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EDS Expands Global SAP Consulting Practice

by Travis Jacobsen

EDS, a leading global technology services provider, today announced an expanded relationship with SAP AG, the world's leading provider of business software, whereby SAP will support EDS in the strategic expansion of its global SAP application-based consulting practice.

By collaborating with SAP on client engagement training and techniques that will drive the long-term growth of its consulting practice, EDS will further enhance its existing SAP capabilities and bring end-to-end SAP consulting and systems integration to the market by early 2008. Additionally, EDS will work closely with SAP's Global Partner and Ecosystem Group for market penetration and value-added customer offerings.

SAP will see an increase in SAP consultants and systems integrators into the global marketplace to help fulfill the current demand for SAP applications. EDS and SAP also expect to work jointly to target EDS' global client base where SAP applications and services can penetrate existing infrastructure or applications accounts.

"We expect our new global SAP consulting practice to further elevate EDS' position in the applications development and IT consulting marketplace to help clients better align their technology systems with their business strategies," said EDS President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Rittenmeyer. "We believe our new tools, training and content, when coupled with our existing applications management and legacy programming expertise, will give us a unique value proposition and competitive advantage as we move up the value chain."

"We are pleased to strengthen our long-standing relationship with one of the world's leading IT services companies and support EDS in building a global consulting practice," said Ed Lange, executive vice president and chief customer officer, SAP Americas. "EDS' broad and deep deployment of SAP applications to a multitude of global clients will enable the company to compete more effectively in the enterprise applications market."

"We look forward to helping EDS create a truly global, industry-based SAP consulting practice which will help customers modernize and manage their IT landscapes," adds Manfred Heil, senior vice president, Global Ecosystem and Partner Group, SAP AG. The global expansion of EDS' practice represents the latest step in the continuing deployment of our strategy and unique commitment to further our capabilities in the marketplace."

"EDS sees a tremendous market opportunity in industry-based SAP application consulting and systems integration globally and within our own existing client base," said Charlie Feld, senior executive vice president, EDS Applications Services. "The global demand for SAP resources has never been greater, and the market will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. We believe EDS is uniquely positioned to meet this demand while enabling clients to migrate from an environment of legacy systems to a modern enterprise application platform."

Feld added that the enhanced SAP relationship shows EDS is aggressively moving up the value chain in applications services. Earlier this month, the company launched a global software testing services offering. Feld indicated that more announcements in the applications services space should be expected shortly. "EDS made a commitment to expand its presence in high-end applications development and consulting. This announcement is perhaps the strongest proof point to date that we are executing this strategy," said Feld.

EDS and SAP have adopted a strategic plan to build out EDS' global SAP consulting practice in the near term, including extensive training, recruiting and tools development; joint sales opportunities such as leveraging SAP's regional sales, alliances and services resources; joint marketing strategies and plans for field sales and services; and joint sales and pipeline tracking.

According to Gartner, demand for ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) project-based solution implementation services is at a critical inflection point in 2007 as enterprise buyers are faced with difficult choices that will lay the foundation for the user's application life cycle choices.

Gartner estimates the worldwide Consulting and Systems Integration (C&SI) market will grow from $261.7 billion in 2006 to $365.2 billion in 2011 (reflecting a compounded annual growth rate of 7%). Moreover, the North American market for ERP solution implementation services (the combination of consulting and systems integration services related to ERP initiatives) grew more than 5% year over year from 2005 to 2006, indicating ongoing buyer interest in ERP services.

EDS and SAP's Long-standing Relationship

For more than 17 years, EDS and SAP have partnered to deliver business software solutions that reduce time-to-market and lower clients' total cost of ownership. EDS has been a SAP client since 1997, deploying numerous SAP solutions to a user population of approximately 873,000. Furthermore, SAP helps deliver best-in-class enterprise applications as an essential component of the EDS Agile Enterprise Platform and collaborates on industry solutions and enterprise business applications. As a member of the EDS Agility Alliance -- a coalition of companies globally recognized for their quality, products and value to clients -- SAP provides end-to-end enterprise applications services and the standard underlying applications platform for EDS' leveraged HR, F&A and Procurement BPO utility. The alliance with SAP has helped generate more than $1 billion in total contract sales for EDS.

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