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The mySAP.comWorld

SAP has been traditionally involved in helping customers modernize their back-office operations by integrating business processes, mostly with its standard Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution called SAP R/3. The traditional SAP R/3 ERP system offers transaction and reporting functionality in the areas of financial, logistics, and human resource applications, enabling the exchange of data between a company's various business units or divisions. The standard-business-process-fits-all approach of SAP R/3 often required business process reengineering to meet the business needs. Because this could only address a limited portion of the market's needs, SAP began offering industry-specific solutions and extended ERP solutions, including managing supplier relationships with supply chain management (SCM) solutions, managing the distributors, resellers, and customers with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, and managing the knowledge-assets with business intelligence (BI) solutions. In the traditional ERP world, companies first focused on getting their own in-house business processes under control and integrated. Business communication (such as placing orders or transferring financial data) within a company usually happened with SAP's Application Link Enabling® protocol (ALE). Business communication with outside partners usually happened with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), or, in the worst case, per fax. This ALE or EDI communication was with known and established business partners, because these links had to be set up for each channel. In any case, these ERP systems were not as open to the outside world as the Internet has now enabled. Yet, they are the first implementation step needed before exposing the in-house business processes to the outside Internet world.

mySAP.comand the E-World Evolution

The evolving customer-centric Internet business world, with its HTTP and XML® communication protocols and need to do business anywhere and at any time, has enabled business collaboration to take place. Instead of communicating with known and established business partners (through EDI), now an entire electronic community (manufacturers, distributors, and customers) can perform business transactions among each other in electronic marketplace portals. In response, SAP introduced mySAP.com and the four main SAP Internet Strategy Elements:


  

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