SAP Offers "Safe Passage" Program for Retek Customers

German ERP giant makes play for retail customers in wake of Oracle's acquisition of Retek; announces new retail win with Wickes Furniture

German ERP giant makes play for retail customers in wake of Oracle's acquisition of Retek; announces new retail win with Wickes Furniture

Chicago  May 27, 2005  German enterprise software giant SAP this week extended its so-called "Safe Passage" program of SAP applications, technology and support in a special offer for companies running Retek software.

The new offering from SAP provides "safe passage" to retailers facing the possible uncertainties arising from the acquisition of Retek by Oracle Corporation and challenges companies may face over the next several years. The announcement was made at the Retail Systems Conference and Exposition being held in Chicago this week.

SAP also announced that Wickes Furniture had become the latest win in a string of new retail customer relationships that include Fossil, The Home Depot, Limited Brands, Oreck and Wawa.

Investment Protection

The German software company said that the Safe Passage program was designed to address Retek customers' concerns over the future road map of their solutions under Oracle. The program "provides Retek customers protection for their past investments but also a secure migration path to service-enabled applications based on the SAP NetWeaver platform," SAP said.

Under the retail Safe Passage program for Retek customers, SAP is offering qualified retailers a credit of up to 75 percent of their original Retek software licensing fees against the licensing of solutions within the SAP for Retail industry solution portfolio, as well as an onsite business case benefits assessment of migrating from Retek to SAP, delivered by SAP or one of its retail industry partners, and a fixed-bid, modular-based implementation approach following the assessment and free project team training for new customers up to a preset number of days.

Through the program, retailers running Retek applications will be able to have access to the SAP NetWeaver platform, allowing them to leverage existing IT investments in an integrated solution landscape, according to SAP. By leveraging SAP NetWeaver, SAP said that retailers can limit the complexity of IT.

"In an industry faced with daily pressures on margins, performance and the bottom line, SAP offers retailers concrete solutions to succeed today and adapt to the changing industry landscape of the future," said Jim McMurray, senior vice president for retail of SAP America.

The special offer for retailers follows the Safe Passage program initially introduced by SAP for Peoplesoft and JD Edwards customers.

Wickes Furniture Taps SAP

Meanwhile, mid-market furniture retailer Wickes Furniture Company is set to use the SAP for Retail industry solution as its business management platform. Wickes is an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners and has 31 retail locations and four distribution centers in the Midwest region of the United States.

The company is looking to the SAP NetWeaver platform to help drive its aggressive growth strategy by creating end-to-end processes from the back-office to the storefront and enhancing in-store service with mobile solutions.

"Our growth strategy for the next four years focuses on business integration for better customer service and overall visibility across the business to ensure customers can get the product they want, when they want it," said Frank O'Connor, vice president of information systems at Wickes. "SAP for Retail offers world-class retail functionality that will help us reduce expenses by bringing automation and efficiency into our financial and replenishment processes.... SAP for Retail will allow us to evolve the way we run our business and serve our customers."

Furnishing an Integrated Value Chain

Wickes will use SAP for Retail to replace a legacy system marked by manual processes and extensive use of spreadsheets, providing an integrated view of company operations and customer buying patterns to help reduce supply chain costs and increase sales. SAP said its solution will put vital financial, merchandising, assortment and movement information at employees' fingertips, enabling supply chain visibility across Wickes's stores and distribution centers and rapid response to in-store activities.

In addition, Wickes will use retail industry-specific SAP solutions for mobile business will help improve customer service at its stores. The company will be equipping its sales force with tablet PCs to enable rapid response to customer needs and help seize cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. Employees will be able to walk through the store while retaining continual access to up-to-the-minute sales and inventory information.

"SAP for Retail supports an aggressive growth plan at Wickes that focuses on extended customer services such as increasing in-stock positions and providing for same day delivery," said SAP's Jim McMurray. He added that SAP NetWeaver enables growing midsize retailers like Wickes to integrate their IT business platform cost effectively while getting the most out of existing investments and solutions. "SAP for Retail will help maximize Wickes's existing non-SAP solutions for data warehousing and point of sale," McMurray concluded.

SAP was selected in a competitive bidding process. Wickes Furniture, which employs more than 1,500 people, is planning to roll out SAP's retail software this year.

Additional Articles of Interest

 The focus in the retail sector has shifted from managing the movement of goods to managing information about goods. Read more in "Ramping Up the Retail Supply Chain," in the February/March 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

 For more information on solutions for mid-market enterprises, see "Stuck in the Middle" in the April/May 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

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