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SAP World Tour 2010: Sustainability transforms business, increases profitability!

July 16, 2010

Peter Gartenburg, managing director, SAP India.

Peter Gartenburg, MD, SAP India.

The SAP World Tour 2010, held this week in New Delhi, focused strongly on sustainability, a point stressed repeatedly and heavily by company executives.

According to Peter Gartenburg, managing director, SAP India, the company’s sustainability strategy is multi-fold. “A lot of factors come together in India. India has the potential for innovation with sustainability,” he said, while delivering the opening address at the SAP World Tour 2010 in New Delhi.

He added: “India has the skills in IT and services. India also has a culture of frugality, especially, the ability to work in scarce and complex environments. At SAP, we can be a key partner in India’s quest for leadership.

Delivering the keynote, Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer and executive VP of Sustainability Solutions, SAP, said: “We are still finding new ways to use the Internet. What can you do with IT? It goes way beyond data centers.”

He added that sustainability is inevitable. The reasons include population growth, western lifestyle and linear value chains. The symptoms are resource intensity, risk price volatility, climate change, etc. The consequences can be pretty severe, such as growing consumer awareness, brands at risk, war for talent and growing customer and legal requirements.

Graf said, “Sustainability is all about business, about profitability.” Sustainability drives profitability!

Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer and executive VP of Sustainability Solutions, SAP.

Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer and executive VP of Sustainability Solutions, SAP.

He also presented a sustainability business case, which includes:

* Reduce compliance and risk; comply with customer requirements.
* Attract, retain and effectively deploy the best people.
* Saving on material and energy costs.
* Drive competitiveness and resources.
* Sustain your business model — especially by future proofing your strategy.

SAP reportedly saved €90 million in 2009 by reducing carbon footprint by 15 percent. Graf also presented several examples, for instance, Valero, which saved $120 million in 2009; Lexmark, which reduced 52 percent in manufacturing costs; and P&G, which generated $13.1 billion in sales.

He added: “Sustainability touches all processes. IT is at the bottom of all of this!” Graf outlined SAP’s dual strategy. This includes:

* SAP as an exemplar — transform SAP into a role model for sustainability.
* SAP as an enabler — lead the market of sustainability solutions.

“Sustainability transforms business and increases your profitability. It also drives competitive differentiation. Sustainability is a process challenge — it requires integrated IT. It is a leadership imperative,” Graf concluded.

Neelam Dhawan, MD, HP India.

Neelam Dhawan, MD, HP India.

Doing more with less!
Delivering the guest keynote, Neelam Dhawan, managing director, HP India, touched upon the need for enterprise CIOs to do more with less. The CIOs are already doing more with less!

She touched upon today’s global business, which also requires everyone to do more with less.

Salient features of today’s global business include — the global economy is in recovery; there are shrinking to flat IT budgets; there’s a data and resources sprawl; there is an inefficient infrastructure to handle growth; and overall, the business environment is dynamic.

She asked the CIOs and IT managers: “The main question is: are you prepared? Your actions today, will determine your future success.”

She also touched upon how enterprises can thrive in a low carbon economy. Dhawan added, “Green IT creates efficiencies, increases productivity and drives innovation.:

She also recommended the industry to optimize resources, build an intelligent infrastructure and drive sustainable transformation.

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