In a further sign that SAP is regaining the confidence of its customers, the software giant announced that it has signed on Sysco, the largest foodservice supplier in North America, for a major business transformation project.
The companies said Sysco will roll out the SAP Business Suite beginning in 2011 throughout its operations as well as the SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence suite. The software will be rolled out in a phased deployment, with a completion date likely in 2013.
"This is more than an IT project -- it is truly a business transformation," said Jim Hope, who fittingly serves as Sysco's executive vice president of business transformation. "Using the power of SAP as the foundation for our transformation, Sysco intends to improve productivity, retain and expand business with existing customers, and understand where market opportunities lie so we can do a better job attracting and pursuing new business."
Most consumers would not be familiar with the Sysco brand, as it usually serves restaurants, hotels, educational facilities and a wide range of other businesses behind the scenes. It has 47,000 employees, serves some 400,000 customers, and had sales of $37 billion in 2009.
The company said in order to prepare for future growth, it realized it needed an integrated IT platform to unify processes across a number of operating companies and 186 distribution centers feeding those operations. Through the SAP deployment Hope said the company intends to boost efficiency, improve sales and marketing, and increase transparency through better data management across the organization.
A major piece of the deployment will be the implementation of SAP's Customer Relationship Management application, which will give Sysco's sales and marketing associates a single view of the customer base. Sysco said it will also leverage the software to provide customers with a richer online experience with detailed product information and even preparation videos and nutritional details.
"We have a tremendous opportunity to use technology to continue to sharpen our operations," Twila Day, Sysco's chief information officer, said in a statement.
The Sysco customer win announcement came just days after SAP reported improved first quarter results, including a 97 percent increase in profit and a 12 percent gain in software and software-related revenues.
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