The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

May - 2005 - issue > Technology

Refining IT for excellence

Subhasis Chatterjee
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Subhasis Chatterjee
Ever since BPCL implemented SAP R/3 it’s IT department has changed dramatically. Today IT is not just a service department in BPCL – it has literally become the backbone of the organization. Since every thing is on ERP platform, the focus of the Information System (IS) department is higher on business than solely IT.

Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the person heading the IS department have a business orientation. Singh embodies all this. His varied experience in project implementation, maintenance, material management and corporate planning helped him to handle both IT and the business of IT. For him it was not a challenge, but rather an opportunity. He claims “The role of the IT head in an organization like BPCL is more of a facilitator and leader rather than an IT specialist.”

After making massive investments to build an IT infrastructure, business houses expect better results. Singh is responsible to ensure that BPCL can derive the best out of its IT monolith.

In 1997-98 the company had completely reconstructed its various departments and at that time, the need for an effective ERP system was apparent. After evaluating several vendors, the company finally implemented SAP R/3 as the backbone for its business process. The IT department had two wings— IS and ERP.

The IS had more than 100 computer engineers while the ERP had 120 professionals with few computer engineers. The rest were taken from other departments including purchase, sales, maintenance, finance, and HR. When Singh received the mandate to head the entire IT operations of BPCL, the two existing IT divisions (i.e. IS department and the ERP cell) merged together to create a new IT department called Integrated Information System.

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