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After starting off in 1972 as a supplier of financial applications for corporations, SAP has grown into a behemoth supplying programs for practically every major company task, from handling customer relationships to tracking suppliers. Here's how it's doing in each of its main software markets:
Basic Corporate Applications
SAP is the dominant seller of financial and human resources software, with a 32% share expected this year -- leading Oracle and PeopleSoft. The market is growing at less than 10% per year, though. So it needs to expand elsewhere.
After years of stumbling, SAP hopes to gain on leader Siebel Systems in the market for salesforce, e-commerce, and customer-service products. It has just a 2% share, so this area is a big question mark.
Thanks to its background in manufacturing-planning software, SAP has established a strong beachhead in supply-chain management applications. It's expected to hold a 9% market share this year, behind only market leader i2 Technologies.
SAP is a player due to its alliance with marketplace pioneer Commerce One, the leader in software for public e-marketplaces. The two have landed 40 joint customers. They just announced private-exchange software -- the new hot spot.
*EstimatesDATA: AMR Research Inc.