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Author's profile photo Don Mahoney

Thoughts from the 2012 Chemical Executive Advisory Council

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the SAP Chemical Executive Advisory Council (CEAC) is upon us!  Senior IT executives from some of the leading chemical companies from around the world will be gathering at the Print Media Academy in Heidelberg, Germany on September 25 and 26 to discuss the top business trends in the Chemical industry, and IT’s role addressing these key challenges.

Topics will range from globalization and expansion into the emerging economies; driving product integrity and innovation in a highly regulated climate;  knowledge & talent management in the face of an aging workforce; “big data” across the enterprise and the need to extract insights driving operational excellence; as well as “ease of use” and “speed of deployment” in IT.

The pace of innovation at SAP during the past two years has been perhaps the most aggressive of any time in recent history.  SAP’s investments in analytics, in-memory computing, mobility, and cloud technologies are beginning to combine with amazing synergy – not only helping businesses run better and faster, but opening up opportunities never-before-possible. 

Consider for example, the ability to provide salespeople, with customer profitability by product in real time, on an iPad, so that they can ensure margin, as well as revenue attainment with each engagement.  Or the ability to bring planning inputs from sales, marketing, finance and operations into the cloud, analyze multiple scenarios in near-real-time, and respond to market, environmental or customer dynamics as they occur from anywhere in the world.  Or – when a new regulation emerges – to instantaneously comb through thousands of recipes and formulations to see which ones are impacted, and automate the management of change to update registrations, MSDS, labels, import/export documents and more in a systematic and auditable way.

Transformations like these require more than just analytics, in-memory computing and mobility – but a full integration across business systems and an elegant harmonization of the components as well.  Add the boost of functionality from the recent acquisitions of Syclo (enterprise mobility solutions), Right Hemisphere (intelligent 3D visualization), Success Factors (cloud based HR analytics and talent management), Crossgate (cloud based electronic document exchange) and the anticipated acquisition of Ariba (spend management solutions), and one can quickly see what makes SAP so unique, and what makes it such an exciting time to be a part of the “SAP ecosystem” for the chemical industry!

This year’s CEAC promises to be a lively and informative exchange with an ambitious goal of  seeking to align top business challenges of the global chemical industry with SAP’s rich portfolio of solutions and services, to chart a mid- to long-term strategy for the global chemical marketplace.

What do you think are the industry’s biggest challenges?  What role to do you see IT playing in transforming the next generation chemical enterprise?  What has you most excited about SAP’s recent innovations and how do you see it impacting the chemical industry?  I’d love to hear from you…

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