On June 22, 2005, SAP announced the purchase of Lighthammer Software Development Corporation. The acquisition extends SAP’s strategy of enabling adaptive business networks, or ABNs. Lighthammer's Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) undoes the disconnect between the shop floor and the balance of the enterprise, providing manufacturing performance management & execution. The Lighthammer products provide real-time visibility of manufacturing exceptions and performance variances, including data about causal factors and business impacts, enabling manufacturers to respond rapidly to unforeseen events. The SAP-Lighthammer combination provides the vehicle to deliver real-time transactional integration between ERP and plant floor systems as well as to provide to managers needed performance analytics, visualization and workflow. This acquisition is an important step in improving the management of manufacturing across multiple plants and operations in that it unifies all systems and standardizes all KPIs. Ventana Research believes this is an important step for SAP in providing significantly improved operational performance management capabilities to its manufacturing and supply chain customers. Because of their complexity and cost, these sorts of solutions have been neglected in organizations' overall performance improvement initiatives. Ventana Research believes organizations looking for multi-plant or multi-operation monitoring and management solutions should evaluate this offering. It offers a flexible path to an integrated solution and provides a tool that will help companies understand, align and improve the efficiency of their manufacturing operations.
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