AP AG today announced the details of the latest version of SAP® Business One, adding new capabilities including integrated material requirements planning (MRP) and other enhancements to meet growing demand for its affordable and easy-to-use business management solution for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). To be available in more than 37 countries internationally, the new version of SAP Business One eliminates the need for businesses to manage multiple unrelated applications by providing a single, integrated software solution that delivers a unified view of up-to-the-minute information for greater control and profitability across the entire business. The solution will be offered through SAP’s growing global network of more than 650 channel partners.

The new version of SAP Business One expands the product’s reach with material requirements planning capabilities to provide small manufacturers with an effective tool for managing planning as a fully integrated element of their core business processes. It features enhancements to its embedded customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities to ensure seamless integration among sales, service and other customer-facing activities. Other improvements will make it easier for businesses to customize the solution to manage additional or changing areas of the business. The new capabilities provide the core functionality from which SAP solution partners will build future vertical industry extensions and other integrated capabilities.

“SAP Business One allows small and midsize businesses to grow beyond the piecemeal approach to business software, which prevents many businesses from managing effectively across their entire operations,” said Shai Agassi, member of the executive board, SAP. “The new version of the solution delivers on our commitment to customers by providing the key capabilities they need for achieving new levels of control and profitability, and to our partners by providing the flexible and adaptable solution they need to meet market demand.”

Fully Integrated MRP and Business Management
The new MRP capabilities of SAP Business One will give small manufacturers greater oversight and control of their business, from forecasting to customer service, providing many of the same efficiencies enjoyed by larger companies. The solution’s MRP wizard will help businesses manage material planning and define planning scenarios based on a wide range of criteria in five easy steps, from demand to manufacturing and procurement planning. It also will give users the flexibility to create custom scenarios such as the inclusion of holidays in planning, planning horizons and planning intervals.

“Many small manufacturers still rely on spreadsheets, planning boards or older legacy systems, preventing planning from taking place as an integrated process involving the entire business, from managing sales to prospective customers, through manufacturing, to customer service,” said Bob Anderson, research director, Gartner, Inc. “Solutions which make MRP a core part of enterprise management can enable businesses to operate more efficiently by basing planning on real-time demand instead of last-quarter sales.”

The solution will allow businesses to perform “what if” analyses by selecting a combination of planning variables such as forecasts, open sales orders, open production orders and stock levels. The solution’s recommendation reports will help businesses conduct “make vs. buy” decisions and automate work and purchase orders. New capabilities also provide support for manufacturing processes requiring an enhanced, multi-level bill of materials.

“With SAP Business One, we have a single software tool to improve visibility and manage the entire business as a cohesive unit,” said Thomas Wegert, managing director, Johann Feldmann GmbH, an automotive supplier based in Velbert, Germany. “The new version will give us the insight and control over mission-critical information that we need to improve the performance of our business and achieve our goals for profitable growth.”

With integrated materials planning capabilities as part of SAP Business One, SAP now will offer a portfolio of solutions to serve the varying needs of manufacturers of all sizes. Offering mySAP™ All-in-One solutions to manage more complex microvertical industry needs and the manufacturing industry solutions of mySAP™ Business Suite for large enterprises, SAP can address companies across the entire manufacturing landscape from the smallest to largest.

Integrated CRM, Business Information—When and How SMBs Want It
Among the enhancements to the integrated CRM features of SAP Business One, users will have access to a fully integrated calendar to schedule sales and service for tasks and meetings, thereby eliminating investments in other workgroup servers. Businesses also can track, compare and analyze win/loss activity to provide real-time optimization of sales opportunities and business trends, with additional reporting including lead allocation and opportunity analysis. In addition, new integration with Microsoft Outlook increases control across the organization and externally with other companies. Users can synchronize scheduling, contacts and tasks and can capture and access all relevant customer, partner and vendor communications.

Easily Tailored to Fit Changing Needs over Time
New enhancements will make it easier than ever to tailor SAP Business One to the unique needs of virtually any business. In just a few short minutes, users will be able to extend the application using a simple wizard based tool, adding customized capabilities to SAP Business One and making data available to system reports, queries and other applications. This eliminates unnecessary reliance on external data sources and reduces or eliminates development time regardless of complexity. New features in the SAP Business One software development kit will enable faster processing of high-volume transactions, automatic upgrades for solution extensions and new scenarios.

Multiple Database Options
The new version of SAP Business One provides a flexible platform to allow customers to work with their platform of choice. New database options include Sybase® Adaptive Server® Enterprise (ASE) and IBM DB2 Universal Database (UDB) Express edition, in addition to Microsoft SQL Server.

The upgrade is available to existing customers as part of the standard maintenance agreement for SAP Business One. More detailed information on these and other features of SAP Business One 2004 can be found at http://www.sap.com/smb/businessone.