September 12, 2012 // By: Jacqueline Prause
SAP Mining & Metals Forum
The SAP Mining & Metals Forum 2012, held in Mannheim, Germany, kicked off at the city’s Rosengarten conference center on September 11 amid a time of rapid expansion and change for the normally staid industries, which are facing the combined pressures of rapid globalization, squeezed commodity pricing, and fierce merger and acquisition activity.
For many participants, the SAP Mining and Metals Forum provided an opportunity gain fresh insight on new industry-specific technologies, meet with IT experts, and engage with industry peers who may be facing similar challenges regarding IT strategy at their companies.
Eckhard Siess, vice president IBU Mill Products and Mining at SAP, emphasized the importance of this meeting for the industries’ IT professionals: “The value of this event is bringing the people together. In the past we have brought together the Executive Advisory Committee and we clearly saw the need to bring people together on a broader level, so we are bringing together players from all over the regions who are new to SAP and of course players who have used SAP for many years. The learning they can take out of this from talking to each other is the biggest value of this event.”
As the event’s 350 participants listened to the morning’s keynotes, one theme clearly dominated the two-day event: seeking new innovations to manage finite resources amid change.
Chakib Bouhdary, SAP’s executive vice president for corporate strategy and industry solutions, framed the issue of effective resource management in his engaging keynote address, wherein he highlighted the topics of current interest to business leaders in the mining and metals industries: matching supply with demand, commodity price volatility, compliance and sustainability, globalization, and issues of an aging workforce and the lack of skilled labor.
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