News & Views

News & Views is published monthly by 180 Systems. Our objective is to provide recent articles to our readers on business technology topics. In some cases, our blog contains a title with a hyperlink to a source article, a quote from the article and our comments. In other cases, we have provided a blog without a hyperlink for original content by 180 Systems. We encourage you to post your own comments. You can also access our blog by topic.

County alleges SAP, Deloitte engaged in racketeering


February 02, 2011 from InfoWorld – “The government of Marin County, Calif., is suing two SAP subsidiaries and Deloitte Consulting, alleging they “engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity designed to defraud the County of more than $20 million…

Last August, when news of the county’s intentions to remove the software came to light, an SAP spokesman told IDG News Service that the company’s product was not to blame, and “any issues in this implementation in no way reflect on SAP.” Many public agencies are using SAP software successfully, he added…”

180 View – It is hard to understand how organizations find themselves in such a mess with so much money and risk at stake. You would think that they would do whatever it takes to avoid a disaster. An ERP disaster is not like a natural disaster where you have no time to get out of harm’s way.


Turning handheld power into enterprise clout

ERP, IT Strategy

2011 from PwC’s Technology Forecast – “D7, a construction consulting firm in Southern California, threw its hat in the ring when it heard that, a cloud storage provider, was seeking a partner to test business applications on the Apple iPad. Before long, about 20 field workers at D7 were using smart tablets to diagnose quality assurance issues on-site; to relay audio, documents, and digital photos; and to store and share the material via

By using this approach, D7 has accomplished something that had previously eluded it: digital workflow from customer sites. In the past, workflow involved paper documents “that weren’t very usable,” says Aaron Levie, CEO of cloud collaboration company Joseph Daniels, D7 president, says tasks that took a week or longer can now be done the same day. “That’s what people want. They want it now or yesterday,” he says. With a mobile digital workflow, the D7 team eliminated a major bottleneck…”

180 View – I have always appreciated PwC’s technology forecast which is something PwC has been doing for a long time – even when I was a PwC employee many years ago.


Larry’s Long Reach


February 23, 2011 from Forbes – “Oracle cofounder and Chief Executive Larry Ellison has long desired to undo Microsoft and become, as he has put it, the “number one” software company in the world. He’s not there yet, despite having spent some $40 billion to buy up 75 hardware and software companies over the years. Microsoft claims a market capitalization of $226 billion compared with Oracle’s $169 billion.

Yet recently one of his lesser-known investments is starting to take nips out of Microsoft, SAP and, oddly enough, even his own Oracle…

NetSuite has found itself fashionable. Last year its revenues totaled $193 million, up 16% with operating losses of $25.6 million. Its stock has jumped 248% in the last two years (see table, “Too Fast, Too Furious”). Ellison’s 50.5% stake, worth $930 million, is no longer a mere rounding error in his $27 billion net worth.”

180 View – NetSuite has led the way in offering ERP by SaaS. However, they will face tougher competition as the major vendors try to catch up.


Enterprise Strategy Report – Global ERP Functionality Differences


February 14, 2011 from Aberdeen Group – “While globalization was once the exclusive domain of the large multi-billion dollar companies, today even small to medium size enterprises cannot escape the issues associated with global trade and offshore manufacturing. Whether you view the world as flat or round, it is definitely shrinking. North American and European companies have been challenged by the introduction of lower priced products coming into their markets from countries with inexpensive labour, causing the trend in recent years toward offshore manufacturing operations and the procurement of materials from low cost country sources, which in turn introduces a higher level of complexity into the supply chain…”

180 View – Ideally, a global company has one instance of the ERP system for all locations to share. But that is often not practical or even optimal. There are good consolidation tools available in Corporate Performance Management systems that would make sense for global companies.


What’s Missing in Improvement Initiatives

Business Process Analysis

February 16, 2011 from Industry Week – “..Improvement initiatives may help an organization improve, but rarely do they provide a competitive advantage, says Michael Bremer, co-author with Brian McKibben of “Escape the Improvement Trap: Five Ingredients Missing in Most Improvement Recipes.”

That’s because the competition is likely implementing the same methodology. “From a competitive scene nothing much has changed because everybody goes about getting better in pretty much the same way,” he says. The end result is that most companies are merely average, he says. And that’s the trap. In their book the authors outline five characteristics they say the most effective companies display, yet which are either missing or significantly underused in most firms’ improvement programs…”

180 View – The five mentioned characteristics are

  1. Customer value
  2. People engagement
  3. Key metrics
  4. Process thinking
  5. Executive mindset

We would also recommend adding alignment of improvement initiatives to Critical Success Factors (CSFs) to the list. We define CSFs as what an organization must do well in order to be successful. By focusing on CSFs, the right things get done.


Cloud Computing: The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

Cloud Computing

January 27, 2011 from Toolbox for IT – “Private clouds.  Public Clouds.  Hybrid clouds.  We’re being bombarded by those who claim that these are new, revolutionary, and potentially insecure IT configurations which will challenge our notions of data privacy and compliance.  Unknowns.  Big risks.

To this I say it’s all a bunch of hot air.  In my humble opinion private clouds will make as much sense ten years from now as owning your own power plant does today…”

180 View – Besides agreeing with the author’s opinion, I’m an old Dylan fan and liked the title.

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Suitemates – Episode 6


180 View – Something to laugh about.

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The 90/10 Principle


180 View – Something to think about.

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