SAP Makes Way For eBay

A giant in B2B enterprise management has teamed with a giant in B2C consumer marketplaces to open a sales channel for used equipment and excess inventory online. SAP AG announced at the first day of its annual user event, Sapphire '03, in Orlando, that SAP users will now be able to sell idle assets on eBay, the auction site heretofore known mainly for consumer auctions. "We believe that there is a huge opportunity for our entire customer base -- more than 19,600 -- to rapidly make a positive impact on their bottom line by leveraging online marketplaces to help sell their excess inventory and used capital equipment," says Ajit Nazre, managing director of SAP Inspire, the corporate new-venture unit. The new joint solution will consist of software and services and will use eBay's application programming interfaces to connect to eBay's online SAP R/3 and mySAP CRM to the eBay marketplace. It will operate on the SAP NetWeaver platform. SAP, headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, plans to make the solution available in the first quarter of 2004. It will be rolled out initially in North America, but the company says Europe and other countries will follow. W.W. Grainger Inc. is a pilot site for the new program.

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