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HP taps SAP Web portal

The computing company plans to use internally on a worldwide basis, to develop a backbone that links its employees, customers and business partners.

Hewlett-Packard announced today a plan to use SAP's Web portal to help the computing company ship products faster and cut operational costs.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP, a longtime SAP business partner, said it plans to use internally to develop a backbone that links its employees, customers and business partners. is business software maker SAP's Internet strategy, incorporating a work portal employees can use as a hub for accessing Internet content, SAP's core R/3 business management software applications and other internal business applications--as well as a Net marketplace where businesses can procure goods and services from their partners and suppliers.

" allows any user within HP to access all applications with the click of the mouse," said Mayur Shah, a senior vice president in SAP's high tech industry sector. "It will become the main desktop application (for HP employees)."

Also today, HP is expected to announce its intention to integrate its electronic deal-making software, called "e-speak," with the marketplace.

HP uses SAP software to manage "back office" business functions including accounting, manufacturing, and logistics, most recently installing SAP's Internet product configurator.

Nick Earle, HP's chief marketing officer, said the company, which has between 5,000 and 10,000 R/3 users, will save money by using as a standard platform for collaboration and locating services on the Internet.

Through e-speak technology, HP also plans to add electronic brokering capabilities to the marketplace, which employees can use to find the right services online to suit their needs.

For example, if e-speak is used by British Airlines, a user could search for a specific passenger on a particular British Airlines flight and quickly gather that information, Earle said. The company can also use the system to track invoices and bill payment online--for a box of 500 pencils, for one example--using

Today's announcement is by far the first HP has made with SAP. Earlier this year, HP and SAP announced an initiative with Qwest, through which Qwest will host SAP R/3 applications on HP's platform. Over the past decade, there have been 5,500 SAP R/3 installations on HP systems. More than 100 companies have hired HP to outsource their SAP R/3 operations.