It is day three of this SAP focused supply chain conference and my top agenda item was to attend a deep-dive sessions on SAP’s new solution extension, SAP Supply Chain Response Management by ICON-SCM. The presentation was anchored by Mike Lipton of SAP and Steve Lykken of ICON-SCM.  I provide some initial impressions of this new solution extension in a previous commentary. This presentation did not at all disappoint and helped to fill-in some of the strategy and architectural components of this new offering for SAP installed base customers.  The session was well attended and the audience had very detailed and perceptive questions during the Q&A period.  The most obvious: How this application interrelates and integrates with the existing SAP SCM planning and collaboration applications?

Supply Chain Matters will have more detailed commentary in upcoming postings, but for the time being, we can share some initial impressions.

First, this application is significant because it is yet another acknowledgement from a large ERP vendor that supply chain activities are moving at such a rapid pace, that planning organizations require a tool that focuses on quicker what-if planning, simulation and response management.  High tech and consumer electronics firm’s deal with these challenges daily, but more and more, other industry settings are manifesting these same conditions. Readers may recall that last year, Oracle introduced the Oracle Rapid Planning application with similar goals.  The fact that two of the major ERP vendors, and other best-of-breed vendors are now focusing on this capability is good news for the market.  It also perhaps validates some of your own organization’s perceptions regarding the need for planning tools to be able to keep-up with the new, faster clock speed of business these days.

The second implication is that as SAP customers gain further awareness of this application, there will need to be a very definitive educational plan from SAP Solution Management on the various options for deployment and integration.  A lot will be industry and value-chain dependent, along with the experience level of the particular SAP customer.  We believe that there is much more to come concerning this solution extension, and SAP customers would be wise to keep a keen eye on communications related to SAP Response Management. Pricing has not been discussed and future integration development schedules may remain fluid for the remainder of 2011.

This author is getting ready to catch a plane for the next destination, and we plan to have one other summary commentary concerning this conference in the next day or so.

Bob Ferrari