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SAP adds to warehouse apps

An investment in Israeli-based Ofek-tech supports SAP's focus on enhancing the R/3 existing warehouse management application.

German software giant SAP is spreading its flagship R/3 software system to even more corners of corporate computing environments, this time to the warehouse.

The Waldorf, Germany-based maker of business process automation software announced today that it is buying a majority stake in Ofek-tech, an Israeli-based maker of warehouse and distribution logistics management software.

Financial details of the deal were not released. But for its stake, SAP will gain Ofek-tech's flagship product DC-Master, which regulates the flow of goods and most operations in a warehouse. SAP also gains Ofek-tech's expertise in warehouse management and a development staff to build products specifically for R/3.

SAP executives said the development effort is specifically focused on enhancing the R/3 existing warehouse management application at the execution layer of warehouse and transportation management and on supporting the flow of goods along the supply chain.

While SAP has already certified the application programming interface between DC-Master and R/3, it plans to more deeply integrate the products with future releases. In the meantime, DC-Master will continue to be available to customers until the enhanced warehouse management is generally available.

SAP today also announced an alliance with Price Waterhouse World Energy Group, a professional services arm of the consultancy that deals specifically with the energy industry.

The alliance and joint development effort is meant to allow SAP to enhance upstream functionality in its product for the oil and gas industry. While SAP currently supports upstream and downstream industry requirements such as joint-venture accounting, marketing and refining, and bulk transportation management, adding Price Waterhouse's product PinPoint will beef up the upstream product line.

SAP plans beta customer shipments of the new enhancements in mid-1999, with first customer shipment in late 1999.