IBM, Sharp to Create ERP, CRM Solutions Company

IBM and Japanese electronics company Sharp announced Wednesday that they intend to form a company specializing in the development of ERP (enterprise resource planning) and SCM (supply chain management) solutions.

The pair has yet to name the company which will be headquartered in the Japanese city of Osaka and will open for business in April of next year, according to an IBM statement. The vendors didn't reveal the amount of money they're investing in the new venture.

Sharp also plans to outsource its IT requirements to IBM, Big Blue said. The U.S. company didn't provide a figure for the outsourcing deal, but published reports Wednesday put it in the order of $US850 million over a 10-year period.

The Japanese electronics maker has been a strong advocate for adopting both ERP and SCM technology internally as a way to improve the company's operational efficiency, IBM said.

Late last month, IBM announced it had won a 10-year outsourcing agreement with a maximum value of $US15 billion with Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (NTT). IBM's Global Services division will provide outsourcing services to the NTT group through its NTT Communicationware Corp. IBM and NTT Comware will also jointly provide services to other companies in Japan, the companies said. [See "IBM, NTT Comware Ink $15B IT Services Pact," Oct. 31.]IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-499-1900 or at http://www.ibm.com/. Sharp, based in Tokyo, can be reached via the Internet at http://sharp-world.com/.

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