As the premier developer of ERP software, SAP has provided the means for public and private entities to amass volumes of data bearing on interesting questions, e.g. whether any curvilinear relationship exists between cost and usage of piece parts (between the obvious extrema.) What are SAP’s rights and responsibilities with respect to such data? 1. Rights. Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that in the SAP license agreements with its ERP clients, SAP were given the right to run certain numerical analysis programs on the clients’ tables which store data on cost and usage of piece parts. (I’m obviously not talking here about programs which would compromise the integrity and security of client data – I’m talking about programs which would analyze client data in order to generate certain empirical numerical indices involving the relationships between cost and usage across various types of supply-chain operations.) 2. Responsibilities. Suppose, moreover, that examination of these cost/usage indices revealed that they were related to standard profitability/efficiency indices in previously unnoticed and surprising ways. From a “socially-conscious” perspective, would it not be incumbent on SAP to share its new-found insights with the ERP community at large? And from a “selfish” perspective, would it not to be incumbent on SAP to share these insights with the ERP community, simply because any customer who used these insights to increase profitability would have more money to spend on SAP’s new line of Enterprise SOA software? 3. The Reason I’m Asking. Being pure of heart, I have no “selfish” motives for asking these questions, but only “socially-conscious” motives. I’ll explain these in a later post, but right now I’m more interested in getting any feedback on these two general questions which SDN/BPXers might be interested in offering.