SAP moves Carbon Impact OnDemand onto Amazon cloud

SAP has upgraded its environmental impact reporting service.

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SAP has migrated its online service for reporting carbon emissions over to an Amazon cloud platform, the company announced. The newly launched version 5.0 of the company's SAP Carbon Impact OnDemand is the first to run on Amazon, said Vishal Sikka, who is SAP's executive board member for technology and innovation. "That gives us a tremendous benefit of low cost elastic performance and scalability," he said. Customers will work directly with SAP, rather than Amazon.

The service is one of a number of ancillary cloud-based services that SAP is offering its customers, under the OnDemand rubric. "Around edges of the [SAP] Business Suite, there are lots of lines of business, like this one, that we need to do. For these cases, the [Amazon] on demand model is a fantastic fit," he said.

This particular service, which can be used with SAP's Business Suite or as a standalone product, aims to give users "complete visibility about what is going on with their carbon emissions."

Users can upload or gather information from their business units about energy consumption, and the software will summarise the results in reports and on dashboards.

To input information, organisations can set up EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) connections with utility companies and other energy providers. Logistics and fleet management software can be mined for data as well. The service also offers survey templates that managers can set up to interrogate employees about their travels.

"Typically, the organisations have a lot of systems where carbon emissions is stored," Sikka said. The service itself has a set of calculations that can translate all the reported corporate activity into carbon emissions.

Version 5 of this service has a number of new features, such as a new section for discussions and the ability for users to create their own carbon emissions-based calculations. The service also has integrated its metrics with those from the Carbon Disclosure Project, an effort to standardise and promote corporate reporting of carbon emissions.

For affected US industries, the service will also provide reports that will comply with recent Environmental Protection Agency mandates for reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, Sikka said.

SAP had acquired a carbon counting service when it purchased environmental reporting software provider Clear Standards in 2009. Sikka declined to say how many customers are using the service, though he noted a number of large firms such as hybrid car manufacturer Fisker Automotive and software giant Autodesk.

"We believe that over time, that this will be something that every one of our customers will need," he said.

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