SAP Aids Utilities in Compliance Woes

Clint Boulton

Updated · Feb 22, 2005


SAP AG is helping utility companies leverage Web services
to help them more efficiently deal with deregulated markets and new
compliance issues.


SAP is blending its NetWeaver application platform, loaded with business
intelligence tools, to help electricity, gas and water companies use Web
services in an offering called SAP for Utilities.


The plan, announced at the Fifth SAP International Utilities Conference 2005
this week in Vienna, Austria, is one facet of the German giant’s strategy
for services-oriented architecture (SOA) , which leverages Web
services for distributed computing.


According to a statement, utility vendors can customize data exchange
processes between companies and adapt workflow processes, such as supplier
switch, reconciliation and settlement and payment processing.


For example, when a customer switches from one utility to another, the
disparate applications supporting individual processes, such as meter
reading, billing and reconciliation can be rearranged according to a new
process flow.


SAP for Utilities also addresses the needs of customers in deregulated
markets by providing compliance management and analytics capabilities.


But mapping out technology and processes for the utilities industry is a
tricky chore, which is why the new SAP road map addresses forthcoming
deregulation requirements such as “unbundling.”


By 2007, utilities in the European Union and other countries must separate
their previously bundled generation, distribution and retail operations.
SAP is proposing NetWeaver and Enterprise Services Architecture as an SOA
option.


E.ON Ruhrgas AG is making a smooth transition to SAP NetWeaver by
integrating its databases with SAP Business Intelligence and SAP Enterprise
Portal for reporting, analytics and information delivery, said Rudiger Erbe,
team leader of IT support for SAP Financials at E.ON Ruhrgas AG.

SAP for Utilities is the company’s latest effort to
garner new customers and market share in the competitive software space,
where it competes with No. 2 applications maker Oracle.


SAP has acted aggressively to thwart Oracle’s purchase
of PeopleSoft by acquiring PeopleSoft and J.D Edwards support provider TomorrowNow.


By delving into software infrastructure with its NetWeaver and SOA plans,
the Germany-based vendor will also find itself at odds with IBM and BEA
Systems, among others.


This is unlikely to deter SAP, which boasts a huge customer base of more
than 26,000. SAP is also emboldened by a strong pact to integrate NetWeaver and Microsoft .NET.

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  • Clint Boulton
    Clint Boulton

    Clint Boulton, a senior writer at CIO, covers IT leadership, digital transformation, and the CIO role. He was a content marketer for Dell APEX. Inspire IT leaders with tales about the advantages of multi-cloud infrastructures. Dunning-Kruger bias is something that keeps IT leaders sceptical, but curious nonetheless.

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