SAP aids Nortel in getting its house in order

Canada’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier is trying to get its house back in order through a global implementation of SAP’s latest enterprise resource planning suite.Speaking as part of a panel discussion for SAP’s Canadian customers last month, an executive from Nortel Networks said the company has already rolled out a dashboard that presents analytical data for its chief executive, Bill Owens, and is in the process of moving from SAP R/3 to the mySAP Business Suite for its finance and HR departments.
The blueprint phase of this project is now complete and is expected to be running by the middle of next year.
“It’s about reducing costs, but it’s also about making it less complex,” said Gabriele Baumann, SAP project manager at Nortel. “It’s so that an order-entry person doesn’t have to go to three different systems, they can just go to one.”
Running on HP hardware with an Oracle database on Microsoft Windows NT, the Nortel mySAP rollout will include its business intelligence module, its Enterprise Portal product and its NetWeaver integration middleware.
The result, Baumann said, will be one global instance of SAP that simplifies logistics and supplier audits.
Nortel has formed an SAP governance council with executives from its finance, operations, and IT departments, among others, which meets every two weeks to discuss the implementation.
“The key is that they are a real decision-making body,” she said, adding that the project has been personally endorsed by Owens.
“We’ve been in that situation (where we didn’t have executive sponsorship) before, and the projects just kind of limped along.”

X marks the box
CSA International, which provides product certification services for a wide range of manufacturing clients, is also in the midst of a mySAP project, but one that is bringing the ERP platform to its customers as well.
So far CSA has rolled out mySAP to its 20 largest clients, and has integrated with non-SAP systems such as Documentum.
John Harrickey, CSA’s director of IT applications, said ensuring data is properly secured so that information being hosted on behalf of CSA’s clients isn’t jeopardized.
“You don’t want someone in charge of the Sony Playstation seeing information about the Xbox,” he said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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