Monday, September 19, 2011

SAP for Utilities kicks off

Chris Ball's welcome message had a couple of good points about innovation, one of which we interpreted as being that the customer experience of an innovation is just as important as the innovation itself. Great to highlight this. But presenting smart grid and electric vehicles as "disruptive" tech seems a bit aspirational to us at this point. Mobility solutions for sure, though. And it was cool to see screen shots of old SAP R/2 and R/3 interfaces.

Bob Corteau went on to discuss growth, and, reiterating the mobility theme, the concept of "managing anywhere." Compiling information from individuals, new enterprise apps, and external sources will facilitate quick decisions, increased productivity, and better results. His imperative to "sweat your assets" — pursue short-cycle projects, collect data, show a return — is our typical approach to client projects.

So, the emphasis on leveraging new technology sounds great in theory, and we're hoping to hear some concrete, real world examples in the coming sessions. Utilities typically move methodically, so, beyond field teams responding to (or striving to preempt) trouble, we wonder how the ability to make rapid decisions will fit into that context.

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