Client/Server Labs (CSL) has joined forces with KPMG to develop what is claimed to be the world's most comprehensive benchmark for evaluating the performance of SAP R/3, the market-leading business process re-engineering software.
Due out this summer, the APMark is designed to provide a representation of an entire SAP R/3 enterprise client-server installation. It does this by gathering real data on day-to-day transactions that occur within companies.
Unlike SAP's own SD (sales and distribution) benchmark, which tests only one SAP module, APMark exercises multiple modules simultaneously.
CSL vice president Bill Wallet said the benchmark simulates a chemical company, which tend to have complex installations. It supports 100 simultaneous transactions and runs 50 different business processes, roughly equivalent to an organisation with several hundred SAP R/3 end-users.
"CSL has been a pioneer in developing evaluation methodologies for complex systems," said Wallet. "Our relationship with KPMG allows us to extend our technology leadership into the enterprise application arena with the first comprehensive tool for evaluating overall system performance."
One of the most useful applications CSL sees for the benchmark is to perform a comparative study of SAP's performance on Unix and Windows NT.
It could also be used to show how SAP measures up on various enterprise databases and hardware platforms.
The benchmark will be a key component in a service KPMG will introduce for SAP customers this summer. Called the life-cycle value assessment, the service is designed to minimise the risk of project failure by providing a roadmap which can be used to forecast implementation barriers. According to KPMG consultant Robin Poston: "About 90% of the cost and risk associated with IT projects are qualitative not quantitative."
She added that return on investment does not always take into account qualitative risks such as the "personality of organisations" and "culture of IT departments".
SAP was unavailable for comment.
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