SAP AG is shipping the latest version of its enterprise resource planning software, mySAPERP, to customers a month ahead of schedule.
The software giant announced the early product roll out at the CeBit 2005 conference, being held this week in Hanover, Germany.
SAP said it successfully completed its software release program a month early after attracting a high number of early adopters in the program. Software bugs, common in early versions of software products, were also not a major factor as the version appeared very stable, SAP said.
Software vendors generally have very specific guidelines before shipping the latest versions of their products. If problems from early adopters are ironed out easily and the product is found to be more stable then the general availability date can be moved up, said Michael Dominy, a senior analyst with Boston-based Yankee Group.
"Offering the general release sooner means that adoption is happening quicker than they originally planned and that points to acceptance or receptivity around SAP NetWeaver, Dominy said. "It's really important for SAP to get their customer base using NetWeaver because there is more growth opportunity for SAP with NetWeaver."
The company also said it made some enhancements to its analytical tools in mySAP ERP 2004. In addition to new business intelligence and reporting tools, the software maker also improved reporting features for compliance with government regulations.
The software suite is the next step for customers who are using either SAP R/3 or the mySAP Business Suite road map. The mySAP ERP suite includes business analytics, financials, human capital management, operations and corporate services functionality.
The software combines SAP's R/3 Enterprise with the company's NetWeaver platform. NetWeaver is SAP's integration and application development platform, which has similarities to IBM's WebSphere and BEA Systems Inc.'s WebLogic platform.
MySAP ERP is a smaller, less expensive version of mySAP Business Suite that offers customers full NetWeaver capabilities. The software comes with predefined role templates that provide the end user with access to applications and resources that are task-appropriate.
The stack includes Auto-ID Infrastructure functionality for radio frequency identification technology, the SAP Business Information Warehouse, which provides the repository for in-depth analytical features and SAP Enterprise Portal, which provides a variety of collaboration features.
Also included in the stack is SAP XI, the exchange infrastructure that integrates information between third-party applications and SAP. Master Data Management, Mobile Infrastructure, and SAP's Web Application Server is also included as part of the NetWeaver stack in the software package.