Dell, SAP expand application integration efforts

In an effort to reach deeper into the data center, Dell Inc. and SAP AG Wednesday announced an expansion of their effort to move users from large, big-box systems made by the major enterprise vendors to clusters running either Windows or Linux.

In a joint announcement at Nasdaq headquarters here in New York, the two companies also said they will offer mutual support for SAP installations on Windows and Linux platforms.

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell, said he sees large enterprise applications moving to standardized environments as well an overall increase in IT spending.

"We see things turning over to standards-based products at an increasing rate," said Dell. "Our strategy is to accelerate the development of standards-based technology in the enterprise by partnering with companies like SAP."

This transition "represents a huge opportunity for Dell," said Dell. Unix will continue to lose market share and will continue to be replaced by two- and four-way systems, he said.

"For us, partnerships are key -- our clients want choice," said Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP, who said the partnership with Dell will help companies reduce the total cost of ownership.

As part of its plans, Dell said it has enhanced migrations of Unix to Linux and Unix to Windows to include SAP offerings.

Dell and SAP already have more than 5,000 SAP enterprise installations worldwide, the companies said.

The agreement will result in further integration of Dell server products, including its PowerEdge servers and SAP business solutions, such as SAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver, said Framingham, Mass.-based market research firm IDC in a report on the agreement that was also released today.

Dell has been offering enterprises scale-out server deployments, or clusters, as an alternative to large server boxes. The agreement between the two firms "allows joint customers to take advantage of the strengths of both organizations," said IDC.

IDC said it is important that both Dell and SAP "express unequivocal support for open architecture and industry-standard technology in order to preserve users' existing investments and to ensure that they will not be locked into a proprietary road map."

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