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CLIENT CASE STUDY


Running SAP on Microsoft @ Accenture

Accenture optimizes its IT investments with SAP on Microsoft

Overview

Accenture set out to standardize on two technologies—Microsoft and SAP—worldwide. A single global IT platform based on Microsoft technology would provide the underlying infrastructure and common applications would be delivered via Accenture’s single-instance SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. The aim was 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. Accenture sought an advanced, Web-enabled infrastructure solution that could be delivered throughout the enterprise, from hosting to the desktop, and an ERP solution that would integrate hundreds of applications into a single instance.

Accenture relied on its IT organization’s strong Microsoft and SAP skills, and also joined forces with Avanade, a joint venture of Accenture and Microsoft, for rapid analysis and implementation of the Microsoft standard across the company. Accenture’s long-established alliance relationships with both Microsoft and SAP also helped expedite the implementation.

The SAP on Microsoft approach has allowed Accenture to deliver on the business priorities while lowering costs and improving performance.

Opportunity

One way in which Accenture set out to achieve these three IT imperatives was to standardize on two technologies—Microsoft and SAP—worldwide. A single global IT platform based on Microsoft technology would provide the underlying infrastructure and common applications would be delivered via Accenture’s single-instance SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.

Solution

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, from hosting to the desktop, and an ERP solution that would integrate hundreds of applications into a single instance.

Adopting a single global IT platform required a rationalization process to standardize technologies. 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 capabilities further improved access to consistent, highly accurate and global information.

Accenture set a standard that was used on all of its 400 SAP servers, placing them on the Microsoft operating system and SQL database software. This rationalization allows the company to take advantage of numerous synergies between SAP and Microsoft to enhance the SAP solution’s reliability and availability.

Results

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. Cost savings resulting from the SAP on Microsoft approach stem from reduced licensing fees, hardware and systems integration needs as well as ongoing administrative and data management costs.

However, the advantages of the SAP on Microsoft approach extend beyond the cost savings related to hardware and software. The SAP on Microsoft approach has simplified operations for Accenture, helping it to better leverage its IT investments and reduce integration complexity. It also facilitates Accenture’s efforts to incorporate digital solutions into the company.

The SAP on Microsoft approach has allowed Accenture to deliver on the business priorities while lowering costs and improving performance. In turn, a lower cost of ownership allows Accenture to position itself for the future by investing in other areas to expand its capabilities and continue driving a digital Accenture.

“Industry analysts continue to recognize our SAP operations as world class measured by reliability, performance and cost effectiveness. We succeeded in cutting our ERP systems costs in half and also set the foundation for enabling Accenture as a digital business as we prepare for the move to cloud.”
ANDREW WILSON

Chief Information Officer
Accenture