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Driving high performance IT through SAP on Microsoft
Accenture’s internal IT organization is charged with three key roles: ensuring that IT is aligned with business priorities, driving down the cost of IT and positioning Accenture for the future.
Learn more about how Accenture does IT
Accenture must put in place the technologies that provide its 249,000 employees with access to the information they need to perform at their best. At the same time, we must look for ways to improve productivity at reduced cost, and we must be poised to react quickly to challenges and opportunities to remain a high performing business.
One way in which Accenture set out to achieve these three imperatives was to standardize on two technologies—Microsoft and SAP—worldwide.
Accenture’s own research into the role of IT in driving high performance provided a blueprint for us to follow in transforming our IT function. The company set out to rationalize, simplify and standardize IT to manage total cost of ownership and enhance productivity.
Though simple in concept, a single platform had rarely been delivered worldwide, let alone for a company as large as Accenture. The choice of technology providers was critical. Accenture sought an advanced, Web-enabled infrastructure solution that could be delivered throughout the enterprise and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that would integrate hundreds of applications into a single instance.
Once the new Microsoft platform was firmly established, Accenture was able to implement its single instance SAP solution. The SAP ERP solution allowed for the integration of core business functions, the development of end-to-end business processes and further improved access to consistent, highly accurate and global information.
For a swift transition, Accenture relied on its IT organization’s strong Microsoft and SAP skills, assembling a team of experts from its 30,000 SAP and 54,000 Microsoft professionals worldwide. It also joined forces with Avanade, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft, for rapid analysis and implementation across the company.
With the move to a single SAP ERP solution on a Microsoft platform, Accenture has proved that it is possible to get more out of IT investments—at lower cost.
However, the advantages of the SAP on Microsoft approach extend beyond the cost savings related to hardware and software. The Microsoft on SAP approach has simplified operations for Accenture, helping it to better leverage its IT investments and reduce integration complexity.
A standard technology approach requires only a single set of skills to maintain all the company systems, meaning that talent is readily available to support the business. The SAP on Microsoft solution has also helped Accenture’s IT organization achieve 99.9 percent uptime for its ERP system—making up-to-the minute data available 24/7.
Lower cost of ownership allows Accenture to position itself for the future by investing in other areas such as Web services to expand capabilities. A simplified technology landscape also makes Accenture more agile and better able to scale to absorb growth and react to business requirements.
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