SAP and Cisco Expand Relationship, Collaborate to Develop New Breed of Network-Aware SOA Business Solutions

by Vitaly Popovich [Published on 24 April 2007 / Last Updated on 24 April 2007]


ATLANTA - April 23, 2007 - Further building on their relationship, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) and Cisco® Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that they have entered into a global market innovation agreement to jointly develop a new breed of business solutions that can transform how applications and networks interact. These new solutions are designed to enable the business network agility that is essential to bringing together customers, partners, suppliers and employees across geographically dispersed, highly heterogeneous business and information technology landscapes. SAP and Cisco intend to develop business solutions that support their shared visions of service-oriented architecture (SOA) and integrate the context of operational business applications with the intelligence captured throughout the network, providing customers with high levels of visibility, control and responsiveness across the extended enterprise. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE® '07, SAP's international customer conference, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 22 - 25.
The new network-aware solutions from SAP and Cisco will focus on removing the artificial separation between application infrastructure and network infrastructure to intelligently route traffic based on contextual business relevance. The solutions provide the enterprise with right-time response to significant business events in context, anywhere, anytime, and from any device. The first solution produced from the collaboration will include composite applications that address the need for an integrated network and application platform providing a holistic view of the extended enterprise for better management of compliance and risk in today's dynamic business environment. The companies also plan to integrate unified business communication, such as e-mail, voice and podcasting, into business process applications to increase responsiveness to selected process events.
"SAP and Cisco share a common perspective on the role of collab

ATLANTA - April 23, 2007 - Further building on their relationship, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) and Cisco® Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that they have entered into a global market innovation agreement to jointly develop a new breed of business solutions that can transform how applications and networks interact. These new solutions are designed to enable the business network agility that is essential to bringing together customers, partners, suppliers and employees across geographically dispersed, highly heterogeneous business and information technology landscapes. SAP and Cisco intend to develop business solutions that support their shared visions of service-oriented architecture (SOA) and integrate the context of operational business applications with the intelligence captured throughout the network, providing customers with high levels of visibility, control and responsiveness across the extended enterprise. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE® '07, SAP's international customer conference, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 22 - 25.

The new network-aware solutions from SAP and Cisco will focus on removing the artificial separation between application infrastructure and network infrastructure to intelligently route traffic based on contextual business relevance. The solutions provide the enterprise with right-time response to significant business events in context, anywhere, anytime, and from any device. The first solution produced from the collaboration will include composite applications that address the need for an integrated network and application platform providing a holistic view of the extended enterprise for better management of compliance and risk in today's dynamic business environment. The companies also plan to integrate unified business communication, such as e-mail, voice and podcasting, into business process applications to increase responsiveness to selected process events.

"SAP and Cisco share a common perspective on the role of collaboration, communication and intelligent connectivity in empowering users and enabling the borderless enterprise," said Doug Merritt, corporate officer and member of the Executive Council, head of Business User Development, SAP AG. "With SAP's business process expertise and Cisco's leadership in networking and IT infrastructure, we are uniquely positioned to help our customers maximize their global IT investments by delivering solutions that enable the right-time, intelligent and in-context business responses. This heightened degree of organizational insight and agility is essential to an organization's ability to realize the business transformation opportunity that is before us."

"The network has evolved from pure connectivity to a reliable, sophisticated, intelligent platform for communications and IT services, driving a transformation in the relationship between applications and networks," said Charles H. Giancarlo, chief development officer, Cisco. "Working with SAP to integrate business context into the pervasive network will redefine what it means to connect and interact. SAP and Cisco are committed to delivering business solutions that help customers respond faster to accelerated business change and take advantage of opportunity for growth and competitive differentiation."

The jointly developed solutions from SAP and Cisco will take advantage of enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) from SAP, the SAP NetWeaver® platform and Cisco's Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) to support successful customer implementations in a wide variety of enterprise use cases. Today's agreement expands on a September 2006 joint marketing agreement between the two companies to address governance, risk and compliance issues for customers in North America.
Network-Aware Composite Applications from SAP and Cisco

SAP and Cisco are developing a growing portfolio of pre-built composite applications that address some of the most common challenges facing businesses today. The first set of co-developed composite applications will address organizational requirements in the area of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and will combine SAP's enterprise management of risks and controls with the real-time notification, escalation and enforcement capabilities of Cisco SONA. The first GRC composite applications by SAP and Cisco will focus on three compliance and risk imperatives that represent significant pain-points for customers: data privacy and protection, IT and network security, and service level assurance.

In the area of data privacy, the joint SAP and Cisco offering can enable analysis of traffic crossing the network and identification of the class of information in emails or other correspondence. The application will then be able to instantly determine in real-time if the transit should be allowed or blocked based on business rules to help ensure data privacy. With their solution for IT and network security, SAP and Cisco aim to ease compliance by continuously monitoring and periodically testing the network and IT security environment for events that are mapped to the business processes and controls embedded in SAP solutions for governance, risk and compliance (SAP solutions for GRC). SAP and Cisco's efforts to address service level assurance can enable the continuous monitoring and periodic testing of compliance for customer support Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This flexible application will be able to apply testing and monitoring to various time-based internal or external business commitments, including customer loan approvals, specific delivery times, product spoilage dates or regulatory reporting deadlines.

These three new GRC composite applications are planned for release by year-end and will offer maintenance services and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As part of the agreement, SAP and Cisco have established co-location service support offices located in Fremont, California and Chandigrah, India.

In a separate announcement also made today, SAP announced that Cisco has selected SAP solutions for governance, risk and compliance (SAP solutions for GRC) as its internal GRC solution. The SAP solutions for GRC will provide Cisco with the tools to help unify its control initiatives and risk management across its extended enterprise. (For more information, see related announcement, "Cisco Selects SAP® Solutions for Governance, Risk and Compliance," from April 23, 2007.)

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