Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Oracle’s green transport solution

Oracle Not really a new solution, but Oracle has announced a new release of its transportation management software which has a distinctly green flavour.

There are a number of new features in Oracle Transportation Management 6.1.  Oracle Fleet Management has been expanded to include planning scenarios to help equipment utilisation and reduce costs and there are also new business intelligence capabilities and dashboard reports that help measure and monitor green metrics.

The company says that the software helps clients meet sustainability objectives in several ways:

• It includes a new mobile communication platform to capture information about shipments and communicate with drivers in real-time.

• The communication platform can also improve efficiency by automatic shipment monitoring to see whether any additional action or support is required.

• The software has additional support for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership, with the green dashboard that also incorporates SmartWay emission factors.

image The SmartWay Transport Partnership, launched in 2004, is a partnership between government, business and consumers designed to reduce fuel consumption.  The aim is to develop strategies, financing and advanced technologies to help the freight sector reduce emissions.

All good stuff from Oracle and shows how the industry is converging on green solutions, or at least adopting green aspects alongside efficiency and process improvement capabilities.  It’s companies like Oracle and SAP, with their extensive enterprise solutions, that will push the incorporation of green metrics, although it often needs something like SmartWay to set the agenda.

SAP has also been putting out sustainability messages, particularly around the supply chain, ahead of the National Retail Federation (NRF) 99th Annual Convention and Expo in the US.  However, Peter Graf, the chief sustainability officer for SAP, is quoted in ComputerWorld as saying “I find [green IT] a little bit exaggerated. Green IT is usually positioned as reducing the energy consumption of the data centre.  I'm not dismissing it, but the real opportunity is in logistics, production, in distribution and production."

Seems an odd comment.  I think most people in the ICT industry have accepted for some time that ICT’s primary role is in reducing emissions outside the data centre.  It’s true that much of the business to date has been in reducing data centre energy, because it reduces costs, important in the current climate, but perhaps that’s because companies such as SAP have not been pro-active enough.  Readers will know that I have had reservations about SAP’s green stance in the past, but hopefully that’s over.

© The Green IT Review

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