SAP builds a vertical deal

Business application software maker SAP strikes a deal with Aspect Development to extend its reach into the manufacturing industry.

Business application software maker SAP has struck a deal that will extend its reach in the manufacturing industry.

The German business applications titan has teamed with Mountain View, California-based Aspect Development (ASDV), maker of the Component and Supplier Management (CSM) system that helps engineers locate and purchase components used in electronics and other discreet manufacturing operations.

SAP has committed its worldwide sales force to market and sell the Aspect product, which has been tailored to integrate with SAP's R/3 application package.

Together, the companies said they form a bridge between engineering and procurement departments at large corporations, linking the supply chain to a degree that they say will lead to savings of time and money.

The move is the latest in an emerging trend by business applications makers, including SAP competitors PeopleSoft and Oracle to nurture new market segments for their products.

The Aspect CSM software includes a database of some 700 suppliers worldwide selling nearly 2 million electronic and electromechanical components, and a search engine to navigate the database. It also includes a tool that will let SAP customers add more suppliers and as many as 20,000 additional components to the database per week, the companies said.

The idea is to give SAP customers a way to use Aspect's component and supplier resources with business information such as lead time, supplier reliability, volume pricing, and logistics that are stored in SAP's R/3 enterprise resource planning software.