How existing Oracle solutions deliver energy and cost savings
by Kate Pavao, May 2011
According to Jon Chorley, vice president of supply chain and sustainability product strategy at Oracle, savvy business leaders can green their operations by looking at Oracle solutions they already own—products that manage reverse supply chain, transportation, product development, and accounting. “If you look at the solutions you already have from Oracle, we have already added many capabilities that help you address your requirements in the sustainability space, and we continue to add more,” he says.
Here, Chorley answers questions submitted by Profit readers via Twitter about building a smart sustainability strategy—including where to look for quick payoffs and how new Oracle solutions can help your company grow greener and stronger.
@damienreilley: How do you measure green success? What are your benchmarks and metrics?
Chorley: There are many dimensions to consider. There’s the perception of your brand in the market; also, your compliance with various governmental regulatory requirements. But here’s the key measure: a company that is successful in terms of sustainability will see improved efficiency, reduced waste, expanded market opportunities, and a long-term ability to grow in an increasingly sustainability-conscious business climate.
Now, how does Oracle view its own success in this sector? For one, Oracle sets an example. We have consistently driven down our energy consumption with state-of-the-art data centers, and we run as a true e-business to reduce our use of physical materials as well as save money.
However, Oracle’s biggest impact is to drive benefits to customers through its products. While IBM seems to think the route to a “smarter planet” is through high-priced consultants, Oracle’s route is through the delivery of actual hardware and software solutions that can dramatically improve sustainability performance and compliance.
@eco_center: What ecological metric do you feel has the most leverage in bringing about business-scale transformation?
Chorley: Energy is the most obvious. The cost is going up, so savings will have an ever-increasing business value. Also, energy is a good surrogate for greenhouse gas production, which will be subject to more regulatory scrutiny. Additionally, the cost of housing and running servers now exceeds the cost of acquiring the servers. So changing to energy-efficient hardware is good business sense. But it’s good for IT performance as well. For example, Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic series servers have a far lower environmental impact than the hardware that they replace, and they perform much better.
Also, we’ve just acquired intellectual property from a company called Ndevr related to tracking, analyzing, and reporting on greenhouse gas production. We’ll be delivering standard Oracle versions of those products in the coming months. They will have the huge advantage of integrating with the related enterprise systems and business processes and so will deliver this capability at the best possible costs of ownership.
@capriprakash: Is Oracle’s SSDM solution relevant for operations at energy-intensive manufacturing companies?
Chorley: SSDM stands for sustainability sensor data management, and yes, it is extremely relevant. Last Oracle OpenWorld, we introduced the sustainability sensor data management solution as a major extension to Oracle Manufacturing Operations Center. It lets business leaders directly track, manage, compare, and analyze energy expenditures across any operating equipment or at any facility under their management.
Manufacturing businesses often have a high energy and environmental footprint, and anything that they can do to monitor, manage, and optimize their usage will drive significant bottom-line benefits. It will also have additional benefits in terms of compliance and government regulation, as well as adding to any business’s reputation for being a good corporate citizen.
Thanks to @damienreilley (Damien Reilley, Eminent Group, Inc.), @eco_center (Evan Marks, the Ecology Center), and @capriprakash (Prakash Singh) for submitting questions to Jon Chorley through Twitter.
Ready to join the conversation? Follow @OracleProfit to find out the topic of the next column and tweet your questions using the hashtag #askprofit. You’ll receive a 1 GB flash drive if your question is selected.