Siemens to Go ElectronicMUNICH, Germany -- Siemens, a global machinery conglomerate with activities in 190 countries and a worldwide work force of 440,000, plans to become the world's largest electronic building site.
Speaking at the recent opening of the first Center of E-Excellence at Munich airport, CEO Heinrich von Pierer said that "we will transform ourselves into an e-driven company in record time."
The company plans to open other centers of e-excellence in Atlanta and Singapore later this year and to spend 1 billion euros ($850 million) on the project, which will give all 440,000 employees Internet access.
The e-centers are designed to bundle all corporate activities into an electronic network and to go far beyond the usual e-procurement and online sales to include e-learning, e-recruitment and e-logistics.
"All our processes and procedures will change," Pierer said, "quickly and without compromise. Through e-business Siemens will become a new enterprise: the new economy with substance."
Pierer said about 70 percent of all Siemens activities are already linked electronically, and the new investment will bundle individual solutions into a fully integrated system.
E-procurement has priority, he said, noting that only 10 percent of the company's annual purchase budget of 35 billion euros ($29.7 billion) is spent on the Web. He plans to boost that to more than 50 percent.