SAP Launches R/3 For Media Management

As if SAP AG, the worldwide leader in enterprise business software, didn't already have enough industry-specific systems, the company has to go and add yet another -- information media. On Oct. 5 SAP will launch a new initiative to offer a version of its popular R/3 system specifically tailored to the business needs of book publishers, newspapers, magazines, television and radio, CD/ROM, and electronic media. Initially SAP will offer modules for managing advertising, sales, and distribution, in addition to core business processes such as accounting and human resources. Some 360 media firms worldwide already use SAP for general business practices, but until now, specific processes, such as advertising or editorial management, have been managed using homegrown systems or software from other vendors. Media firms currently using SAP include Bantam Doubleday & Dell, BBC, Beetelsmann, McCann-Erickson, Simon & Schuster, and Random House. The first U.S. customer using an early version of SAP R/3's sales and distribution module for media is The Bergen Record in Bergen County, N.J. SAP also is developing editorial management systems that will enable publishers of all kinds to manage the content of what they publish. "The main objective is to provide a completely integrated solution for media companies," says Roland Buerkle, director of the media-industry business unit at SAP in Walldorf, Germany. The editorial module, Buerkle says, will help "organize cooperative work among editors. Especially in the area of content management, all media companies have to solve the problem of editing content so they can distribute it by different media channels," he adds. "Today there are a lot of PC-based systems in use, but there is no integration. Our objective is to provide an integrated solution."

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