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SAP gaining stronger foothold at Freshfields

One aspect of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer appointment of Paul Domnick as global
chief information officer (CIO), with effect from 12 January 2009, is that it moves the firm one step closer to SAP.

The firm has been working with SAP on the HR systems front for some time – as we reported on this blog on 21 May 2008, Simon
Niven, head of programme management at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, even gave a presentation on talent management and how the firm
is using SAP's HR system to provide a cradle-to-grave – or at least
from new recruit to retirement and/or 'termination' (his choice of
word) – system for monitoring and managing the career
progression of fee earners at SAP's annual conference in Berlin last year. But, while comment on the appointment of Domnick has tended to focus on the fact he has the title of Global CIO – whereas his predecessor David Hamilton's role was 'Head of IT Department' – has anyone looked at his CV?

Domnick was previously group chief technology officer and deputy
head of IT for Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) responsible for
technology strategy, standards, enterprise architecture and
applications architecture across the entire business. Before taking on
this role in early 2007, he was head of global IT sourcing for ZFS – and he joined Zurich in 2004 from Deutsche Bank where he was global head of data centres. Guess what? Both Deutsche and Zurich are large SAP ERP customers. A very interesting development.

10 replies on “SAP gaining stronger foothold at Freshfields”

Given that a Very Large law firm is expected to announce its move to SAP in the near future, because its topical.

Assuming as I'm sure you can that Paul's track record is as impressive as the titles would lead one to believe, one would imagine a cool head would prevail despite any familiarity with SAP, and any selection would still be based on the merits of the solution and its ability to provide for the different challenges presented by legal business requirements.

Er, I don't think so.
Isn't is obvious that Freshfields have already decided SAP is the way forward and sought to hire somebody with the right expertise to drive it through?

I would have thought that any firm of FBD's size which has completed a successful engagement with a product like SAP (especially in a particularly political support function) will want to review the product for deployment in all other areas. Recruiting an IT Director with SAP (or at least mainstream ERP) experience would be prudent. Anyone of Nick's experience would be expected to make the decision based on his current employer's needs – knowing the product as well as he does will help the firm make the right decision, whether or not they go for it.

Er, actually Freshfields have no choice as there is no credible alternative to SAP. Not a great situation to be in.

Fighting talk – there again A N Other large law firm is also poised to order SAP (to replace Elite Enterprise) so maybe you have a point…

Freshfields do have a choice. They can choose – like many other sensible firms are doing- to sit tight and wait until a) the appetite to spend returns in 12/18 months and b) the Elite/SAP/Aderant products mature (or not).
I sense a tough year for all PMS vendors.

So the rumours about 'that Elite customer' – I think we all know who we're talking about – continue to fly. I wonder at the source of such conjecture, and whether the individual(s) spreading it are actually placing a bet each way depending on present company in order to 'dine out' on how they were first to be 'in the know'. Please Charles, just to make it interesting… name your source?

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