One of the most enjoyable phases of writing a book is the conversations I get to have with some of the most innovative executives in the world. With SAP Nation, that was tough to arrange at the start – many of the executives I talked to described pain, anger, other negative emotions about their SAP environments.
I almost gave up on the book a couple of times. I am glad I persisted because I found many executives who have taken risks and optimized their environments often contrary to what SAP and its partners and many of their peers were advising them. They are the brave ones and to salute them I will excerpt on New Florence in January each of the 12 strategies I heard from them summarized in the graph below.
They include Marc Kustoff at Endo International and their complex ERP consolidation with the backdrop of number of acquisitions and divestitures. And Andre Blumberg at CLP Group and their highly analytical supplier management culture and its application to SAP. And Dave Smoley at AstraZeneca and his project to invert the 70/30 outsourced/insourced talent model he inherited. And Alexandre Baulé at Embraer who went with third party maintenance even when surrounded by one of the most complex regulatory settings in Brazil and in the aviation industry. There are many similar executives profiled in the book across 10 countries and 15 industries.
While these examples are set in SAP environments, their strategies can equally be applied to other IT settings. A common element is they are risk takers.
As I say in the book
The customers profiled in the book are the “canaries in the coal-mine.” For every one of these risk-takers, many other customers continue with business as usual. When these customers finally get ready to optimize their environments, they will thank McNamara, Daru and other pioneers.
Enjoy the excerpts in January, and if you happen to run into any of them in your travels please express your admiration.