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Sustainability is the flavor of the year, not only for Peter Graf and his SAP team but for the whole post-bubble world. Here are some excerpts from a blog salvo yesterday.

Vinnie Mirchandani:

I have spent a lifetime implementing, analyzing, now blogging about SAP and other ERP vendors. In recent times, I have grown increasingly disillusioned with them.

One area they appear to show some interest in innovating is around sustainability. But they are letting their accounting side lead. We will regulate and comply and report ourselves to oblivion if we do not curb and reduce emissions and greenhouse footprints.

So, here’s a plea to ERP vendors. Focus on the plants, the refineries, the supply chains in your customers. Get out of your white collar comfort zone. Give me stuff I can proudly write about. Not your TCO.

Larry Dignan:

Enterprise resource planning software vendors have the tools to save us from global warming. Mirchandani is looking for something beyond the process mumbo jumbo and ROI calculations. ERP vendors have years of experience inside various industries. Will ERP vendors follow through?

Jeff Ventura:

Vinnie Mirchandani has some interesting ideas about sustainability. Sustainability is one of the emerging industries of the next three decades. If someone doesn’t fill the market need, someone else will. Why not ERP vendors? Radical ideas translate into tremendous opportunity.

Dennis Howlett:

The Confederation of British Industry has published a template for greenhouse gas emissions reporting. It has masses of detail in the reporting but very little in regard to strategy. None of us want greenwashing but SOX 2.0 in disguise? Vinnie’s call to action is entirely reasonable.

Back to me:

I agree with Vinnie. There are plenty of guys with a natural science background in SAP. How can we instrument real industrial processes to generate relevant data for resource footprint monitoring and control? The data volumes are no problem here. The glory of the IT sector is exponential growth in the power of our toolset. With infoviz frontends that even a CEO can use powered by engines like my own team’s TREX data-crunching monster, what’s stopping us?

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