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3/14/2006
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Arizona Electric Turns To SAP To Consolidate Apps

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Inc. is turning to SAP AG's "Safe Passage" program to support growth and consolidate legacy applications, the nonprofit cooperative said Tuesday.

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Inc. (AEPCO) is turning to SAP AG's "Safe Passage" program to support growth and consolidate legacy applications, the non-profit cooperative said Tuesday.

The approximate nine month roll out begins in April. SAP's mySAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) modules will stretch across AEPCO and two sister companies – Sierra Southwest Cooperative Services Inc. (Sierra) and Southwest Transmission Cooperative Inc. (SWTC).

Executives at the cooperative estimate during the next eight to 10 years the group will need to more than double the 2.3 gigawatt hours of energy generated in 2005, and double the production again within the next 10 to 20 years. "We expect the population in this area to grow substantially over the next 10 to 20 years," said Dennis Criswell, vice president of marketing and strategic ventures at Sierra Southwest. "There are two things you must have to live in Arizona, water and electricity."

The project to consolidate onto one platform nearly 100 disparate legacy systems aims to improve business processes and reporting capabilities as business grows.

AEPCO identified roughly 50 applications purchased from various vendors, the two largest SSA Global and JD Edwards. Sierra Southwest's chief information officer Lee Anne Wilfert said the remaining were proprietary applications from databases to excel spreadsheets. "We want to get rid of as many applications as possible," she said.

AEPCO executives also plan to review "pages of business processes," such as planning, scheduling, and bill of materials, with a mind toward creating efficiencies, Criswell said. "The mySAP platform will run on approximately 20 Dell Inc. servers and storage area network SAN from Xiotech Corp.

The ERP platform would give AEPCO the tools to build-in customer-facing applications that might not have been possible prior, for example, an extranet for commercial and industrial customers to monitor energy consumption.

Today, the group serves commercial and industrial sites, and more than 130,000 households, or about 250,000 residents. The wholesale business will continue to generate the majority of the revenue, but the cooperative executives expect mySAP will help to grow its retail business in Arizona, California and Nevada, too.

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