GE CIO Gets His Head in the Cloud for New SaaS Supply Chain App

Think a SaaS application can't handle GE's massive supply chain needs, including how to manage $55 billion in spending with suppliers? GE's CIO has already proven you wrong. One more thing: He's liking Google Docs, too.

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"Finally we have a very large company tackling the [data] transparency issue by using a SaaS product," North Rizza says. "It's a huge deal."

So far, the thorny issue of data quality in GE's supplier data has been improved, because suppliers now use the self-service capabilities in the SaaS system to manage their own data. GE has 327,000 employees worldwide, and its sourcing systems have more than 100,000 users. There is still more work to do to the SIM platform—for example, GE sourcing employees will add more workflows and new queries to the system; more languages might be added as well (six are operational now).

Reiner says that GE is committed to working with Aravo for the long term and that the system has performed well so far. And SaaS, as an application delivery mechanism, appears to have a bright future at GE.

The company has experimented "quite a bit" with Google Docs, and "we like what see so far," Reiner says. "Though the predominant approach is still that we host it, we're a big company, and you'll find something of everything with us."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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