ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday June 08, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 54
Financial Times  

Indian government on the way to full automation-SAP officials

By Tharindri Rupesinghe

Mumbai - The Indian government is on the way to becoming a fully automated mechanism, according to SAP officials speaking at the recently concluded SAP summit in Mumbai, India. The buckling up of the public sector will be a sure cause for further growth in the neighbouring countries’ economy.

In a region with a set of notoriously inefficient public sectors, the move should be an eye-opener for the Sri Lankan government as well. “There will be a huge wave of automation happening in the next six to seven years in India,” said Ranjan Das, President and CEO, SAP Indian sub continent, the operation that oversees Sri Lanka as well.

Mr Das said that best practices will be pulled in from around the globe to automate the government’s business practices, and that this will have the eventual effect of India supplying the next set of best practices to the world. Special emphasis will be given to the education and health sectors.

German-originated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) provider SAP offers a platform of solutions to businesses that wish to integrate their operations-sales, distributions, finance etc. - on a common software platform. Separate solutions are offered in the business model to businesses of 24 varying sectors in the large and SME arenas. In that vein, he said that SAP would be looking at providing sector-specific solutions for the various arms of the Indian public sector.

“You have to invest in a sector you can never outgrow,” said Bill Mcdermott, President and CEO, SAP Americas and Asia pacific Japan, told the conference while speaking of the infrastructure constraints involved in a private software firm taking on a public sector the magnitude of India.

He said that despite this, governments have to have a platform to run on if operations are to be carried out successfully. V.R.S. Nataranjan, Chairman and Managing Director of BEML Ltd, a SAP customer, noted that in the advances in the public sectors of neighbouring countries, unions and management are shakily finding a way of working with co-operation. He said pay levels for public sector management positions have seen a recent increase.

SAP has 38 Sri Lankan customers including JKH, Eagle Insurance and Dialog Broadband among others, and is looking at opening a centre in the country since currently all operations are carried out from India mainly via partners. In line with the trend seen in many global conglomerates and multinationals, SAP’s Indian arm has been experiencing high growth and stands as the third largest SAP subsidiary after Germany and the US.


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