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SAP acquisition bolsters NetWeaver's MDM

SAP is acquiring Los Angeles-based A2i Inc. to add new power to its Master Data Management (MDM) offering.

SAP will acquire A2i Inc., a privately held software company, and plans to integrate A2i's document management technology with SAP Master Data Management (MDM).

Introduced late last year, SAP MDM integrates data and applications, and it identifies and cleanses similar data objects across various systems. Ideally, companies that use the application should be able to receive all data from third-party systems and unify it in a common data format.

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Based in Los Angeles, A2i Inc. sells a product content management platform called xCat. Due to be released this fall, the next version of MDM will include xCat features.

SAP said the integration will provide MDM with more powerful data aggregation and synchronization. It will also improve Web-based electronic catalogs for both customer-facing and procurement deployments.

SAP is responding to a growing number of customers who have disparate data scattered around their IT shops, said Derek Prior, a Gartner analyst based in the U.K. who specializes in SAP. While the current version of MDM works well, Prior said SAP needs to build data models to help customers deploy MDM.

"SAP is using NetWeaver to have a more open, modern approach to data management and developing those capabilities will take time," Prior said. "MDM is a difficult part to achieve because managing master data across a wide range of different applications is very tricky."

The company's operations will continue in the same facilities, but now as part of SAP Labs.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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