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Abiomed CIO discusses plans for getting more from SAP applications

Sharon Kaiser, CIO, of Danvers, Mass.-based Abiomed, recently discussed the company's plans to get more value from its SAP ERP software in 2010. Kaiser talks about the successes that Abiomed, which implemented SAP ECC 5.0 in June of 2006, has had with SAP subject matter expert teams, and in bringing in experts to help with SAP FI training. Abiomed manufacturers heart support and recovery products.

Read the full transcript from this video below:  

Abiomed CIO discusses plans for getting more from SAP applications

Inteviewer: We are here with Sharon Kaiser, who is the CIO of Abiomed,
and she is going to speak with us about how Abiomed is trying to
get some more value out of their SAP applications this year.
Thank you for joining us, Sharon.

Sharon Kaiser: Yes. Thank you.

Interviewer: How are you folks trying to get some more value out of
your applications this year?

Sharon Kaiser: We are pushing it on several fronts. One of the things that we
are trying to do is build a subject matter expert team,
representatives from each of our functional areas, both in our
facility in Germany as well here in Danvers. What we are doing
is having them learn their own functional area very well. They
can take additional training; we encourage them to look at SAP
training, and then they need to share that information with
their own department, as well as others, through things like
luncheon learns. We have given a lot of different topics on
luncheon learns, on how to enter a traveling expense statement,
how to look at your budgets, anywhere from overviews of our
quality system, different things like that.

We are also participating in SAP's New England Executive
Council, where we share information with some other small and
mid-size firms on the issues and challenges that they face, and
we have good group discussions. I also encourage people to
really look at their own problems first before they come to IT
to help. That is what it can build their own knowledge, if they
do a little bit of the research of a problem before they come to
us. I encourage them to take SAP training. There are a couple of
things that we are really trying to do, but the overall goal is
to really learn the system, then learn the capabilities of the
system, and then we can expand issues at Abiomed.

Interviewer: Can you talk to us about some of the training initiatives
that you have had going on this past year, and in 2010?

Sharon Kaiser: Yes. We have actually had, a good example is we had a fairly
new finance group. I think the longest term here has been two
years, and they really did not know, other than point A to point
B of their job. We had a firm come in and do a 5-day intensive
training on just finance, the FICO modules, anywhere from how to
log on to the system, what the icons meant on the top of the
screen, to reporting, standard reporting that would come out of
the system. The finance team really embraced it, and they
dedicated their whole team to those 5 days, and then we did this
same thing actually, for our team over in Aucan.

Interviewer: Great. Thank you, Sharon, for your time.

Sharon Kaiser: You are welcome.

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