SAP, eBay Set Up Industrial B2B Marketplace

SAP AG has decided it is better to work with eBay for its front end, rather than try to build B2B marketplaces on its own.

As eBay looks to cultivate its software trading mechanism for major business-to-business transactions, SAP wants to create a location where its nearly 20,000 customers can get rid of excess inventories in a cost-effective and timely manner.

The new venture will provide product data and automatic scheduling eBay listings on the frontend, while the backend will use SAP applications.

With SAP’s huge market share in the enterprise applications sector, the new service will be specifically targeted to SAP’s customers as an eBay auction module and transaction system for a variety of enterprise markets.

SAP is positioning itself as the broker for companies looking to put idle assets, used capital equipment and warehoused inventory up for buy and sale.

The new service will leverage SAP’s NetWeaver technology, software and services, while eBay’s APIs will be integrated with SAP R/3 and mySAP CRM software.

The announcement was made Monday at SAPPHIRE ’03, SAP’s international customer conference being held in Orlando, Florida, June 16-18.

“The new joint solution consists of software and services and will leverage eBay’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect to eBay’s online services and provide the integration and tight interoperability of data from SAP R/3 and mySAP CRM to the eBay marketplace. SAP NetWeaver, the leading open integration and application platform, will serve as the necessary technology backbone for end-to-end integration, providing the adaptability and extensibility for extracting key functionality from SAP solutions and making it available as a service for the customer,” the companies said in a press release.

“The offering will include an integrated auction management system that automatically schedules eBay listings, aggregates product data, and generates and manages listings on the eBay marketplace,” the statement said.

On June 12, BlueStar Solutions said that eBay renewed and added new services to its SAP contract for the next three years. Under the new deal, eBay has added SAP’s BW (Business Intelligence) application module and selected BlueStar Solutions’ Enhanced Disaster Recovery Services option. BlueStar Solutions has been providing services to eBay for SAP R/3, SAP Financials, and SAP Human Resources since June 2000.

SAP and eBay said they will initially focus this new initiative in North America, and will focus on Europe in the near future. The partners said the joint initiative would be available in the first quarter of 2004, and it is working with W.W. Grainger, Inc., which is a major supplier of facilities maintenance products.