Services and software companies IBM and SAP will bring out their first joint software product in the fourth quarter of this year, the two companies said on Monday.
The product, codenamed Atlantic, will allow users to access SAP's Business Suite applications for workflows, reporting and analytics through IBM's Lotus Notes desktop software.
IBM and SAP, which was founded by five former IBM employees, have collaborated for 35 years.
IBM is the world's largest integrator of SAP's business-management software, SAP software is certified for IBM servers and SAP's favored development database is an IBM one.
The two companies, which have been the target of repeated merger speculation, said their thousands of mutual customers had asked for the functions that Atlantic software will supply.
Lotus Notes, which is designed for accessing business email, calendars and collaborative tools such as instant messaging from a Lotus Domino server, is used by more 135 million people worldwide, according to IBM.
SAP's move to integrate its software with Lotus Notes is the latest step in a process of making its products more user-friendly and directly accessible to more employees at companies where it is deployed, increasing its user base.
The German company also develops software jointly with Microsoft . Named Duet, it makes SAP's business applications accessible through Microsoft's Office programs.