Changes in SAP America

Two announcements from SAP America yesterday that both change and add new roles. Firstly Rob Enslin becomes President SAP North America and perhaps the most interesting one; the appointment of Robert C. Cresanti as vice president of Government Relations.

Over the past few days there has been discussion around the battle for the military within the US, in terms of software. This appears to be lining up between the usual two suspects of SAP and Oracle. 

Robert C. Cresanti is a former Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, where he headed the Technology Administration (TA) and served as chief privacy officer for the Department of Commerce. Cresanti co-chaired the Committee on Technology and the Interagency Working Group on Manufacturing R&D within the President’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). He also represented the Commerce Department on the President’s ID Theft Task Force.

Having a man who knows his way around on the inside is clearly an advantage for SAP!

Infosys investigates European Players





After missing out to HCL over the acquisition of Axon, it appears that Infosys is back again looking to increase its share of European activity. Apparently it has two companies in its sights. BCC from Poland and Ciber Novasoft part of an American based company.

Infosys can certainly afford these as purchases with over $1.7 billion in available funds.

Big names move forward with SAP activities


Despite uncertain times two big corporations have continued and even accelerated their Business Process change through their SAP investments. Both Proctor and Gamble and Unilever have publicly stated that they are strengthening their operations. In the case of Unilever £960 million savings in the last year are attributed in part to the standardisation program underway through use of its SAP platform. P&G were less specific about the savings but noted they were stepping up a gear in the savings and efficiency improvement program as a result of a new Enterprise agreement with SAP.

So clearly value is being created for the “mega” companies who operate in a very close partnership with SAP – these being the 100 or so that enjoy a very different relationship with the vendor to the other 40,000 or so. The challenge is for the same benefits to be made available to the newcomers and small customers.

New independent study shows SAP in top place for ERP satisfaction

A new study today has SAP coming out top against all ERP vendors in terms of ERP satisfaction. SAP scored 73%, Oracle 62%, Microsoft 69% and tier II providers 70%.  However all is not as straightforward as it appears (it never is!). If you were looking at cost and time to implement you would leap at the Tier II providers as they are significantly ( and I mean significantly ) better value. However over that hovers the big cloud of risk – the business risk with Tier II is higher with SAP rated the lowest.

Overall this survey has some very interesting data within it – but some things, in my view, come out to challenge the whole ERP software and implementation industry. Given the fact that best score on business risk is 50% (SAP) for an ERP implementation there is a lot to go at in terms of improvement. Add to this an average implementation time of  19.8 months (SAP 20 months) and there is work to be done!!

So all you software vendors and implementers out there – it’s time to up your game!!

Link to topline results here.

Project problems or software problems?

Today there is a story from across the pond. It tells of a nightmare of installing software in a certain Marin County. This was installed in 2006 and still isn’t delivering the right numbers.


This paragraph says it all –

An Independent Journal review bolsters contentions that a complicated system more sophisticated than necessary was installed, based in the wrong department and implemented too quickly as officials bowed to advice from consultants they now question. Critics were all but ignored. Training was minimal. Management was erratic.”

So often in these cases an organisation doesn’t stamp its authority on the project activities. A project management structure owned and run by the whole organisation is essential when you are re-engineering the organisation processes. Where was the risk management? Where was the executive ownership? Where was the independent audit of the project?

So what are we to learn from their experience? Yet again, change management is the key not the software or how it is provided and that isn’t something you contract out to someone else – you might seek assistance but your own people must be in place to ensure the ownership and delivery.  A risk register should be in place and mitigation plans devised for anything identified. Lastly if you contract out services to others you must ensure that delivery clauses exist that are meaningful enough to ensure what you pay for is delivered.

The State of the Economy

In a previous post I commented on some companies that were delivering good results despite all the glum news. Today I came across an article from Harvey Jones that was posted on who has been taking a look at things.  He’s been looking at signals such as house prices and spending on cards and draws an interesting and intelligent conclusion – its not as bad as history.


So enjoy the bits of good news that we have, because they could be thin on the ground for the rest of the year. But comparisons with the devastation of the 1930s are misleading, because even if the UK contracts as much in percentage terms as it did then, it will be from an incomparably higher starting point.”

SAP announce new Director for SME UK & Ireland

Today SAP announced the appointment of Stephen Read to head up activities around SME and specifically, SAP All-in-One, Business by Design, and Business One. Stephen’s stated intent is to continue to compete in this market place and build on the 1000 customers already in place within the UK and Ireland.