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SAP has allied with Andersen Consulting to build R/3 business. applications for the financial services industry.

The first joint application, a property and casualty claims processing solution for the insurance industry, will be delivered in multiple releases, with the first shipment due this autumn. The initial release will include claims recording which can be linked to financial processing.

Solutions developed will include open applications available to all SAP customers. They will be compatible with clients’ in-house developed applications as well as finance and human resources applications from other software vendors.

As part of the alliance, SAP and Andersens are planning development facilities in North America and Europe.

Stephan James, managing partner of Andersen’s global finance services practice, said the alliance would produce applications that would cut costs and boost clients’ profit margins.

Professor Dr Henning Kagermann, SAP executive board member, said: ‘Together we will have the ability to reinvent the economics of doing business in financial services.’

And in the public sector this week, the London borough of Southwark announced that it was investing in R/3 for an integrated financial management and human resources and payroll function. It will replace its existing ledger system with an 800-user R/3 system to solve year 2000 compliance problems, and to improve the quality of information management throughout the organisation.

Implementation will be handled by Coopers & Lybrand and will take 12 months, said Southwark’s head of financial services, Keith Brown.

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