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SAP to offer new wireless business software

The business software giant hopes to augment declining sales with new business applications for handheld and wireless Internet devices.

SAP, hoping to augment declining business software sales, today announced new business applications for handheld and wireless Internet devices.

The business software giant said it will allow customers to access business applications, such as customer relationship and supply-chain management systems, via handheld devices. The company will augment its Internet portal to enable the wireless access.

SAP is the latest software company to recognize the growing popularity of wireless and handheld devices. Many analysts expect desktop computers to fade from prominence as the primary method of accessing the Internet, with smart cell phones and personal digital assistants emerging as a more popular alternative.

The firm is also in the middle of a shift to Web-based technology services and away from back-room enterprise resource planning (ERP) products, which have lagged in sales over the last few years. ERP companies, faced with plummeting financial results, are struggling to reinvent themselves. These firms have shifted research and development efforts to the Internet, announcing intentions to release Web-friendly applications and hosted services.

The new service delivers access to SAP's business applications and non-SAP systems through the support of multiple technologies such as radio frequency, HTML, WML (wireless markup language) and XML.

SAP competitor PeopleSoft in January said it has similar wireless access services for its new CRM (customer resource management) applications suite, Vantive eSales, a product that came out of its Vantive buy.