Does the Vatican Run on SAP?
I’m not a very religious person. All in all, I’m far too rational to believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. Still I followed the election of the new Pope with a high degree of interest. Not so much because of the religious aspect, but because of the enterprise aspect. Without trying to banalise the importance of Catholocism, the recent election of the new Pope did get me thinking about the Catholic church. Some articles even referred to the Pope as a CEO and the church as the oldest of the multinationals. If the catholic church is an enterprise, lead by the Pope, and the Vatican is the headquarters, do they then also run enterprise software?
After all, the Vatican employs 1 million people. Priests, cardinals, co-workers, attorneys, administration,… They have 1 billion customers and offer multiple services, amongst which 7 premium services. (the sacraments) I’m not even mentioning the vast infrastructure (oh wait I just did).
I could perfectly imagine the Vatican to have a SuccessFactors license to keep track of the performance of all their employees and an HR backend for payroll processing. Every customer of the church could be recorded in their vast CRM system, where every customer complaint (confession), sunday service, premium service etc are stored. Considering the modernizations of Benedictus, who brought Twitter into the Vatican, they could even connect their CRM system via social media, for better contact with their religious followers.
The sales figures of every Priest can be easily monitored by the number of services held, followers per service, complaints and sacraments. All of this data can be mined via SAP HANA (because we’re talking about BIG Data here). Via their tablets (easy to keep those on the Altar), priests get to follow their statistics. Via the mobile phones of the followers, an app can gather data on who attended last Sunday’s service.
The Vatican also has some other activities. Think of the Vatican bank. This can be perfectly integrated with the greater whole by using SAP FI. SAP asset management provides a solution for the vastly spread real estate.
Suppose the Vatican would have such an IT system; wouldn’t choosing the next Pope become a lot easier. You would just have to consult the evaluations sheets in SuccessFactors to come to a conclusion. Although that procedure would do injustice to the religious and symbolic importance of the feat, we don’t really know what goes on in the closed meeting anyway.