by Sebastian Rupley
... from previous page: Looking beyond the firewall
There were three SAP installations sitting behind Chevron's
firewall when the company started moving in earnest toward
business-to-business commerce. As middleware to facilitate
transactions, Chevron deployed Ariba's ORMS (Operating Resource
Management System), because it integrated tightly with SAP and
Chevron's back-office software.
How does a typical Chevron product transaction go? A Chevron
procurement employee connects to the ORMS software through a
browser. The software, sitting behind Chevron's corporate
firewall and on top of the sap systems, includes a customizable
XML meta-data layer and message synchronization services to talk
with Internet-based catalogs, which offer office supplies and oil
rigs alike. An employee fills an electronic shopping basket, and
the software sends purchase orders out beyond the firewall to the
catalogs. Chevron's suppliers then send filled purchase orders
back to the software. The transactions are logged from those
purchase orders in SAP.
According to Nick Solinger, Ariba's director of marketing,
ORMS is scalable up to 200,000 seats and can process hundreds of
thousands of purchase orders a day. For a big company like
Chevron to put in place a solution like ORMS can take from 6 to
18 months, although according to Solinger, Dana Corp. completed a
live installation in 11 days.
"Suppliers can really cut their costs of goods sold this
way," says Clementz, "because they don't need 100
people in pickup trucks carrying briefcases to go do the selling.
They can just log on." According to Clementz, Chevron's
electronic catalog suppliers are reporting profit improvements
ranging from 5 to 30 percent since moving their offerings online.
next page: Brass in pocket...