Wal-Mart Outgrows Its Homegrown Financial System

At $388 billion in annual revenue, handling Wal-Mart's ERP financial application is nothing if not challenging. But when Wal-Mart last year turned to SAP to take over many of the financial functions that the chain had been handling with in-house software, it was a concession that it can't push its homegrown apps as far as it used to. This is especially true as the company continues its aggressive global expansion.

Wal-Mart CFO Tom Schoewe said this month that the first phase of the global roll-out is expected to be completed in the next two years, with two remaining phases kicking in over the next five years, according to Wal-Mart spokesperson John Simley. "It is a departure for us to standardize on something (from a third-party) rather than homegrown," Simley said.