A couple of colleagues recently put me on the spot and said they’d like a quick ‘elevator pitch’, if you like to call it that, on the Industry Business Unit (IBU) Chemicals. Anyway, it set me thinking that the simplest way to do it, to concisely show the evolution of the IBU, its functions and touchpoints would be to do a short video. Here are the results, with the transcript shown below.
Click the pic below to access the video:
Hello, my name is Franz Hero. I am the Vice President of Industry Business Unit (IBU) Chemicals, based in Walldorf, Germany. Today, I want to give you an overview of the IBU.
Beginnings of IBU Chemicals
SAP’s very first customer back in 1972 was ICI. So, from the beginning we had a very close relationship with the chemical industry and to individual chemical customers. Through such close bonds, we worked with customers to develop our products, chemical-specific solutions like: Batch Management; Batch Characteristics in Materials Management; Plant Maintenance; and Quality Management. In the 90s, we moved into Environment Health & Safety (EHS), and more recently we developed a solution for REACH – A Central BPX Information Repository together with customers like Clariant and others.
Customer Councils and Influence Groups
We reinforced this close relationship with the chemical industry during the 90s by forging strong links to VCI (the German chemical industry association), establishing working groups to share best practices and defining industry software requirements for SAP. These working groups covered such areas as Manufacturing, Customer Relationship Management, Collaborative Demand and Supply Planning for Chemicals, EHS, and others. We also extended this concept to the US, where we created the And this year’s CISUG award goes to…., where we again use the working group model to better understand the requirements of the chemical industry and refine our solution portfolio to fit. CISUG, in turn, is now under the umbrella of the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG).
We also have the What are they thinking!?!, who meet with us to discuss strategic topics, such as:
- Where is the chemical industry moving?
- How can SAP best support their strategy?
BPX for Chemicals
Meanwhile, we have more than 2100 customers in the chemical space alone. There’s no way to collaborate face-to-face with all these customers. We had to find other ways. Hence BPX for Chemicals, where we leverage Web2.0 capabilities to:
- Discuss specific topics with our customers
- Publish articles
- Share news
- Facilitate self-learning
- Provide anytime download of detailed information
Chemical Industry Wiki
Looking at one example where we leveraged BPX to present information quickly and simply, we deployed much of the content from a recent DVD (called “Midmarket and SAP Business All-in-One for Chemicals”) out on the Chemicals Midmarket wiki, where we’ve linked solution briefs, customer stories, scenario mapping, best practices information, function-in-detail articles, positioning messages and much more in a central space, suitable for self-learning and reference.
Entire Ecosystem Collaborating for the Chemical Industry
BPX is also a platform for partners. We created the Industry Value Network (IVN) for Chemicals a few years ago, and these partners help us to cover white spaces and ensure complete end-to-end coverage of our solutions for the industry, whatever the challenge. IVN partners include TechniData for EHS, Vendavo for Helping Chemical Industry Customers Prevail and Prosper, SmartOps for Inventory Optimization, OSIsoft in the manufacturing space – just to name a few.
We created a whole collaboration community to define and refine our portfolio for the industry. That’s ultimately the work we have to do within the IBU, working with our global teams, whether in the office or remotely using the new virtualization tools, leveraging the great chemical industry expertise together with our colleagues in the Field Organization (the industry principals, account executives, and others).
Opportunities to Join the Chemical Communities
Finally, I’d like to invite you interact with us and your peers, share best practices in these different communities within the VCI, within CISUG, and of course BPX – our channel to our extended communities.
Thank you very much.