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CLIENT CASE STUDY


SAP upgrade sets platform for new capabilities and high performance

Accenture proves that an upgrade can provide a company benefits with minimal risk.

Overview

In order to benefit from ongoing maintenance support and to prepare for future business needs, Accenture needed to upgrade the software supporting its ERP solution, based on SAP R/3, from version 4.6c to ECC 6.0 with Unicode.

Close collaboration with the business during the upgrade process put Accenture in a strong position to understand—and avoid—the potential risks of the upgrade. The upgraded ERP solution is proving its value by providing Accenture the agility to respond to internal business or external market requirements.

OPPORTUNITY

Accenture views an upgrade as a key step on its SAP strategic roadmap—an opportunity to deliver value to the business and to establish new capabilities sooner than competition. Accenture approached this essentially technical task with the same rigor and levels of collaboration with the business that it would typically apply to a major release of new functionality—ensuring that there was no unplanned business disruption and that the upgrade set the platform for delivering new capabilities.

SOLUTION

Leveraging deep systems integration experience, business process know-how, proven methodologies and the benefit of their extensive experience upgrading Accenture client organizations to the latest version of SAP, Accenture’s consulting and upgrade specialists and members of team of SAP professionals worked with business users and key stakeholders to confirm business operational requirements, and upstream/ downstream application consequences.

Close collaboration with the business put Accenture in a strong position to understand—and avoid—the potential risks of the upgrade. The team was able to schedule the necessary outages to avoid critical processing periods and to minimize disruption to key business activities.

Prior to the upgrade, the team worked with key HR and finance resources to run several practice upgrades and conversions—15 in all on account of the size and breadth of Accenture’s business. At the same time, Accenture took the opportunity to review and update around 1,000 end-user procedures to ensure that they would still work after the upgrade.

“Our guiding principle was to cause as little disruption to the company as possible,” explains Dan Kirner, executive director of Accenture’s SAP Strategy, Program and Operations.

RESULTS

The upgraded ERP solution is proving its value by providing Accenture the agility to respond to internal business or external market requirements. Examples of this include treasury, HR and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) capabilities. With the latest ERP software based on SAP and a more flexible solution in place, Accenture is set to enjoy significant cost savings and efficiencies through improved business capabilities, enhanced reporting and controls.

Accenture’s experience proves that an upgrade can provide a company benefits with minimal risk. Helping to ensure the active involvement of the business at all levels through the planning, testing, upgrade and post upgrade phases makes for a smooth transition. What’s more, taking a business-value driven approach by consulting exhaustively with business leaders to understand their priorities ensured that the upgrade was strategically advantageous for Accenture—positioning it to take advantage of the best technology available to drive high performance.

“I think we can measure the success of the upgrade program in the lack of disruption we caused to the organization and the fact that during and post-upgrade, we were able to run our business—hiring people, paying vendors, closing books, etc.—smoothly.”
ANDREW WILSON, 

Accenture’s Chief Information Officer