Compliance again… But not Orson Welles’ SOX

SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley)  has made the word "compliance" almost trendy, in that compliance officers can now get dates and meet girls and stuff,  but in the clamour of section 404, seperation of duties and so on,  it is easy to forget that there are other laws requiring vendor and customer attention.

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 I was in a meeting here at SAP and I thought I heard someone say  "Roseweed".  I figured we had some film buffs in the product name concoction department. (it sounded much better than sticking a "my" in front of an Acronym, but that is a rant for another day…). As the token HR guy in the meeting I kept quiet, luckily. they were talking about RoHS/WEEE

Seriously though these are two very significant EU Directives. (I lifted the text from the hi tech industry site on

RoHS. Restriction of Hazardous Substances RoHS will apply to manufacturers of electrical and electronics equipment that do business in the European Union (EU). As of July 1, 2006, RoHS will prohibit the sale of electronics products that contain more than 0.01% of cadmium, mercury, lead, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), and polybrominated diphenyl/ether (PBDE). Violations can result in stiff penalties, significant loss of sales, and a negative impact on brand perception in the environmentally conscious European market.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive — WEEE establishes rules for the collection, treatment, recycling, and recovery of electronic waste in the EU. The directive states that electronics manufacturers and importers must manage and pay for the recycling of electrical and electronics waste. Member countries must meet WEEE recycling targets by the end of 2006.

There is an interesting article in the IT Director that covers the WEEE issues in the UK. (A Directive is a European Union legal instruction, binding on all Member States but which must be implemented through national legislation within a prescribed time-scale.
at a country level) Like trains, they are often late to arrive in the UK.

Manufacturers and retailers have to make significant changes to business processes, products and the systems that support them. At SAP we have done a lot of work to adapt our solutions to help customers cope with these regulations.

There is also a lot of interest in REACH, another environment planned directive that has major implications for the chemical, food and other industries, not just here but globally. The folks in birkenstocks here in Walldorf are following these development closely as they may impact our industry solutions and even the core ERP applications. (for those interested here is a fascinating enviro blog Grist  – delightfully written)

If you are interested there is a whitepaper here from SAP that is worth a peek. 

Another area that is hot in compliance is emissions management. We have an x-app here developed together with technidata. These guys are also experts in RoHS Weee and so on.

If you look to Virsa for SOX and financial and Technidata for enviro. compliance , I think this is what SOA is all about in practice. I have been trying to understand Netweaver, SOA, ESA and so on for sometime, with fridges and so on,  but when you see this kind of development, it all starts to make sense. Netweaver for me is mainly about leveraging SAP core applications, SAP's years of experience with niche expertise in a technically effective, efficent, sustainable way. It isn't about bespoke application anarchy, or a best of breed application lovefest. (There is an interesting post by charles on SOA)

SOA and ESA will change a lot of things, but deep industry and functional knowledge will always be at the heart of SAP's success.

2 thoughts on “Compliance again… But not Orson Welles’ SOX”

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