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Industry roundup: 6 May

Accenture and SAP to help companies accelerate sustainability transformation

Accenture and SAP are expanding a decades-long partnership to help companies embed sustainability across the full spectrum of their business operations - from strategy to execution - to unlock new value throughout their enterprises and in their value and supply chains.

Combining SAP technology with Accenture’s Sustainability Services and broad industry knowledge, the partners are expanding their alliance to jointly create new solutions that can help companies to accelerate their progress on fully de-carbonising their supply chains and capture their share of the projected US$4.5 trillion economic growth that the circular economy could bring.

Through this extended partnership, Accenture and SAP plan to co-innovate and co-develop SAP’s new solution for responsible production and design, which includes capabilities that help companies embed sustainability metrics across their value and supply chains with a focus on product design and manufacturing. Using integrated data from across operations, companies can better design and produce products with less waste, improved recyclability and more recycled content. This will also help reduce the growing cost of compliance driven by new regulations for packaging and extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations.

"Our work together will enable SAP’s customers, which include 92% of the Forbes Global 2000, to use their core systems to help drive their sustainability agenda, optimise their ESG performance and achieve their goals," said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer at Accenture. "This expanded collaboration builds on our long history with SAP - including our joint partnership with the United Nations Global Compact and 3M - and our shared commitment to drive adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals."

Accenture also supports SAP’s Climate 21 initiative, which allows companies in any industry to use analytics to measure and minimise carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and lower the carbon footprint across the product lifecycle. For instance, research shows that emissions from upstream suppliers are on average over five times as high as those from direct operations. With sustainability metrics added across the end-to-end supply chain, companies gain an integrated view of environmental savings and cost impacts and more easily optimise their operations.


EchoVera announces ERP integration for OCR invoice scanning software

EchoVera, an accounts payable solutions provider, has announced an invoice OCR solution that integrates with ERPs, helping organisations reduce the reliance on manual data entry and increase the efficiency of their accounts payable operations. The solution captures invoice data from both paper and email invoices regardless of their supplier’s accounting system.

Historically invoice data capture is performed in two ways: manually keying in data from paper invoices or printed emailed invoices, or the invoices are scanned with older OCR software that may not be easy to use or have the capability to handle complex documents.

"Practically every organization struggles with capturing invoice data, but once the data is captured, what happens next?" said Ralf Leitner, CEO of EchoVera. "Our clients use Palette AP Automation for the automated invoice approval workflow and PO matching capabilities."

EchoVera’s Intelligent OCR automatically and intuitively detects and learns unique supplier invoices based on their respective layouts. It can capture data from all the electronic formats vendors send including PDF, EDI, XML, TIFF, DOC, and XLSX. The software instinctively learns invoice layouts and data fields and stores them in a database. The extracted information is made available inside a central dashboard. The solution can capture both header and line items from single and multiple page documents with hundreds of lines. As well, Intelligent OCR helps to facilitate the purchase order matching process for companies that receive PO invoices.

With many invoices being sent via email the invoice capture process can be automated even further. Most ERP systems can output electronic formats, and the supplier does not have to invest in any technology or infrastructure as all they are doing is forwarding the invoice to a designated email address. Intelligent OCR integrates with ERPs such as NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One, Infor, and Sage Intacct. Clients can choose between capture as a service or use the software in-house.


Confluence and J.P. Morgan partnership extends to a multi-asset portfolio analytics solution

Confluence Technologies, a global technology solutions provider, and J.P. Morgan have announced a development in their partnership to deliver a multi-asset portfolio analytics solution. At the start of Q3 2021, Delta, Confluence’s risk and performance solution will have expanded coverage powered by J.P. Morgan’s proprietary analytics to include US securitised products. This will also be available through J.P. Morgan’s platform.

The enhancement completes the global coverage of Delta across all asset classes, enabling front-to-middle office decision makers to manage risk and performance. Delta first became available to J.P. Morgan clients in June 2019 during the first phase of the collaboration between J.P. Morgan and StatPro, prior to Confluence’s acquisition of StatPro in October 2019.  

"The integration of J.P. Morgan’s fixed income data and expertise with the Delta product represents the next stage in our ongoing collaboration with Confluence, and a huge step forward in increasing value to our clients globally," said Richard Crozier, head of Product for Data and Analytics at J.P. Morgan’s Securities Services. "This new phase of our partnership will ensure that we continue to offer robust and comprehensive portfolio analytics tools, a critical part of delivering a full range of integrated solutions to our clients."

Today's announcement is part of J.P. Morgan's commitment and strategy to deliver the needs of buy-side clients by providing clients access to a choice of solutions across the investment lifecycle, including front-to-middle office capabilities in data, analytics, and risk.


BNP Paribas strengthens its commitment to preserving biodiversity

In 2018, BNP Paribas joined act4nature, an initiative which brings together corporations, the public sector, scientific researchers and environmental associations. The aim of this alliance is to create an international collective dynamic to protect, promote and restore biodiversity. In agreement with the act4nature Steering Committee, the bank has now announced it is taking on new commitments to promote biodiversity alongside 16 other companies.

These new commitments include:

  • Evaluation of all its corporate customers on criteria linked to biodiversity by 2025.
  • Dialogues with clients who trade in commodities and are active in sensitive countries, to demand demonstrations of their commitment to combating deforestation (continuing action plan, annual reporting on volumes drawn and monitored, etc.).
  • Supporting clients in their transition to more biodiversity friendly models through specific financial tools. BNP Paribas has set itself the goal of reaching €3bn in financing by 2025 linked to criteria linked to the protection of terrestrial biodiversity (positive impact loans, green bonds, etc.).
  • Expanding direct investments in startups mobilised in ecological transition to reach €250m by 2025.
  • Deployment of a new training system related to the challenges of ecological transition and sustainable finance for the Group's 193,000 employees. 

These commitments involve the mobilisation of each of the Group's businesses. In this context, BNP Paribas Asset Management is continuing its research in favour of greater transparency of the impact of companies on biodiversity and will shortly roll out its roadmap to measure the ‘water’ and ‘forest’ prints of its investment portfolios by 2022. This will be reflected in its responsible investor strategy, voting and engagement policy, as well as its sector policies.

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