IT has contributed 20% to our green initiatives

DQI Bureau
New Update

As corporate vice president and deputy CIO of Applied

Materials, Jay Kerley has the responsibility for Global Information Services

strategy, planning, operations, infrastructure, and development. With two

decades of rich experience across business verticals including pharmaceutical

R&D, global logistics and high-tech leading IT transformation and globalization,

Kerley co-led Applied Materials IT transformationconsolidating seventeen

decentralized IT groups into one, shifting contextual work to strategic managed

service partners and reducing the number of vendors from fifty to two. Prior to

joining Applied Materials in 2006, Kerley led Global Operations and M&A

Integration for DHL Americas. Kerley is well-known in the global CIO community

and was one of the twenty-five IT leaders named in the prestigious Ones to Watch

list by CIO magazine and the CIO Executive Council.


IT is too critical to be left to the IT guys. Your comments?

It should be seen from IT capability perspective. When IT is left to

business persons, it is not done well. Historically, I think there has been an

approach that you can take business leaders and give them an operational role or

functional role. My experience has been that it has been unsuccessful because

they do not have those close ties with the industry, the standards, and are

easily swayed by their internal constituents.

Can you give an overview of the IT infrastructure at Applied Materials,

and the way you have overcome the key challenges?

Three years ago we took the decision to consolidate the entire governance of

IT and technologies across the company. As a part of that initiative, we took

control of the entire worldwide IT infrastructure of Applied Materials. Between

that time, we have laid a foundation of a consolidated ERP, strategy, product

lifecycle management, and product data management as well as core collaboration

capability. From that foundation, it has been about integrating business units

into that roadmap and driving consistent processes from business

perspectivecommon data, common systems.


One of the key challenges we had was 3D modeling and large amounts of data on

a global scale. Applied being a very aggressive high technology company was less

interested in managing the processes from a global perspective and was really

interested in a global solution which gave them a global development platform.

The challenge was that the existing infrastructure could not support that.

That was when we arrived at a solution which allowed us to give high performance

experience to end users from thousands of miles away, and very low latency

sensitive applications which could travel with 150 seconds or so delays. This

initiative globalized the product development of Applied Materials.

How has Applied Materials India R&D benefited from all this?

This has been critical for India as well because it gives the Indian R&D

community the capabilities to do a lot more in modular design. It has helped

bring India on the global design platform and they can now collaborate and

contribute at all levels. Earlier they needed to subscribe to tasks and then

pass them on to other geographies to be completed. The entire CAD infrastructure

from engineering perspective is now in place. There is unified voice, data, and

video and all this helps in doing design reviews collaboratively. As we expand

our portfolio of products and services more and more, we find that we need to

expand to meet the growing infrastructure challenges that allows us to innovate

on solar, LED, crystalline silicon products and leverage our Indian R&D



Can you throw some light on Applieds IT and communications


There are multiple layers. We have Teamcenter collaboration engine which

includes teamcenter community and teamcenter engineering which is actually the

vault of our engineering product data. Apart from that we have multiple CAD

tools that allow for different visualization data based on user and product

needs. It is layered into HP CAD led infrastructure which really drives high

performance visual compute experience along with a core infrastructure. This is

supported by a global MPLS network. One of the key strategies that we looked at

during this period of transformation was to have a new business platform that we

could operate on.

How important is video communication at Applied Materials?

We have deployed Ciscos telepresence in seven locations. The interesting

dynamics in India are that in order to leverage telepresence you have to have

your people come into the office, so based on time zones it is not very

effective. Our strategy is to really focus on Webex and OCS video integration

into the backbone so that it could be more mobile, remote, and people can work

from home to deal with those time zones with consistency. Recently, we did a

research with our engineering community and discussed in detail about the work

from home experience. Not only are they able to work in this CAD led environment

but they are able to do powerful 3D CAD rendering from home. Also, they are able

to do some standard stuff like VoIP activities from their homes.

How is Applied Materials leveraging mobile phone capabilities for


We have used mobile, not so much for CAD related things, but mostly for

having our field engineers who work on repair or specific tools, to deliver that

content to the common platform as a possibility.

How is your green IT initiative progressing?

In 2008, the company launched a program to reduce the overall carbon

footprint by 50,000 tons. We took the challenge from an IT perspective to

contribute 20% to that goal by 2012. In two years we contributed to a reduction

of 7,600 tons and we are on the way to achieve our goal. We moved from a green a

IT program to a culture where it is embedded in our processes.

Sudesh Prasad