resellers do sell ERP systems now, said Rahul Sood, director of product management at Google. "From the Google perspective, we're hoping SAP resellers take this opportunity to add Google Apps to their portfolio."

SAP is hoping to work with 10 to 15 Google resellers in the first half of next year, according to Pagel.

While the planned partnership could bring Google and SAP closer together, it's not clear if the relationship will ever be something approaching exclusive. For one, Google already has a high-profile partnership with Salesforce.com, which has been becoming a closer competitor to SAP of late. Salesforce.com recently announced the acquisition of startup Rypple as the first step in building a human-resource software division. The move came shortly after SAP's high-profile, $3.4 billion acquisition of HR vendor SuccessFactors.

Still, the move makes sense for both SAP and Google given the broad opportunities for cross-selling it provides. SAP claims some 88,000 small to medium-sized business customers, while Google says 4 million businesses use Google Apps.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleapplicationsenterprise resource planningSAPsoftwareinternetOffice suitescollaboration

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?