Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crossgate is Extended to Support SAP® Transportation Management (SAP TM) with Netweaver PI

The following article explains the joint development work that SAP and Crossgate are doing in the transportation area. Crossgate is an Automated Business Exchange that is co-owned by SAP and focused on making EDI and B2B easier and more cost effective for SAP customers. Crossgate is powered by SAP technology and utilizes Netweaver PI on their B2B network.

ATLANTA--With the help of Crossgate's Business-Ready Network, it is now possible for businesses in the transport logistics sector, which use the SAP® Transportation Management (SAP TM) application, to benefit from the advantages of comprehensive B2B connectivity. The network comprises preconfigured profiles based on a service-oriented architecture (SOA), which enables businesses to exchange transport-related data with their business partners on an ad-hoc basis. More than 40,000 businesses can already be reached via the B2B platform. Point-to-point connections with business partners, which are commonly used today, are therefore no longer necessary.

Transport management is not an isolated business area; it is one of the fundamental core processes of virtually every business. For this reason, it is especially important to integrate it with the other processes – even extending outside the company – in order to help ensure transparency and efficiency throughout the entire value chain. This strengthens a company's competitive advantage in today's market, which is characterized by open borders and growing globalization. As a result of the economic crisis, cost optimization and export slumps represent new challenges. For those companies that want to be in business and expand their market position, they need a system that can do more than just map all the processes; they need one that helps guarantee connectivity to business partners and logistics providers.

In this market segment, SAP TM has proven itself capable of effectively supporting complex transport networks. Its functionalities include managing transportation requests, planning and subcontracting, tendering of transports and calculating transportation costs for customers and logistic service providers. In short, SAP TM supports SAP customers with the professional execution of the entire transportation process.

An expanded supply chain and the ever-increasing number of business partners make collaboration between partners essential. However, different IT systems, numerous modes of communication and the lack of uniform global B2B standards can often impede smooth communication. SAP TM has a solution for this, which makes individual partner interfaces unnecessary. With just one connection to Crossgate's B2B platform, users of SAP TM can, for example, exchange freight orders directly with transport service providers. Furthermore, booking confirmations for cargo space can be transferred directly into the client's system. Crossgate's Business-Ready Network already provides the possibility to communicate with more than 40,000 business partners in all sectors worldwide.

Bernd Mosbrucker, director of Solution Management SAP SCM at SAP AG, explains the background: "An important part of a solution for planning and carrying out transport orders is forging a network with external service providers and business partners. This establishes cross company value scenarios for efficient and interactive collaboration. Crossgate uses the SAP TM data structures on the B2B platform, which enables them to provide our customers with the connectivity they want."

Connecting to the Business-Ready Network allows customers to communicate with business partners using all ERP systems and communication standards - with just a single interface. The solution conforms to the SAP strategy and utilizes the contents of a service-oriented architecture.

Stefan Tittel, CEO of Crossgate AG, explains: "We enable the flexible, cross-company interconnection of logistics processes between customers using SAP TM and their logistics providers and business partners. This was built on the basis of SOA technology, together with SAP. We have reached a milestone in B2B connectivity, upon which we can build future collaborative projects.

SAP and Crossgate have been collaborating in the area of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) since October 2007. A further step was SAP’s strategic investment in Crossgate in 2008, with the objective of using Crossgate’s B2B services to enhance its own solutions. SAP TM customers can now benefit from the connection to the Crossgate Network and utilize B2B connectivity “out of the box”.

About Crossgate, Inc.
Crossgate offers the world's first Business-Ready Network, guaranteeing 100% integration of business partners, clients and suppliers. A single connection to the Network means electronic data exchange with any business partner regardless of their technical capability. In addition, Crossgate's B2B-360 Services powered by SAP provide clients direct access to all integrated business partners in the B2B transaction network via their SAP systems. With its legally compliant e-Invoicing Services, Crossgate also provides an innovative and 100% secure solution to cover the entire process of incoming and outgoing invoices, including signatures, global compliance monitoring, and secure automated long-term archiving. More than 40,000 business partners, representing over 10 industries, currently exchange documents and data via the Business-Ready Network.

Crossgate is represented at four sites in Germany, with operations in Atlanta, London, Milan, Paris, and AsiaPac. For more information, visit http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.crossgate.com&esheet=5968341&lan=en_US&anchor=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.crossgate.com&index=1