SAP AG announced this week that it has acquired substantially all of A2i, Inc., a privately held software company, to broaden the master data management capabilities of the SAP NetWeaver open integration and application platform. The acquisition is part of SAP's continuing strategy to identify and acquire businesses that can help SAP deliver the most innovative suite of products available, helping customers address specific business challenges for competitive advantage. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"This acquisition is a perfect example of SAP's continued strategy to deliver the most complete and innovative set of products available to our customers," said Henning Kagermann, chairman and CEO, SAP AG. "We are not looking for huge acquisition targets, nor do we want to buy market share or customers; rather we will seek to acquire and integrate those complementary technologies that we do not yet have or cannot develop at comparable cost or speed ourselves. This acquisition strategy allows SAP to continue to provide solutions that seamlessly integrate, helping customers leverage their existing IT investments, keeping down technology costs while maximizing return on investment."
Available in the fall of 2004 as an update to the 2004 version of SAP NetWeaver, SAP Master Data Management (SAP MDM) will incorporate new capabilities gained from the acquisition of A2i's xCat suite. Specifically, xCat will complement and extend the existing capabilities of SAP MDM with comprehensive support for enterprise-wide product content management (PCM), more powerful data aggregation and harmonization and improved Web-based electronic catalogs for both sell-side and procurement deployments.
The enhanced solution will also add entirely new functionality in the areas of high-performance search, intelligent image and document management and print catalog publishing. In addition, illustrating the capabilities of a well-designed horizontal platform that can be used to deliver vertical solutions, SAP will deliver an integrated global data synchronization (GDS) solution for the retail and consumer product vertical markets that conforms to the EAN.UCC standard with specific support for UCCnet and Transora data pools.
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