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Coming to Terms with Measurable Benefits

by Kristine Erickson

August 11, 2009

by Kristine Erickson SAP NetWeaver Magazine - Volume 4, Issue 3

Catchy names are all well and good, but when a term truly sums up a business process, and has some measurable business benefit behind it, there’s something to get excited about.

GRC is such a term, if you ask Josh Greenbaum. His column in this issue offers a good reminder that governance, risk, and compliance isn’t about bogging companies down in legal-ese and data requirements; it can foster business benefits well beyond keeping your company out of an ugly audit — or worse. To exemplify this, the profile of PacifiCorp shows how the utilities company leveraged its SAP systems and a new data model to meet the massive data requirements needed under regulatory mandates – and in the process gained a clearer view of costs and improved financial reporting.

Another term heard frequently in SAP circles is “enterprise SOA” and a related set of service-based solutions called “composite applications.” SAP and partners are creating highly reusable composites that, by design, closely integrate with current implementations. These applications are built, or “composed,” by relying on flexible integration points, for business process improvements that typically avoid large-scale software implementations.

Colgate-Palmolive’s use of the SAP Resource Planning Management composite application gives some insight into the effect on the business. With SAP RPM, Colgate-Palmolive is better managing its increasingly global needs for resources for IT initiatives — all tied into their SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence system. As a result, IT project staffing went from a labor-intensive manual effort to a more automated process, leveraging reporting capabilities.

More dramatically, IT project staffing is now transformed to a top-down planning initiative that allows Colgate-Palmolive leadership — including the CIO, financial teams, and management — to see actual time working on initiatives, analyze support data, and closely set project needs and goals. As a result, Colgate-Palmolive freed up as much as one-fifth of their IT organization resources and set goals to significantly reduce support costs.

Finding innovative ways to leverage current technologies in order to support new processes, gain greater visibility into your organization, free up resources, and drive more strategic thinking about your initiatives is a win. And where you can leverage current capabilities and information and see measurable business gain, there’s an opportunity not to be missed. We’re eager to hear more about your successes, as well as the terminology, solutions, and initiatives that are paying off for you today.

Kristine Erickson
Group Editor

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