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It appears I am not the only one talking about how SAP EDI and B2B helps companies go green. Several weeks back I wrote the article called Going Green with SAP EDI and e-Invoicing, and today I read this announcement, Moving towards a Green Future – SANYO Switches to EDI On-Demand.  Its too commercial to include here, but it describes an interesting scenario.

SANYO Component Europe GmbH, the leading supplier of industrial batteries for hybrid vehicles and other electronic automotive components, is switching its EDI communications to an on-demand EDI service (using a SAP NetWeaver based cloud computing model) that is “powered by SAP” which is fully in line with its green “Think GAIA” corporate vision of SANYO.

They were motivated to switch from traditional EDI, to EDI in a cloud computing model only when there was a demand for new kinds of EDI and B2B messages with new supply chains and customers.  As IT departments know around the world, there needs to be a business driver to change even the most obnoxious IT infrastructures and systems.  Nearly every long term business finds themselves stuck with old IT architecture, applications and practices that no longer makes sense, however, the cost of replacing it never seems to survive budget negotiations. 

Where is the “going green” part of SANYO Component Europe’s switch?  It appears that SANYO sees switching from a traditional EDI model to a cloud computing model for EDI as helping them achieve their goals of accelerating the introduction of innovative and ecologically friendly technologies. The previous solution, an in-house EDI middleware solution, was too expensive to maintain and to continue adding new trading partners and complex EDI requirements.  Their ability to introduce “greener” products is enhanced by improving their IT strategies.

Let’s attempt now to further read between the lines of this announcement. SANYO has a new supply chain, new customers and new logistics partners for these new products. That means there will likely be several new EDI implementation projects and EDI/B2B on-boarding initiatives. That translates into lots of new and expensive work and a long term commitment to the traditional in-house EDI model if it is done internally.  All of this new work seems to have motivated them to re-think their long-term approach to EDI. Obviously SANYO decided that it was a good time to switch to the cloud computing model promoted and co-owned by SAP.

Today, many companies are looking to simplify IT infrastructures and to standardize around SAP solutions.  Companies rarely feel compelled to switch out traditional EDI systems and integrations unless there is a new and compelling event.  Sometimes these events are implementing major upgrades, or adding SAP’s SNC, TMS or adding new supply chains and customers as was SANYO’s case.

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