A bit of hope during troubled times

By Mervyn George on September 23, 2011

I spent the week in and around the beautiful city of Lisbon. While the city is laced with history, its nearby beaches offer perfect sunbathing and its cafes and bakeries boast simple but delicious treats, looking around at the neglected exteriors of buildings seems to reinforce the idea that times are tough. Portugal is going through a bad phase at the moment. The long-reaching ripples of 2008’s burst bubble have sent a second wave to wash over this culturally-rich nation.

Speaking to prospective customers at a host of meetings this week, a common theme seemed to develop. Companies don’t have money to waste and now is not the right time to risk jumping into anything offering less than a guaranteed return on investment. Processes, teams, systems and other resources are being consolidated in an effort to save time, money and frustration.

We had a great time discussing both business and IT concerns and an even better time demonstrating how we could address those concerns. Winshuttle tools definitely catered for the majority – if not all – of the consolidation and time-saving requirements. Transaction’s ability to speed up mass loading of data, to create linked scripts to automatically execute multi-transactional data creation processes consecutively, and to cater for both business and IT SAP-specific data maintenance requirements proved to be a big winner for resolving mundane, error-prone tasks. Query’s ability to create ad-hoc reports by recording and selecting fields via a transaction code in SAP was also a favorite for freeing up unnecessary report development resources. The external workflow component of Winshuttle Forms provided a new way to implement SAP-related processes that would otherwise take weeks or months, allowing critical tasks to be set up easily while offering a simple, familiar front end to the casual or frequent user.

I had a great week. Not only did I learn more about the legitimate need for businesses in Portugal to focus on increasing revenue and reducing expenditure, but I also realized that the tools I came to demonstrate would allow them to genuinely target and improve the specific issues we discussed. After the initial buzz of brainstorming potential solutions and architectural tweaks I now look forward to a host of solution optimization discussions in the coming days and weeks. Ideally this would be back in Lisbon so that I can sample some more of its tasty seafood and pastries along the way. An office view of the beach would be a bonus.

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