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SAP Makes Decisive Move in EDI

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.

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 managed services, plus this report from the German Cartel’s office seems to suggest that SAP has solidified their strategy for EDI and B2B processes. 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

ATLANTA, Georgia – February 23, 2010 – 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.

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.

“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.”

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      Author's profile photo Prateek Raj Srivastava
      Prateek Raj Srivastava
      Hello Kevin,
      Thanks for sharing the news and your thoughts on this. Till now, SAP has recommended use of third party adapters like Seeburger to its customer base for EDI/B2B communication. Investing in such third party product is a Big decision for an organization as EDI is usually the most widely used format for them. In such scenario, wouldn't it be a bit unfair for them to understand that SAP's long term strategy is to move away from what they sold earlier?
      Best regards,
      Prateek Raj Srivastava
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I image SAP will support their older EDI strategy for sometime while they define and develop newer and better strategies for the future.
      Author's profile photo Sonal Sharma
      Sonal Sharma
      Hi Kevin,
      But Is it good for SAP PI future?

      Best Regards,

      Author's profile photo Laxman Molugu
      Laxman Molugu
      How will this co-exist with SAP PI?


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      SII will in fact utilize NetWeaver PI in the EDI hub.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I assume this will be another offering in SAP PI, exactly as Seeburger is it today, so Crossgate probaply will be offered as a special adapter with corresponding mapping programs etc etc