A good musical should be many things. It should at minimum have memorable tunes like Oklahoma (but not Starlight Express or Cats]). The plot should be robust like West Side Story but not Mamma Mia! (or Starlight Express or Cats). It helps if it tugs at the heartstrings, like Les Mis or The Sound of Music (but not Starlight Express or Cats). It's a nice bonus if you admire the singer --so no Sarah Brightman then. And most of all, it should appeal to CIOs considering the various challenges inherent in deploying an enterprise resource planning system.

However, for some bewildering reason nobody has ever stepped up to the plate when it comes to this last challenge. Until now.

In the Key of ERP retells the saga of Bulky Buy's implementation of an enterprise applications suite and, as you would expect of a production based on Cameron Bidwell's classic text Best Laid Plans, it's not afraid to take the risk of losing some viewers by taking a deep dive into the vexed subject of service oriented architecture.

You'll thrill to this story and its finally crafted songs will make you laugh, cry and want to deploy supply-chain management systems again and again. Take this soaring performance, for example:

"Just look at me
I've finally found a way to make them see
I'm not just some troublemaker in IT
Just wait and see the execution of my strategy
Will truly integrate this company"

Some Shaftesbury Avenue types might be sceptical but then they probably didn't think Springtime For Hitler would be a hit either. All in all, this is a must-see show and CIO is confident enough to give it a five-star rating -- even though we would have liked to have heard a little bit more about the role of the SOAP protocol in web services.

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