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SAP reorganizes development group

German software maker SAP plans to reorganize its development staff in an effort to streamline its engineering and customer service activities, the company said Monday. SAP will reshuffle its development staff under three new groups, each overseen by an SAP board member and each with revenue and customer-satisfaction targets. The three groups are: Manufacturing Industries, Service Industries, and Financial and Public Services.

In addition, SAP plans to create a fourth development unit, called Application Platform and Architecture, which focuses on SAP's next-generation architecture. The company says the new architecture, which it outlined earlier this year, is one of its most important initiatives in years. It promises to make SAP's complex business-management applications easier to maintain and customize by incorporating popular IBM and Microsoft software development tools. SAP supplies software to more than 19,000 customers and competes with Oracle, Siebel Systems, and PeopleSoft in the business applications market.