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Editor's forecast: SAP to win ERP election

SAP is the leading provider of client/server business software solutions in the world. Being available in 14 languages, to more than 7500 customers, in over 90 countries has earned SAP a loyal customer base. However, as we all learned recently, you can earn the popular vote and still not win the race.

The ERP race is heating up, projected to grow 25% annually for the next four years. In 2001, the key to SAP's success will be its ability to sell software as a tool that can be easily integrated with e-commerce, customer relationship management and business-to-business applications.

SAP will spend much of 2001 building upon its e-business platform, which contributed to a 30% rise in sales for SAP's U.S. software division in the third quarter of 2000. I see increased market growth for SAP in 2001. Its recent plan to create an e-business think tank at their U.S. headquarters proves the company has its eye on the right prize.

I also predict an increased focus on vertical specialization and collaboration in the coming year. This is based on the fact that SAP has a team of 120 individuals who spent the past year mapping inter-enterprise collaborative business scenarios for specific industries. SAP is embracing collaboration in order to reduce customer integration costs and enable use of its ERP investment as an e-business platform.

SAP will top the ERP ballot in 2001, as long as it sticks to the issues -- and avoids Florida!

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