Two conferences at one place


HEIDELBERG, beginning of October (bv). In a competitive business climate, accelerated efficient product development tightly coupled with well-tuned project and portfolio management (PPM) are essential for organizations that want to stay ahead. And for both types of industries, the discrete and the process industries, PLM together with PPM – in different flavours of course – are acknowledged as powerful instruments to meet today’s market demands coined by enhanced globalization. But both management concepts need the right framework to develop their full splendour. And indeed, SAP has taken this “foundation of success: innovation, speed to market, compliance“ really seriously, as Thomas Ohnemus, Vice-President Solution Marketing PLM, Manufacturing, EAM, distinctively expressed in his keynote presented together with Graham Conlon, Global Vice President SAP PLM Solution Management. Both conferences acted as a proper “parliament“ to discuss the consequences of globalized product development and fabrication. To meet the resulting challenges, SAP AG based in Walldorf/Germany offers a comprehensive PLM and PPM portfolio, so there was a lot to share. 

Open CAD integration framework 

It was then the turn of Mr Conlon to present the latest news on the SAP PLM 7.x offerings from a more functional perspective, e.g. in terms of authoring tool integration (“CAD agnostic is SAP’s attitude”, as Mr Conlon said) not forgetting to mention that the CAD integration framework has been opened up. With regard to SAP Visual Enterprise Solutions, Mr Ohnemus then spoke about the linkage of 3D visuals with business information with the result that “SAP will open your eyes”: SAP Business Suite is made to capture really all engineering, manufacturing and business data whereas SAP Visual Enterprise with its embedded analytics will lift (mobile) business activities up to the next level.Mr Ohnemus was followed by Ravi Prakash from Bombardier Aerospace talking about efficient design-to-build processes using the SAP PLM 7.01 and SAP PPM 5.0 tool suites. Mr Prakash dived deep into SAP’s world of modules. Then followed Daniel Bender from SAP whose initial sentences about trends in the process industries like “we are living in a greener world everyday” or “globalization is blamed for everything” thankfully brought back the spirit of ease to the conference, which is necessary not to get lost in the everyday fight with the challenges in product compliance and regulation issues. The australian online gaming good thing: there is tremendous growth in the middle class, certainly not in Europe, but across other regions of the world by a rate of 100 percent. Since expectations are quite different in these new target groups, there is a remarkable need for new products. The bad thing: the limited resources call for profound understanding of local capabilities, e.g. in terms of sourcing. Thanks to his likeable personality, Mr Bender was able keep the auditorium‘s attention during his entire presentation on customer trends and success stories in process industries.

Case study Esso Belgium

Another highlight on day two of the conference was Colja Bönnemann’s insight in the use of SAP PLM in the highly regulated, global bulk and packaged liquids business of Esso Belgium. Mr Bönnemann spoke about the actual status of an ongoing project in the field of fuels, lubricants (like asphalts or motor oils), and specialities. For instance, Esso is represented with 2 000 products in 108 countries. Based on 5 000 recipes, these products are fabricated in 39 plants. These are quite impressive numbers and quite obvious was that “it‘s all about integrity,” as Mr Bönnemann emphasized. The four pillars of the presented project ProMIS (“Product Management Integrity System“) are quality, performance, representation, and regulatory compliance. Exxon Mobile uses SAP as strategic platform and moreover, a strategic partnership with SAP was formed for successful project execution.  
Both conferences showed up how important it is to share experiences and opinions about how to create a world to keep on becoming “greener every day“ as Daniel Bender from SAP perfectly pointed out. The presentations made it clear: more sustainability means more competition means more need for PLM and PPM respectively.

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