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Wed 8 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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IT as a competitive business weapon

The SAP World Tour is demonstrating to business leaders how the best-run organisations in 2007 will be using IT to secure competitive advantage by enabling rapid response to changing customer needs.

Rather than focusing on internal inefficiencies, IT priorities are changing to outward-looking interaction with customers and suppliers to meet market demands for flexibility, speed, and innovation.

The vision and strategy for enabling business change and increasing profitability is the theme of the SAP tour that takes in 38 countries and 110 cities and is currently on its Middle East leg.

The tour aims to strengthen SAP’s relationship with existing clients and promote its Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA) adoption program, a new services-orientated architecture (SOA) that offers a formalised, step-by-step approach to help companies manage strategic transition based on their individual needs, while maintaining the productivity of existing systems.

Addressing an audience of business leaders and IT specialists in Dubai, SAP’s Middle East managing director Sergio Maccotta stresses that business model innovation is the key to successful strategy. “Whatever their size, companies will have to excel at a ‘role’ and participate in one or more ‘value networks’ while promoting IT to become a strategic weapon,” he says.

The message of the event is that business/IT architecture in 2007 will have to focus resources on key business levers, such as enhancing the experience of customers, building better relationships with suppliers, and creating higher value partnership chains. “Increased responsiveness is imperative, enabling business to respond to change more effectively, exploit ‘first to market’ potential, and optimise end-to-end processes — rather than individual activities,” Maccotta says.

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