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What you want most from your ERP provider…Information

by Dave Hannon

September 23, 2010

By Dave Hannon

We all remember Newman’s famous quote on Seinfeld, right? When he shouts at Jerry: “When you control the mail, you control…..information!” Well the same could be said about ERP. It controls….information (maybe SAP should hire Wayne Knight as a spokesperson?). So it makes sense that you’d want your ERP to come from a company that is also good at sharing…information.

One thing I’ve noticed about SAP since I’ve began covering them as an editor is the depth of their press releases. As a trade journalist for most of my career, I’ve read a lot—I mean A LOT—of press releases. Most are somewhat useful in that they alert us (journalists, customers, whoever) to major events at the company, but are purposefully light on details in the hopes that we’ll follow up for more…information.

But SAP seems to go out of its way to pack its press releases with useful…information. And it’s from both internal and external sources. For example, SAP this week announced the release of SAP Carbon Impact OnDemand 5.0, the first SAP application designed to run natively in the cloud. The press release provides plenty of details on the product itself, but it also provides a quick, three-point strategy for carbon management from Chief Sustainability Officer Peter G raf.

In talking about carbon management, Graf says: “First, requires harvesting accurate carbon data from back-end systems and a myriad of sources at all facilities. Second, companies need to analyze and benchmark their performance against peers and develop optimal reduction strategies based on best industry practices. Third, a successful global carbon reduction strategy needs high supplier and employee engagement to drive change.”

Sure it’s not a detailed strategy but if you were a company that didn’t know where to begin in carbon management – and they are out there, believe me – this is useful…information. (For more…information, see Scott Priest’s blog on the new release.)

The SAP press release goes on to include comments from not one, not two, but three customers (believe me, a lot of companies are not so forthcoming with their customers, providing names and titles). The release is also loaded with links to other sources of… information (can you hear Newman’s voice).

As an aside, I can’t help but note the synergies between on-demand and carbon impact software. Isn’t on-demand a carbon impact reduction strategy on its own? I guess it makes sense that SAP chose carbon impact to bring to the cloud, doesn’t it? I know the servers have to live somewhere, but somehow “cloud” and “carbon impact” just seem to go well together.

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