Roche CIO on SAP, consultants, certification, and system integrators

Roche CIO on SAP, consultants, certification, and system integrators

Summary: Last week SAP unveiled its new ERP upgrade, called Business Suite 7. As part of the launch event in New York City, the company invited several enterprise software bloggers to meet with Jennifer Allerton, CIO of Roche and a large SAP customer.

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Last week SAP unveiled its new ERP upgrade, called Business Suite 7. As part of the launch event in New York City, the company invited several enterprise software bloggers to meet with Jennifer Allerton, CIO of Roche and a large SAP customer.

You can listen to the meeting by clicking the podcast player located at the top of this post.

The discussion was interesting for several reasons:

  • As CIO of an organization employing 75,000 people in 120 countries, Jennifer is responsible for running a huge IT infrastructure. This conversation offers insight into the CIO's view of a large-scale IT operation.
  • SAP purposefully did not include any of its own folks in the room to ensure the conversation would be open and without restriction.
  • Enterprise bloggers are a tough and sometimes ornery group; the podcast recording lets you be a fly on the wall while seven bloggers ask hard questions of this CIO.

Aside from me, the following bloggers participated in the session:

I've pulled out some key quotes from the conversation.

On Business Suite 7:

Business Suite 7 is a really good evolutionary step.

With previous SAP versions, every technical upgrade took 3-6 months and 15 people. Last year, we did four upgrades, which is roughly the equivalent of 15 man-years. With the new modular approach in Business Suite 7, we can reduce that time and redeploy those people to do things that are more important. That's the big difference.

New Business Suite 7 deployments involve normal system implementation with all the change processes and job redesign that entails.

On social media:

We're still in that relatively early phase of trying to understand how it works.

On working with system integrators:

I do believe the old $50 million a year integration model is dead; the challenge is for the systems integrators to reinvent themselves in this new world. The old Accenture model, where you trained [inexperienced] consultants for many months on your dollar, just doesn't work anymore. The hardest thing is to get the consultants out at the end of the project, because they try and hang around as much as possible.

We do use external consultants very successfully, because you can't have all the skills in-house.

On certification:

I absolutely welcome approaches toward certification; otherwise, it can be hit or miss. Anything that helps you identify the really good people and get them on board quicker has got to be a good thing.

[Photo of Jennifer Allerton via Cisco.]

Topics: Enterprise Software, Browser, CXO, SAP

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  • The funeral of the big 4

    This discussion is the - often called - tip of the ice berg. Not only did large businesses pay the education of students to their way to consultants - the projects often where the execution of theorized dreams that just didn't deliver the expected ROI.

    Business process automation and low touch sales models did all one thing: carefully destroy the customer relationship to indeed a "zero touch sales model" because businesses lost the touch to the market entirely.

    The Social Media Academy for instance goes new ways. Educating consultants to become experts BEFORE they enter the space. At the same time we educate the internal teams of an organization so that consultants don't come in as the "men in black" steer things up and go, but work with the internal teams based on the same principals and philosophies - the only difference: The consultants bring experience from many projects.

    The trio of Education, research and consultancy may inspire the "old world" of the consulting business to thrive to new heights.

    @AxelS


    as14