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SAP, Interpath shake on hosting pact

SAP America and Interpath Communications ink a deal to provide hosted financial and human resources applications to small and medium-sized businesses.

SAP America and Interpath Communications today said they will provide hosted financial and human resources applications to small and medium-sized businesses.

SAP, an enterprise resource planning software maker and Interpath, an applications service provider, said they will offer SAP Accelerated Financial and Accelerated Human Resources applications to companies in the southeastern United States starting later this year.

By securing SAP applications on Interpath's network, businesses will benefit from a quick set-up and a single point of contact for their business services, such as billing, payroll, and accounting, the companies said.

Applications hosting and outsourcing provides a third party to keep an eye on daily system concerns, such as system failures, software updates, security issues, and expanding storage needs. Hosting is an alternative for companies too small to afford the substantial investment in computing infrastructure needed to support SAP and other business applications.

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based Interpath's SAP play is the first time it has delved into application hosting, whereas in the past, the company has primarily offered messaging hosting, the company said. It has so far kept a low profile in the hosting market, preferring to spend money on infrastructure rather than marketing, the firm added.

"This is a significant development for small to medium-size enterprises," Interpath COO Peter Borbely said in a statement. Many smaller businesses lack the internal technology and operations required to build and maintain enterprise business applications such as the ones offered through SAP, Borbely added.

It gives companies the opportunity to gain the benefits of the SAP Accelerated HR and Accelerated Financials applications in a "cost-effective, easy-to-manage, and highly secure manner," he said.

Both companies said that customers will benefit from lower costs, a simple monthly charge, and constant monitoring at Interpath operations for customer security and quality of services. In addition, Interpath will provide training for customers via TeamSAP.

Interpath said that it will run its new SAP Accelerated Financials and Accelerated HR applications on Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating environment, enterprise servers, and StorEdge storage systems.

Interpath said it will offer the SAP financials application by its upcoming third quarter to businesses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia using Interpath's fiber-optic network and the Interpath Operations Center, or IOC. The SAP human resources application will be available in the fourth quarter under similar licensing terms. Interpath said its IOC provides companies management and control of the network, systems, and applications.

Applications hosting will be available on a fixed price, per-seat/per-month basis, which is still being determined at this time, according to an Interpath spokeswoman.