SAP Business By Design Adds Third-Party Web Services

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SAP today announced new collaboration agreements that allow SAP Business ByDesign users to more easily leverage web services from third-party providers, including:

Business and investment news. Users can access investment research and other data from Hoover’s, Morningstar, and Business Wire, Google News, and Google Finance, and combine it with their own information about customers and suppliers.

Mapping and address services. Users can map and route customers, suppliers and other contacts using services from Google Maps, MapQuest.com, Navteq/Map24, and Falk online.

Search. Users can leverage Google Web Search, and Google Product Search, and GoYellow.de, a German service that allows reverse phone lookup functionality.

Further web services are planned to be introduced in the next release of Business By Design in Q3 of 2009.

Frustratingly, no information was available about the extent of integration with these services, and how customers could proceed. As Chris Kanaracus reported in his article SAP adds Web Services to Business by Design:

It wasn’t immediately clear how deep the integrations are between the services and BBD. This is a key point, said Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang.

Just being able to call out to Google Maps from within the ERP suite has limited value, Wang said. But if the system could use sales data contained in BBD to create a “heat map” showing the hottest territories, “that would be pretty cool,” he said.

At some point more information may be available on Web Services area of the Business ByDesign marketplace (registration required). For now, it contains roughly the information as the press release.

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