Technical information provider IHS Inc. and business software giant SAP have launched a joint offering for Master Data Management of Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) materials data. IHS already serves this niche with its Intermat offering that provides content and services that create standardized and enriched descriptions for industrial MRO items (such as pipes, valves and bearings).

As a result of the joint venture, the item descriptions and Standard Modifier Dictionary (SMD) description formats can seamlessly populate the SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management platform. As part of the solution, IHS will leverage its SMD "Powered by NetWeaver" content certification.

Both companies expect this alliance will help customers better manage their MRO inventory. Because of the companies' international presence, companies around the globe will benefit from the venture. And both organizations will certainly benefit from the strengths of each other. It won't be surprising if IHS and SAP find other areas in which to collaborate.