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SAP adds retail with Campbell buy

The retail industry looks mmm! mmm! good to SAP. So good that the software giant is buying Campbell Software to beef up its current retail line.

The retail industry is looking mmm! mmm! good to SAP. So good that the software giant announced today that it is buying Campbell Software to supplement its current retail line.

Campbell, based in Chicago, is a maker of workforce automation software for the retail industry that includes time and attendance management. No financial details of the acquisition were released other than SAP America, and not its German parent, is making the purchase.

"Campbell Software is the leader in name recognition and market share in labor optimization, scheduling, and time and attendance for store operations," said Kevin McKay, chief executive officer, SAP America. "The combination of SAP Retail and our latest human resources offerings together with Campbell software, in particular with StaffWorks retail work force scheduling, makes SAP the clear leader in providing a comprehensive, integrated solution for the retail industry."

Campbell's products for the time being are to be sold as standalone components to compliment SAP's existing retail and human resource systems. In the meantime, SAP and Campbell developers will be working to more deeply integrate the products while still maintaining them as independent components, a key strategy for all of SAP's applications.

Campbell was already a software partner of SAP. Its products are used by major retail chains to keep an executive level view of labor costs, one of the more costly and controllable costs in the industry.

All the major enterprise resource planning vendors like SAP, PeopleSoft, Baan, and Oracle have been making major pushes into the retail industry, a relatively untapped and lucrative market for them.

PeopleSoft went as far as to buy leading retail software vendor Intrepid and Baan tied itself to JDA, also a major retail player. And Oracle hooked up with Richter Systems to serve the industry.

SAP and Campbell's deal is subject to regulatory and stockholder approval.