Changes at SAP

Via another blog I came across this article on the Economist website – The Other Transition. This article describes and discusses the changes over the last 7 months and the next 5 at SAP in terms of CEO. It looks at the great succession planning that has taken place within SAP over the years with a focus on putting the approporiate leadership in place to reflect the demands of the time.  Something a large number of companies could learn from, as SAP do it and don’t just pay lip service to the concept.

You can read the article and the comments at the Economist but for me the simple fact to reflect upon is change means change.  The challenge for Leo is to position the change so that his most important group of stakeholders embraces it and welcomes it with open arms, not as easy as it sounds but certainly not impossible.


What about green?

Today something happened that got me onto the subject of all things ecological. One of my children bought me a new razor in a beautifully presented gift pack from the world’s leading supplier of such things. This morning I decided to open it up and use this what looked like latest technology – it was after all as I discovered a powered razor. Expecting an ultra clean shave – I was disappointed with a mediocre cut. In fact turned off it was far better. So you have a far more complicated than needed, over packaged, and eco-unfriendly land waste only disposable battery powered product that delivers less than non-powered! That’s progress??

So why am I blabbering on about my razor –  it made me think, well now that the economy is crashing around us, recyclables are piling up faster than anyone can do anything about, and fuel prices are tumbling to lows it made me wonder whether the green revolution will be or is being forgotten.

The secret of green isn’t green; it’s efficiency. The reason to be green is straightforward it saves you money! So at this difficult time there is no better reason to go green. For me in the UK – data centres are the conundrum. We live in a country where the average ambient temperature for 2008 was  4.9 C in winter,  8.1C  in Spring, 14.4C  in Summer, and 9.1C in Autumn. Most Data Centres run at around 20-25 C – a shirtsleeve environment. So why, why do we have massive refrigeration plants  on our DC’s?  Why aren’t we using the ambient air to cool our DC’s? I accept that we have occasions where the temperature exceeds the point at which this can work so it’s not a panacea. If I take a holistic view on this and examine other things like the simple point of availabilty of electrical supplies – then this makes even more sense. In the UK consumption of electricity has risen but generation has not – so even more of a case to reduce reliance. 

Finally a really different thought – in this day of Wide Area Network why are there any Data centres at all  in parts of the world where the ambient temperature is high?