SAP Phils. Confident 2004 Will Be Another Good Year; Expects Strong Growth in Health, Public & Banking Sectors, SMEs

Article excerpt

SAP Philippines country manager Krish Datta said the local subsidiary of global enterprise solution leader SAP AG is not likely to be affected by uncertainty associated with economic growth or the May elections because strategic decisions arent affected by short-term factors. Longterm investment decisions are not affected by year-to-year business conditions, but by strategic opportunities and threats, he said.

Datta has nine years experience with SAP, and oversees Indonesia and Vietnam in addition to the Philippines. "In my experience which spans the worst and the best of times neither uniquely positive nor uniquely negative short-term business and economic conditions affect strategic directions and decisions in professionally managed firms. I am constantly meeting with senior executives all over Asia and have always found that while they may temporarily adjust shortterm goals and activities to reflect short-term conditions, strategic objectives remain time bound and unchanged."

Datta explained that although he is frequently told that election uncertainty in the Philippines will negatively affect business conditions and economic growth this year, he said, "if a company feels that they are competitively disadvantaged because they dont have the resources and benefits that a world-class enterprise system provides, they are not going to compound that liability by putting off a key strategic investment just because an election is coming up or there is some uncertainty about the economy.

"Those are reasons to push through with the investment, not to delay it," he said. Datta said that an enterprise system like SAP enables a company to identify and leverage key value drivers that are the source of increased efficiency, productivity, and profitability. "Great organizations dont look at year-on-year figures and say, Oh, production costs are up. Instead, using SAPs analytics they see that three or four items among perhaps hundreds are causing production costs to increase, and this allows executives to address specific areas of concern in a very focused and effective manner."

Datta said this is possible because SAP enables corporations to implement a Balanced Scorecard Approach to strategic planning and performance evaluation. The Balanced Scorecard is a system developed by Harvard Business School professors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton for testing, monitoring, and updating organizational strategy. It employs measures in four categories financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth to align individual, organizational, and cross-departmental initiatives and to identify entirely new processes for meeting customer and shareholder objectives, according to Kaplan and Norton. …