MUNICH, Germany — Nov. 7, 2006 — Today at Convergence 2006 EMEA, Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions at Microsoft Corp., discussed how European businesses are looking to supply chain management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software as key tools for achieving environmental initiatives in their companies. As part of his speech, Nadella revealed the results of a survey conducted in Europe by AMR Research* that showed an increase in IT spending to reduce environmental impact. The key points from the study show the following:
Environmental sustainability initiatives are a top issue for most if not all companies surveyed, commanding 16 percent of IT budgets in 2004 and growing to 21 percent of IT budgets in 2007 — 31 percent growth for the period. There is some discrepancy between what IT managers and what the managers of specific lines of business think they are investing in, underscoring a lack of cohesiveness in the initiatives across organizations.
Key technology tools to advance these initiatives are supply chain management, ERP, compliance management, financials and operations.
Due to the increasing requirements of regulatory compliance, most initiatives in this area have been the result of reactive needs as opposed to a proactive approach to the issue.
Environmental dashboards were considered useful by 92 percent of respondents, with 77 percent determined to develop one in the near future.
“It makes sense for companies to do this,” Nadella said. “If you want to track energy, waste and emissions, and engage in sustainable practices, then you need to harness back-end processes to increase productivity and make this happen. This is a strategy we are pursuing with Microsoft Dynamics™.”
During his keynote address Nadella demonstrated prototypes of a roles-based environmental dashboard that companies can use to track their environmental initiatives. Microsoft also announced that it will create a Microsoft Dynamics Snap add-in to enable customers to implement an environmental dashboard on top of Microsoft® SharePoint® Products and Technologies and Microsoft Dynamics. The company will also create an online community where people can participate in a discussion about the best steps for achieving environmental sustainability.
“In theory, all enterprise applications should be an important source of data for such activities, but companies have tended to use best-of-breed or even manual systems to date,” said Nigel Montgomery, director of European Research at AMR Research. “Microsoft is the first of the large enterprise applications vendors to overtly focus on a proactive approach to environmental control.”
By being proactive and approaching environmental initiatives from a global perspective, Microsoft Dynamics customers can move beyond simply enabling compliance. They can answer the moral imperative of being good corporate citizens while strengthening their businesses by recognizing hidden efficiencies and thus uncovering the economic benefits of sound environmental sustainability practices.
Microsoft Dynamics Customers Practice Environmental Sustainability
Large-scale bakery Lantmännen Unibake (http://www.lantmannen.com) of Poland adopted sustainable development principles to stem losses from product spoilage. The company produces fresh and frozen bakery products for supermarkets and cash-and-carry stores across its region. Before it implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX, locating products within the manufacturer’s warehouse was often difficult and time-consuming. Products to be delivered to customers were frequently the last in to the warehouse, leading to inefficiencies in operations, supply chain delays and a high degree of waste as products exceeded their expiration dates. By deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX, Lantmännen Unibake Poland gained full measurement capability and control of every part of its storage for management of product quality. Microsoft Dynamics AX also enables the company to track fuel efficiency per delivery vehicle, resulting in a 40 percent decrease in the amount of fuel used since January 2006. Waste is now down significantly, while revenue is up 43 percent.
Improving Business Productivity
In his presentation, Nadella also discussed how the strategy for Microsoft Dynamics to increase personal productivity by combining roles-based business processes with online services acts a catalyst for improving a company’s overall productivity by empowering users with a new generation of collaborative business processes. He demonstrated a variety of scenarios showing how Microsoft products come together to optimize the work performed by people in operations, finance and sales departments.
“What Microsoft Office and Windows® did for personal productivity in the ’90s, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista™ plus Microsoft Dynamics and Windows Live™ services can do for business productivity in the 2000s,” Nadella said. “By giving people a new generation of tools to improve their individual productivity, we are boosting the productivity of companies in the aggregate, preparing them to face future challenges such as environmental sustainability.”
Beyond the Bottom Line
Nadella also highlighted how a nonprofit organization is using Microsoft Dynamics and its roles-based approach to achieve maximum impact. Nadella cited Concern Worldwide (http://www.concern.net), an international humanitarian organization founded in Ireland in 1968, as a customer running its operations on Microsoft Dynamics technologies. With 4,000 employees working in 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, Concern Worldwide provides emergency relief and long-term assistance to the poorest people, focusing on education, credit and savings, health and HIV/AIDS. It previously used disparate technology systems in different countries, but through the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics GP across the organization, Concern Worldwide has benefited from significant productivity improvements in key areas such as finance, program and budget planning, and supply chain management. In essence, Microsoft Dynamics GP is enabling Concern Worldwide to more efficiently and effectively track and monitor the use of donations and goods around the world to ensure that the staff is delivering programs and services to the poorest people as effectively as possible.
“Our core mission is to impact the lives of the poor in practical ways,” said Tom Arnold, chief executive officer at Concern Worldwide. “Microsoft Dynamics GP has been a powerfully effective tool in helping us to plan, monitor and manage the information in our global operations more effectively and, a result, maximize the amount of money going directly into our emergency relief and development programs to create a significant impact on poverty. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re about: being accountable to our donors and making a practical difference to lives of the poorest people.”
About Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of financial, customer relationship and supply chain management solutions that helps businesses work more effectively. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business management solutions work like and with familiar Microsoft software to streamline processes across an entire business.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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