This week, Kraft announced it had acquired Cadbury-you know, the chocolate egg company-for $19.5 billion. That's only mildly interesting, even if you like Cadbury eggs, which I do not, but what is interesting is the role SAP has played in both these companies.
ComputerWorld UK published a short, but revealing article explaining how this buyout might affect IT. Layoffs seem inevitable, but as the piece points out, it will also likely mean a "masssive SAP integration project," since both companies use the popular enterprise resource planning software.
It turns out, in recent years, Kraft implemented SAP ERP 6.0 in what SAP called one of its largest global ERP implementations, the article says. Kraft credited ERP with reducing operational costs. I don't want to repeat everything in the article, but the stats are pretty darn impressive: 11,000 employees were sending data to the company's SAP solution and it was linked to 1,750 applications by 2008.
That same year, Kraft aslo added SAP's master data management solution, NetWeaver, with an eye toward integrating legacy systems.
While Kraft was sweet on SAP, Cadbury's experience was a bit bitter, according to ComputerWorld:
In 2007, before a demerger from drinks company Schweppes, Cadbury admitted that a troubled SAP implementation over the previous two years had held back its financial performance, contributing to a 12 million (approximately $16.9 million, according to an estimate today from Yahoo's currency converter) deficit on its balance sheet and leading in part to large job cuts.
So what happens when you integrate more SAP systems with one of the world's most massive SAP systems ever? Who knows? At this point, no one seems to, but integration plans are a safe bet, ComputerWorld notes.
Wouldn't you like to sit in on those project meetings? Let's hope ComputerWorld manages to dig up more details in the near future.