Nearly every IT vendor sees major opportunities associated with applications to manage sustainability. After all, issues related to carbon footprint are becoming a bigger part of the business equation all over the globe. Arguably, IBM and SAP have been the two leading proponents of using IT to measure and ultimately reduce carbon footprints.
But now Oracle is partnering with Ndevr to add greenhouse gas accounting software to the Oracle application environment. Developed using Oracle application-development tools, the Ndevr software seamlessly inserts itself into Oracle application environments.
According to Jon Chorley, Oracle vice president of supply chain execution and product lifecycle management strategy, this approach differs sharply from IBM's, which relies on middleware to provide similar information, and SAP's, which acquired a company that provides a totally different environment than SAP applications to measure environmental impact.
Chorley argues that the whole issue of sustainability has become a critical component of business operations, so asking business people to absorb that information outside of the context of their existing business processes makes little sense.
Of course, including Ndevr in its lineup gives Oracle one more reason why companies should adopt its business applications. But whatever your approach, it's pretty clear that tools that track your business's environmental impact will become increasingly important. So the only real question is how long will it take vendors to make them a core component of their applications, as opposed to data presented out of context from any meaningful financial impact?