January 29, 2003 12:56 PM PST

SAP wants piece of homeland security pie

Joining a throng of rivals, SAP has launched a new initiative aimed at carving out a slice of the growing U.S. federal budget for information technology.

Targeting the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the software company said Wednesday that it is working to develop software designed to assist governments in border security, emergency response and intelligence gathering. SAP is best known for its line of accounting, human resources and manufacturing applications, which are used by thousands of companies to streamline their businesses.

Many tech companies are clamoring for a chunk of the $38 billion the U.S. federal government has budgeted for homeland security spending this year.

Furthermore, the Bush administration requested an all-time-high of $52 billion for federal IT spending this year and is expected to propose more than $59 billion for next year. Those funds, however, are still some distance away from the pocketbooks of the software companies, which have been in the IT doldrums.

SAP is calling the new set of applications Security Resource Management. One program could be used to track the movements of people, ships, cargo and aircraft across borders, and to alert authorities to people on watch lists. Another is designed to help military planners coordinate troops and supplies in the field. Some of the applications are new, and others derived from older products such as SAP's software for coordinating cross-border trade, according to the company.

The first version of Security Resource Management, available now, is based on new software SAP announced last week for building applications using open Internet standards and development tools from IBM and Microsoft.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, numerous information technology companies have launched new products and initiatives aimed at efforts to beef up homeland security. SAP's move into the market follows similar moves by enterprise rivals Oracle, Siebel Systems, PeopleSoft and Web Methods.

 

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