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SAP opens new R&D facility in the U.S.

In order to work on e-business projects for the U.S. market, SAP has announced the opening of its SAP Global Solution Center, located in its Americas headquarters in Newtown Square, Pa. As a research, development and education facility, the center will work with SAP customers and partners to develop e-business software for specific companies and industries, and it will host executive education programs.

Currently, the research and development center has 20 projects underway, according to Jim Dever, an SAP spokesman. Some projects are specific to a customer or company, such as integrating third-party software with SAP technology. Others may involve a particular industry, such as aerospace, in which companies work together to develop software to assist in government regulatory reporting, he told searchSAP.

The current customers involved in introductory projects include AMC Technology, CIM Concepts, Compaq Computer Corp., EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM, Intermec Technologies Corp., LXE Inc., Psion Teklogix and Symbol Technologies Inc.

"The solutions being worked on here are solutions specific to the U.S. market," Dever said. The center is not meant to replicate the SAP development center in Walldorf, Germany but to allow SAP America to work closely with its customers to understand their needs, in addition to developing software directly with customers and partners, he said.

The research and development center supports a collaborative environment, and depending on the projects under way, SAP plans to co-locate with customers and partners.

The SAP Global Solution Center currently employees 70 people, and SAP plans to increase staff to over 120 by the end of the year. Up to 200 additional visiting SAP developers, experts, customers and partners may be working together on-site at any given time, based on staffing requirements for individual projects. Construction is expected to be complete by year-end 2001.

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