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SAP, Intel partner on new appliance

The vendors are teaming up to sell an Xeon-based appliance geared to run SAP's Business All-in-One ERP

SAP (NYSE: SAP) and Intel (NASDQ: INTC) are teaming up to sell an Xeon-based appliance geared to run SAP’s Business All-in-One ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.

The appliances will be loaded with Business All-in-One, SAP’s MaxDB database and SUSE Enterprise Linux from Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL), and are aimed at midsized manufacturing, trade and service industries.

That architecture appears to already have some favor among SAP’s users. The company released figures stating that 700 midsized companies are running their SAP applications on Linux, and within that group, 35 per cent are using MaxDB.

Pat Gelsinger, senior vice-president and co-general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, said spending on servers in the SME market is set to hit just under US$20 billion in 2008. It represents the “fastest-growing segment of the industry, and this is of strategic importance to Intel, our partners and global channel providers,” he said.

Overall, the companies’ goal was to produce a flexible, easy-to-install, and optimized product, according to Gelsinger. The appliance’s simplicity, scalability and “exceptional value … truly makes this a channel-ready product,” he said.

SAP did not release pricing information Tuesday.

The appliance will be available in the EMEA region in the first half of this year, followed by India and China in the second half, SAP said.

Intel and SAP previously released an appliance based on SAP’s NetWeaver Business Intelligence Accelerator software, an analytic engine for crunching large sets of data.

Also Tuesday, SAP announced that 21 additional partners in the United Kingdom, China, France and Germany have signed on to help sell Business ByDesign, its recently introduced on-demand ERP offering for small to medium-sized enterprises.

Sixteen of the companies have a history selling SAP’s Business One and Business All-in-One applications, and the five others are joining now with the express purpose of backing Business ByDesign, according to SAP.