SAP to roll out Linux server appliance

SAP is furthering its efforts to gain midsize business customers with a new appliance-like ERP server that runs on quad-core Xeon processors and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise.

The server, developed in partnership with Intel, is aimed at manufacturing and service companies and comes bundled with SAP's All-in-One ERP software and the SAP MaxDB database. SAP is demonstrating the system at the Cebit show in Germany this week.

Through the optimisation work it did with Intel and the right combination of software, including SUSE Linux, SAP aims to provide customers with a 45% savings on implementation and a 25% savings on total cost of ownership over what they'd typically spend for a comparable hardware/software combo, said Jans Peter Klaey, president of global SME at SAP, in an interview.

The server is available in five Northern European countries and should reach 20 countries this year. SAP is planning availability in the United States in the second quarter, Klaey said. Customers can configure systems and get price estimates based on configurations at

When available, customers will be able to purchase the system from original equipment manufacturers that partner with SAP and Intel. SAP says its work with Intel on the server is just the beginning of a "series of planned partnerships" with other hardware vendors for additional midsize business offerings.

SAP, having cornered a good chuck of the ERP market for big business, is now looking to midsize companies to help fuel growth. It's most notable effort in this area is Business ByDesign, an ERP on-demand software service for midsize companies it began offering late last year.

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