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Special Feature: Custom Development

by SAP and Partners | SAPinsider

October 1, 2003

by SAP and Partners SAPinsider - 2003 (Volume 4), October (Issue 4)
 

Bring Your Unique Business Needs to SAP’s Global Custom Development Services for Made-to-Order Solutions


Harald Stuckert
Senior Vice President and General Manager, SAP’s Global Custom Development Services (GCDS)
>>INSIDE<<
SAP and Adobe: Delivering Next-Generation Business-Critical Communications

Citrix Helps SAP Improve Efficiency and Customer Service Within Their Global Solution Center

BMC Software Increases Value for SAP Customers

Now IT’s Getting Personal: How SAP Ensures Secure, Role-Based Network Connectivity for Appropriate Information Access, Whether You’re an Employee or a Guest

No Strings Attached: Intermec and SAP Demonstrate Real-Time Enterprise Visibility and Best-of-Breed Mobile Solutions

Kaba Benzing Data Collection Solutions for Higher Accuracy and Lower Costs in SAP Landscapes

LXE and SAP — Wireless Global Solutions Partners

Bring SAP Functionality and Business Processes to Your Mobile Workforce


It would be sheer hubris on the part of any software vendor to presume that its solutions could meet 100 percent of customer requirements 100 percent of the time. When you are talking about business applications that are actively used day in and day out, at some point in their lifecycle there is bound to be a unique requirement that cannot be addressed by the standard software.

For SAP customers, it may be the case that you’ve been using APO for production or transportation planning and now want APO customized to execute an algorithm that is unique to your way of doing things. Or it may be the case that you are upgrading to R/3 Enterprise and a very specific custom-built piece of functionality needs to be incorporated into your upgrade. Or perhaps, with the advent of your upgrade, you want to build a new piece of functionality from scratch and incorporate it into your SAP system. Or maybe you cannot upgrade just yet, but need a critical piece of functionality that is part of the next SAP product release to be infused into your current system. What if you need a custom-developed piece of software that is specific to your company, or you require integration between your SAP solution and a third-party solution? In situations such as these, what do you do?

You call SAP’s Global Custom Development Services.

We’re the ones who close the gap between what you want and what you’ve got. We bridge the gap between the functionality that is delivered with the standard SAP solution and the unique functionality you want to have, but could never expect to be delivered by any vendor as part of a standard offering. Our custom development activities are performed across all phases of a solution’s lifecycle, including discovery, evaluation, implementation, and operations. If you have such a requirement — and a lot of SAP customers do at some point or another — contact us.

Partners Within Our Global Solution Center

At our US site in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Custom Development Services are housed in the Global Solution Center (GSC), which is also privileged to host an Executive Demo and Briefing Center that is home to both SAP and 20 partners (and growing!) and their solutions. At this center, customers can see proof-of-concept demos and see how SAP, together with these key partners, can meet specific customer requirements.

There is intensive cooperation and integration among the participants in this Center, many of which are profiled in this SAP Insider Special Feature.

In the End, It’s About Mileage, Dollars, and Sense

In this day and age, as you look to support evolving business requirements, it obviously makes good sense to get more mileage from your current application landscape. Every customer organization I speak with wants to optimize the value it derives from its existing infrastructure and to reduce total cost of ownership. This is precisely the premise upon which SAP’s Custom Development Services are built!

Five Reasons to Enlist SAP’s Global Custom Development Services in Your Next Custom Development Project

1. We provide direct access to premier development resources that work elbow-to-elbow with your project team.

2. We deliver solutions that are synchronized with the SAP product roadmap and future SAP release strategy.

3. When developing custom software, we employ the very same world-class best practices used by SAP development teams to create standard SAP software — offerings that are built to withstand the most rigorous production environments.

4. We complement custom solutions with ongoing maintenance options.

5. We consistently deliver custom solutions that increase customers’ return on existing software, hardware, and people investments.

You see this premise built into our approach, into our deliverables (see Figure 1), and into our pricing models. We work with customers according to their business and budget requirements. We work on a streamlined time and materials basis, not by exorbitant fixed-fee rates. We also often enlist resources from the customer’s organization — this not only contains costs, it facilitates knowledge transfer between our experts and yours.

Figure 1
Custom Development Services

So if you have a custom development project and want to avoid mistakes or mitigate risks, contact us. If you want to see technology from any of the vendors who participate in our Newtown Square Center operate alongside ours in order to enhance the value of your current infrastructure, call us.

As a trusted resource, you can expect on-time, on-budget delivery of solutions that are fully synchronized with your existing (and future!) SAP solutions and that enable you to derive greater value from a broader solutions landscape. Given the current business climate, this will be key to achieving innovation without an untenable TCO burden in the months ahead.

Where in the World Is the Global Custom Development Services Organization?

SAP GCDS spans the globe.

The organization has a total of more than 500 developers and professionals working in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and India.

Harald Stuckert is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the SAP GCDS, based in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

Three Ways to Contact SAP’s Global Custom Development Services Organization

Visit www.sap.com/services/globalcds

Contact your SAP Account Executive

In the US, call 1-866-633-3413

Note: Partners who want to partner with SAP or participate in the SAP Global Solution Center (GSC) should contact Beth Wyrick in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, at +1 610-661-8365.

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SAP and Adobe: Delivering Next-Generation Business-Critical Communications

Harry Vitelli
Vice President of ePaper Business Development,
Adobe Systems, Inc.

We are very excited to be participating with GCDS, and in the SAP Executive Demo and Briefing Center with other leading enterprise technology and software providers, working directly with you to respond to current needs and develop powerful, cost-effective solutions for the future. With over five years of collaborating on output solutions for our customers, SAP and Adobe Systems, Inc. are now investing in development efforts to bring you the tools that enable you to bridge your highly structured transaction data with associated business processes. In enabling this vision, we will expand the boundaries of your business with intelligent, automated processes, seamlessly moving data in and out of SAP systems and eliminating the limitations of paper delivery, manual keying of data, and costly human intervention.

Designed with Your Business in Mind

SAP and Adobe are jointly collaborating on this next-generation solution that replaces paper forms with automated, digital forms that can be completed and returned online. These dynamic forms retain the visual format of recognized paper forms and are customized for the targeted recipient. Using Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) as a container for dynamic Extensible Markup Language (XML) content, the SAP and Adobe solution facilitates straight-through processing, or the end-to-end automation of workflows and processes.

What does this mean for SAP users? Not only will SAP users be able to generate personalized forms directly from SAP applications, but the new and updated data will flow back into SAP once forms are completed. This new solution eliminates the most cumbersome aspects of traditional document processing and ensures timely, competitive business-critical information reaches its most significant audience.

Built for Business Best Practices

As a result of the SAP and Adobe collaboration, businesses can embed best practices into documents that are delivered online. Millions of web users can easily complete complex forms and then return the data to an SAP system. For the first time, efficient end-user connections to your SAP systems can be established without the time and costs associated with human intervention. By automating forms-based communication with employees, customers, and business partners, there is a reduction in errors, exception handling, and data reentry, as well as an improvement in the quality of the data for “downstream” use.

“SAP manages enterprise business transactions and Adobe transforms static documents into workflow-driven dynamic interfaces that communicate across people, processes, applications and systems. Building on the market success with Adobe Output Pak for mySAP.com, Adobe is working with SAP to extend our offering and integrate SAP business-critical data and processes with electronic documents and workflows introducing new agility in business interactions with customers, employees, and business partners.”

Harry Vitelli

Reduced Total Cost of Ownership

Any change in business process can require expensive and time-consuming customization to line-of-business applications. For small and medium-sized business, simply implementing the forms-based aspect of a new system can represent a large portion of the new system deployment cost. How does the SAP and Adobe solution address these concerns?

SAP and Adobe will introduce an easy-to-use development environment that features a full complement of design, data-extraction, and deployment tools that eliminate the need for customized programming or investment in costly preprinted forms that may become quickly outdated. These Adobe document rocess–driven solutions will integrate directly into SAP and other applications, without impacting core systems. Additionally, costly paper-based files are replaced with electronic PDF archives, which are easily searchable and maintainable.

To protect your existing investments in SAP solutions and forms, the new joint solution guarantees an evolutionary path from today’s existing solutions — including SAPscript and SAP Smart Forms — while protecting previous forms creation efforts and output.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

With the new SAP and Adobe solution, you can improve customer satisfaction and increase your competitiveness. By enabling automatic round-trip for every forms-based process that touches your customer (see Figure 1), you can track the entire process and ensure that your customers’ needs are attended to promptly and intelligently.

Figure 1
The New SAP and Adobe Solution Enables Automatic Round-Tripping for Forms-Based Processes

Stay head of competition by offering customers timely, personalized offers — all through an automated process that allows each member of the transaction chain to move quickly without changing line-of-business applications. Because data extraction and organization processes are separated from the visual design via easy-to-use tools, you can quickly respond to changes in products, business processes, and marketing messages.

Expanding Enterprise Boundaries

The ability to output intelligent digital documents is a crucial advantage, and tying enterprise applications directly to customer- and business partner-facing materials creates a competitive advantage, but the advantages loom larger still when static documents evolve into dynamic interactive processes. There are enormous challenges in automating and accelerating these document-based processes that have traditionally slowed the pace of business. With over five years of proven past collaborative efforts, SAP and Adobe share this similar vision of business-critical document-based processes for the enterprise that empowers people to collaborate dynamically within the enterprise and beyond organizational boundaries.

To receive more information on the SAP and Adobe partnership, please visit www.adobe.com/enterprise/partners/sap.html and www.sap.com.

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Citrix Helps SAP Improve Efficiency and Customer Service Within Their Global Solution Center


Michel Koopman
Senior Corporate Development Manager,
Citrix Systems, Inc.

SAP customers searching for examples of a better way to give geographically distributed workers fast, consistent access to applications and data need look no further than SAP itself. SAP AG uses Citrix® MetaFrame® Presentation Server software to centrally manage their SAPGUI, Business Warehouse, Microsoft® Office, and other applications and rapidly deploy them to over 30,000 employees around the world.

Anyone can appreciate the benefits: higher employee productivity, lower IT costs, and improved application performance.

“A couple of thousand miles of ocean lie between Pennsylvania and Germany, so Citrix really helps us work globally.”

—Michael Santilli,
Manager of Technology Innovation
Management Team, SAP Global
Custom Development Services

Citrix in Action

To see the Citrix solution in action at SAP, we can turn to the company’s Global Solution Center in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. The Center is a strategic element of the Global Custom Development Services (GCDS) organization. GCDS implemented MetaFrame Presentation Server software to help its team members — located in Germany, India, and Japan as well as in the US — rapidly design custom solutions for SAP customers. Now more than 500 developers and project managers can work on project files, data, and other information by remotely accessing half-a-dozen applications running on MetaFrame Presentation Server in Walldorf, Germany.

Prior to the Citrix implementation, these applications were installed on each user’s PC and caused serious desktop support, performance, and application management challenges. “Our large development staff does customization to enhance our core products for customers,” said Michael Santilli. “We create virtual teams of people who need access to the same applications, files, and documents so they can collaborate. Previously, installing and upgrading applications was labor-intensive because a support person had to visit each desktop. In addition, we had serious performance issues over low-bandwidth networks when people connected to local file servers from remote locations.”

Concerned with improving efficiency and customer service through better application access, the SAP GCDS organization evaluated several options but faced high costs and complexity — until Citrix.

"Citirx MetaFrame Presentation Server has greatly improved our ability to rapidly deploy and effectively manage a broad range of applications to our employees, regardless of where they are located or which type of client device they are using."

— Reiner Schmitt, Project Manager for Windows Terminal
Server at SAP AG

Faster Application Access with Less Administration

Citrix solved desktop support and bandwidth issues while offering substantial cost savings. “Citrix provides a work setting that makes it seem as if applications and files are running on the desktop — but without the headaches of desktop administration,” said Santilli. Application management is done from the server, and even support can be provided remotely through the use of session shadowing. Because only minimal data — keystrokes, mouse clicks, and screen updates — are transmitted across the network between client and server, bandwidth has ceased to be a problem. Now GCDS employees require only 15Kbps for an optimized application session. “Instead of waiting 40 or 50 seconds to launch PowerPoint, for example, our teams get access in less than five seconds — and that means higher productivity and satisfaction,” said Santilli.

This server-centric model provides the benefits of consolidation as well. Instead of multiple local servers requiring on-site support, GCDS has consolidated them into a smaller number of centralized Citrix servers — and reduced hardware and administrative costs.

SAP Customers Use Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server

With over 50 million licensed users worldwide, many major organizations across the globe — including Chevron, Dresdner Bank, Motts, Nestle, Porsche, and Rubbermaid — have also implemented Citrix to manage and deploy SAP applications.

For instance, Engen, a major South African automotive fuels and lubricants company, used Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server to deploy SAP upgrades to users at 100 depots. According to Andries van der Vyver, eBusiness Manager at Engen, “The upgrade to SAP R/3 from SAP R/2 could not have been done as quickly without Citrix. It would have taken weeks to roll out the new SAPGUI to all our depots. However, with Citrix it literally took us hours.”

Citrix has reduced Engen’s administrative costs as well. “The support cost for our remote sites is approximately one-third using the Citrix solution, when compared to what it would have cost to maintain and support a user in a normal PC environment.”

Customers appreciate the value that Citrix delivers. In an online poll conducted by SAP FAQ,1 a 15,000-member online resource for more than 1,000 global organizations using SAP solutions, Citrix access infrastructure software was one of 25 companies recognized as having the greatest positive impact on members’ SAP implementations over the past year.

Benefits of Deploying SAPGUI with Citrix

Here are some of the reasons why customers, including SAP, deploy the SAPGUI with Citrix:

Saves time — rapid SAPGUI deployment

Predictable performance for remote and WAN users

Simplified administration, training (via shadowing), and support

Controlled and centralized management environment, minimal desktop management required for upgrades, etc.

Access from anywhere — on any device, over any network, wired or wireless

Reduce TCO — high performance from existing devices and connections

Integration of any application into an SAP Portal

Access for business continuity and connectivity for remote offices (e.g., application development performed in other countries)

Citrix and SAP Working Together

Citrix is an SAP Global Technology Partner, and SAP is a Premier Plus member of the Citrix Business Alliance™ program.
Citrix has dedicated on-site support resources at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.
Citrix has a global SAP Competence Center at SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.
SAP supports the deployment of SAPGUI on Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server.
SAP has selected MetaFrame Presentation Server to expand the application access capabilities of SAP Portal solutions.
SAP AG uses Citrix technology to manage and deliver a wide array of applications to employees, while Citrix runs its global business on SAP.

For further information please contact michel.koopman@citrix.com or visit www.citrix.com.


1 SAP FAQ is a user group founded by the University of Oldenburg in 1994.

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BMC Software Increases Value for SAP Customers


Mary Smars
Vice President
Product Line Executive,
BMC Software

Can 1 + 1 = 3? One instance where this equation does add up is in the partnership between BMC Software and SAP. Together, SAP and BMC Software provide customers with integrated and proven software solutions for three business-critical functions: the execution, monitoring, and management of end-to-end business services. This results in reduced complexity for lower cost of ownership and faster implementation of solutions and processes across your enterprise’s system landscape.

Availability, Performance, and ROI for Your SAP Solutions

This relationship builds on the strength of both BMC and SAP to deliver enhanced customer value through increased availability and performance of SAP solutions. With BMC products to help manage the SAP landscape, our joint customers benefit from an easy-to-implement, end-to-end management solution for heterogeneous environments.

BMC Software’s solutions for SAP help joint customers accelerate the return on their application investment. They do this by managing the customer’s entire SAP landscape, along with applications and services outside of the SAP system — and complementing the SAP NetWeaver approach, which embraces this same integration of third-party services, applications, and data.

Making the Shift to Business Services Management

Customers require their business services to be continually available, regardless of where in the landscape these services originate. Industry analysts refer to this as Business Service Management or BSM. BSM changes the focus of the IT infrastructure from managing systems to managing business services and reveals the impact of IT on the business. BMC Software solutions enable BSM and allow companies to harness heterogeneous, cross-functional business processes and link them to their supporting IT resources.

"In managing, supporting, and hosting SAP solutions on behalf of our customers, we provide and maintain very high levels of service. The business-critical nature of the SAP solutions within our customers' business means that the assurance of optimum performance and availability are crucial - we therefore utilize BMC's solutions to provide this assurance, ultimately helping us to serve our customers better."

— Stuart Mills, SAP Service Center Manager
for global IT consultancy and services provider LogicaCMG

 

Customers See Concrete Benefits from the BMC Software and SAP Relationship

BMC has a strong history of focusing on SAP solutions and customers. In fact, BMC Software is one of the few SAP software partners to receive the “SAP Global Partner — Software” distinction.

Customers will also find BMC solutions available for demonstration in SAP’s Executive Demo and Briefing Center at SAP America’s headquarters in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. In this state-of-the-art setting, customers and prospects can view online demonstrations of how solutions from BMC Software can enhance the management of their SAP solutions through simplified data collection and analysis.

BMC Software offers the following products with certified integrations for SAP solutions:

  • PATROL for SAP Solutions V4.2 —business information management solution

  • CONTROL-D Option V1.3 for SAP solutions — output management solution

  • CONTROL-M Option V1.6 for SAP solutions — business integrated scheduling solution

  • CONTROL-SA/Agent for SAP solutions — enterprise security solution

To learn more about BMC Software’s solutions for the SAP marketplace, please visit www.bmc.com/sapalliance.

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Now IT’s Getting Personal: How SAP Ensures Secure, Role-Based Network Connectivity for Appropriate Information Access, Whether You’re an Employee or a Guest


Steve Hargis
Program Manager,
User Personalized Networking,
Enterasys Networks

One of the greatest challenges facing enterprises is ensuring that users have access to the critical resources they require, when they need them. At the same time, greater accessibility requires you to secure your corporate resources. To do this, the network needs to recognize users as soon as they log on and automatically provide the tools they need — no matter if it is SAP, email, or Web access.

Such was the case at the Executive Demo and Briefing Center at SAP America’s Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, headquarters. Here, customers are brought together with SAP application experts to see SAP solutions in action. SAP needed a solution to ensure that SAP employees working in the Global Solution Center could use corporate technology, but that Center visitors could gain needed access to the Internet — all without compromising network security.

In the past, SAP provided employee and guest connectivity either by connecting the facility to the corporate network or by extending Internet-only access to areas where connectivity was needed. While these solutions may have worked for the interim, neither was an ideal long-term solution: With the entire facility connected to the internal network, network security was at risk. Yet with only the Internet available, employee access was more complicated — SAP employees needed to use virtual private network (VPN) client software from within the Newtown Square location simply to access SAP’s own internal network!

Benefits of Enterasys Networks’ User Personalized Network

Ensures secure/reliable access based on a user’s role within an organization
Protects critical information across wired and wireless networks
Delivers automation and system-level control to lower the cost of administration, implementation, and troubleshooting
Enables application growth and expansion
Increases productivity through improved access to data/applications
Provides faster trouble resolution by viewing the network as a single entity
Delivers personalized service to internal and external users wherever they log on

Enterasys User Personalized Network Meets the Challenge

SAP found the right solution in Enterasys User Personalized Network (UPN).

A unique, policy-based system that allows the network to allocate resources based on specific users and their roles, Enterasys UPN enables SAP to offer guests connectivity to the Internet or their own corporate VPN. At the same time, SAP employees can have access to the internal information they need.

Enterasys UPN accomplishes this by enabling SAP to create two distinct roles: The enterprise user role is for SAP employees who connect to the network and access corporate information — email, file and print sharing, and SAP business applications — as if they were in their own cubicle. The guest user role is for the visitor who will connect to limited IT resources.

To deliver the benefits of UPN, ports are set to require authentication and incorporate MAC address limiting, whereby only a single MAC address (a computer’s unique hardware number) that authenticates the port is allowed full access. A static policy of “guest” access provides only Internet connectivity to users who do not authenticate.

“With UPN, SAP employees and guests have the resources they need,” says Martin Smith, SAP Systems Engineer, “but we’re assured that corporate resources are protected.”

For more information on the Enterasys User Personalized Network (UPN), visit www.enterasys.com/upn.

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No Strings Attached: Intermec and SAP Demonstrate Real-Time Enterprise Visibility and Best-of-Breed Mobile Solutions


Kate Rafferty-Coronado
Director Global Alliance Program,
Intermec

SAP and Intermec’s customers not only have the benefit of coming to the SAP Global Solution Center to experience SAP solutions in the Executive Demo and Briefing Center, but they can also get an up-close look at Intermec’s wireless solution. The Global Solution Center uses Intermec’s wireless infrastructure and the Intermec 700 color mobile computer (see Figure 1) to showcase how information can be collected accurately and reliably for SAP e-business solutions — whether employees are on the road or on the plant floor.

Figure 1
   Intermec 700 Color Mobile Computer

In today’s highly competitive environment, companies expect more efficiency and productivity from every available resource.

Getting the most out of your system — especially when your workforce is located at far-flung sites, where data consistency is business-critical, or where employees are constantly out in the field — takes an intimate knowledge of hardware, software, and information technology systems and how they can work together. No matter what your industry, chances are Intermec and SAP have already broken ground there.

“Intermec’s devices are an ideal platform for our clients to run GCDS-developed custom handheld applications.”

—Tom Jones,
Engagement Manager,
Custom Mobile Applications,
SAP GCDS

Intermec provides data automation and mobile computing solutions to enhance the functionality of an SAP enterprise system by providing real-time, accurate information to its users. So you can count on SAP and Intermec to help you choose the products and services that are right for you today — and that extend your investment with a clear upgrade path for the future.

“The strength of the SAP/Intermec alliance is its ability to offer SAP customers seamless, timely information, from deployment of a backend SAP enterprise application to the frontend collection of real-time, accurate data,” said Intermec Director Kate Rafferty-Coronado. “The Intermec 700 Series mobile computers at the SAP Executive Demo and Briefing Center are indicative of the technology Intermec offers. They’re rugged, full-feature wireless computers for serious enterprise mobility.”

It’s no coincidence Intermec products and systems, from printers and mobile computers to wireless networking and RFID technologies, are used daily by nearly every Fortune 1000 company. You can expect more from Intermec, so your customers can expect more from you.

For more information on Intermec, please visit www.intermec.com.

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Kaba Benzing Data Collection Solutions for Higher Accuracy and Lower Costs in SAP Landscapes


Michael Register
Vice President,
Business Development and Marketing,
Kaba Benzing America

When Kaba Benzing’s data collection software became part of the solution set at the SAP Global Solutions Center last year, it was part of the natural progression in the longstanding relationship between SAP and Kaba Benzing — a relationship that began back when SAP was a start-up company with 35 employees. In the nearly three decades since, one key to the growth and success of both companies is the solutions and value we deliver to our mutual customers.

Why SAP’s Executive Demo and Briefing Center Chose Kaba Benzing

At the SAP Executive Demo and Briefing Center — a strategic part of the SAP Global Custom Development Services organization — SAP sought a solution for their data collection efforts that:

  • Complemented the functionality of SAP R/3.

  • Was offered by an established partner with a proven track record of success.

  • Included a technology platform from which SAP could develop new, innovative applications.

In the case of Kaba Benzing, the solution is its B-COMM for SAP ERP connectivity software for SAP R/3, along with a complete line of time and labor terminals (see Figure 1) for automating the collection and validation of employee and production information. This software connects to SAP HR Time Management, SAP Production Planning (PP), SAP Plant Maintenance (PM), and SAP Cross Application Time Sheet (CATS). It is currently installed at over 750 SAP customers around the world, such as Kraft Foods, Novartis, and BMW.

Figure 1
   B-NET 9580 Touch Screen Terminal with B-COMM for SAP

How SAP Customers Benefit from Kaba Benzing’s B-COMM Solution

Although it might seem a small part of an overall enterprise solution, B-COMM is key in helping ensure that SAP R/3 receives accurate, cost-effective, and real-time employee and production data from operations on the floor. With this data, SAP R/3 becomes even more effective in planning, executing, and reporting on operations and events in the enterprise:

  • Accuracy — Keying or handwriting information down is extremely error-prone. Automatic identification technology (proximity, bar code, magnetic stripe, etc.) ensures that the data collected is accurate, especially when the information is validated with data from SAP R/3.

  • Cost-effective — Erroneous data in SAP R/3 can lead to costly planning mistakes, and the time required to record information is non-productive. Automating data collection with B-COMM can avoid the costs and time associated with manually recording and entering data.

  • Real-time data — Access to real-time (in the front end system) or near-real-time data is critical to making decisions based on accurate information. If it takes days or weeks to get access to employee or production information, it greatly impedes decision-making.

Of course, TCO must be outweighed by these significant benefits. The good news? The TCO for the B-COMM solution results in an ROI generally measured in just months.

For more information on Kaba Benzing, visit www.kaba-benzing-usa.com.

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LXE and SAP — Wireless Global Solutions Partners


Barry Petenbrink
Business Development — ERP Sales,
LXE

LXE, an SAP Global Technology Partner since 1999, offers a complete line of rugged, reliable, and secure wireless computers that support SAP Mobile Engine applications, SAPConsole, and Web-enabled mobile applications.

At SAP’s Executive Demo and Briefing Center, you can experience live SAPGUI demonstrations on LXE’s full-screen, color vehicle-mount computers and handheld computers (see Figure 1). Security issues — a concern for companies interested in protecting their data whether using encryption, WEP, or LEAP approaches — can be addressed and demonstrated over the wireless network using the multilevel protection provided by SAP applications. With LXE and SAP, inventory, shop floor, and labor data are transmitted directly to SAP software applications securely, in real time, without the use of middleware.

Figure 1
   Wireless Computers from LXE

To complement LXE’s complete line of mobile computing solutions, we offer SAP users award-winning service and support. LXE was recently awarded the Mobile Star Award™ for customer satisfaction in mobile hardware. In addition, market research firm Moore & Symons recently completed a study that came to the same conclusion — service and support is what LXE can do better than anyone.

When you choose LXE you’ll receive:

Our absolute commitment to long-term customer service and support — it’s what we do best.
Rugged reliable products built to withstand the harshest physical, climatic, and industrial conditions.
Products that are simple to operate, because “simple to operate” means a more productive worker.
Industry-standard solutions, not proprietary solutions, which saves money and increases system flexibility.
Secure solutions. As the first to implement Cisco’s LEAP security in the DOS environment, LXE is committed to providing you with the security you need.
Scalable technologies, providing a migration path from legacy systems to the latest in client server solutions for a better ROI.

And finally, LXE is nimble enough, and has been around long enough, to be able to tailor our technologies to a client’s specific needs.

For more information and free white papers from LXE, including “802.11a Wireless Network Issues in the Warehouse (vs. 802.11b),” visit www.lxe.com, email us at info@lxe.com, or call us at 1-800-664-4593.

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Bring SAP Functionality and Business Processes to Your Mobile Workforce


Duncan Smith
Senior Vice President,
Global Solutions,
Psion Teklogix

For many SAP customers, extending R/3 functionality beyond the desktop to the mobile workforce is a key challenge. Companies looking to further streamline workflow are exploring mobile technologies for improved efficiencies, faster response, reduced costs, and higher productivity. The challenge is selecting the best infrastructures and appropriate devices for your SAP business applications.

Together, Psion Teklogix and SAP are meeting this challenge. Both share a common focus — creating technology, services, and infrastructure that mobilize SAP applications for immediate access to business information anywhere, anytime. The goal is to provide solutions that allow employees throughout the enterprise — from the sales office to the loading dock — to gather, enter, and share information interactively.

When SAP wanted to develop a generic Radio Frequency (RF) interface to the Warehouse Management (WM) module, they turned to Psion Teklogix as a leader in RF solutions. Capitalizing on Psion Teklogix’ three decades of data collection experience, SAP and Psion Teklogix worked closely during the development and testing of SAPConsole, SAP’s RF solution that ensures seamless integration of wireless terminals with WM.

Psion Teklogix then created TEKConsole, which offers a superset of the features available in SAPConsole, including two additional online interface mechanisms to SAP and two device communications protocols: HTML for industry-standard Web appliances and Psion Teklogix’ optimized RF protocol for backward compatibility for existing customers.

Both our TEKConsole interface software and our wireless industrial data collection terminals are featured at the SAP Executive Demo and Briefing Center at the Global Solutions Center in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. This unique venue provides an ideal forum for showcasing how our solution complements SAP mobile business. In a live interactive environment, customers can view an optimized presentation of SAP information to meet their specific requirements and instantly see the significant productivity benefits. For example, TEKConsole’s unique drag-and-drop transaction management and terminal screen-manipulation wizards instantly allow changes to the look-and-feel of standard Mobile Data Entry (MDE) or Task and Resource Management (TRM) transactions. Screens are optimized to make the most of the variable screen geometries associated with handheld and vehicle-mounted terminal hardware, all without modifying any ABAP code.

Based on three decades of data collection experience, Psion Teklogix helps customers choose the right technology to maximize a rapid ROI, with comprehensive answers to the challenges of managing mobile information for your business, processes, employees, and customers. Focused on developing solutions for manageability and user-friendly operations, our software provides customers with the tools for developing, testing, and customizing their mobile business.

Our SAP Integration Practice has implemented over 400 wireless solutions worldwide. So whether you’re looking at SAPConsole for MDE or TRM, the SAP Mobile Engine, or a best-of-breed solution to extend SAP information access to your mobile workforce, Psion Teklogix can assist you in designing and implementing a configurable solution with a custom fit.

We integrate best-of-class appliances including rugged industrialized terminals, hand-held computers, printers, and peripherals, and our network experts can design and deploy a wireless LAN or WAN environment that will alleviate your security and availability concerns.

With global expertise and extensive background mobilizing SAP R/3, we can provide a total picture of the value, impact, and benefits of mobile and wireless technologies.

For more information on Psion Teklogix, see www.psionteklogix.com.

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