European software giant SAP is planning to merge its two subsidiaries, SAP Portals, formerly Israeli company Top Tier Software and SAP Markets. The merged company will focus on integration technologies and sharing applications for heterogeneous systems written in open code.

"Both SAP Portals and SAP Markets proved capable of developing, selling and maintaining technology platforms and solutions that improve the way businesses function, even in heterogeneous environments," said Hasso Platner, chairman, CEO and founder of SAP. "The market today requires solutions suggested by both companies. A merger of the two companies and tightening ties with CommerceOne will help us acquire clients even in environments that are not SAP based."

The merged company's products will be sold to SAP customers as part of the mySAP technology packages or as third party distribution licenses. CEO and founder of SAP Portals, Shai Agassi, will run the company.

According to SAP, there will be 1,700 workers in the company's Palo Alto, California headquarters and in its New York, Chicago, Houston, Germany, Britain, Israel and Singapore branches. Aliza Peleg, CEO of SAP Portals Israel, says the move will not lead to any layoffs.

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Shai Agassi and his father, Reuven, founded SAP Portals in 1996 as Top Tier. The company developed a solution for an interface of a portal that integrates a company's internal data bases with its external data reserves on the same basic platform, making that data accessible to all its users in the organization.

At the end of March 2001 SAP bought Top Tier for $400 million. By April SAP spun off its organizational portal activity, mySAP Workplace, into an independent subsidiary that was to use Top Tier technology.

SAP Markets is a division that sells requisition and integration solutions to business services.