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ACCENTURE MICROSOFT AND SAP INNOVATE

in Moving SAP Business Warehouse on SAP HANA® to Microsoft Azure

ACCENTURE RUNS ITS CORE FINANCIAL PROCESSING ON A SINGLE GLOBAL INSTANCE OF SAP BUSINESS SUITE ON HANA. AS ACCENTURE BECOMES A MORE DIVERSE BUSINESS, IT NEEDS TO OPERATE WITH MORE INSIGHT, AGILITY, EFFICIENCY AND COMPLIANCE ACROSS MULTIPLE BUSINESS UNITS, BUSINESS PROCESSES AND APPLICATIONS.


Insight

INSIGHT






Agility

AGILITY






Efficiency

EFFICIENCY






Compliance

COMPLIANCE








This means that both the business processes and IT capabilities must contend with a faster pace of change, growth, larger volumes and diverse businesses—all driving the need to evolve Accenture’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to be ready for future needs.

THE JOURNEY

The journey began when Accenture’s internal IT organization migrated the company’s Finance and HR system from SAP Business Suite on Microsoft SQL to SAP Business Suite on HANA. SAP Business Suite on HANA went live in production on time and without business disruption, delivering the scale, agility and performance benefits expected.

For the next stage of the journey, internal IT needed to similarly migrate Accenture’s SAP Business Warehouse (BW) from Microsoft SQL to SAP HANA®.

The project kicked off with the initial internal IT team expanding to include Accenture’s Global Delivery Network and teams from Microsoft and SAP, as well as input from subject matter experts from the Accenture SAP Cloud Center of Excellence. From the business side, teams were assembled from Internal Business Operations, Finance, Global Controllership and Human Resources.

The Journey

In assessing the feasibility of moving to the public cloud, a proof of concept led to selecting Microsoft Azure for its capability to handle enterprise-scale requirements and its cost-effective pricing.

This decision also aligned with Accenture internal IT’s cloud-first strategy for new applications.

The challenge was heightened because no BW instance the scale of Accenture’s had previously moved to Microsoft Azure.

With no precedent, every aspect of an entirely new solution required innovation.

Accenture, Microsoft and SAP engaged in extensive workshopping and designing. Everyone needed to understand the different layers of the solution and how to enable each piece of the architecture to create the most optimal architecture for Accenture.

This platform can now be used as a template for future Microsoft and Accenture customers.

Working from a blank slate, the combined team jointly designed and implemented three primary pillars required to deploy the solution: Execution Architecture, Operations Architecture and the Operations Framework.

The work addressed critical items such as disaster recovery, high availability, data encryption, ticket management, scalability and network performance.

The result: A highly tuned platform that supports Accenture’s business needs.

The team performed iterative test cycles, simulating two full business month-end close cycles and continued to tune the environment to resolve issues until the close of testing.

For production—the actual production migration to SAP HANA in Microsoft Azure—a carefully orchestrated set of activities was executed in a 24/7 fashion by teams across the globe.

The cross-team, complex cutover finished according to plan and the system was released to the full Accenture business on schedule without business disruption.

The new solution performed well and met all the business service level agreements (SLAs) and experienced no major issues.

“OUR COMBINED TEAM, WORKING VIRTUALLY, KNEW WE WERE BREAKING NEW GROUND. FIRST, WE WERE UNDERTAKING A MOVE OF ACCENTURE’S ENTIRE 7 TB BW LANDSCAPE AND ARCHITECTURE FROM ON-PREMISE TO A PUBLIC CLOUD SOLUTION THAT HAD NEVER BEEN PROVEN AT OUR SCALE. SECOND, ONCE IN THE CLOUD, WE NEEDED TO DO A DATABASE MIGRATION FROM MICROSOFT SQL TO SAP HANA.”

STEVE COLLINS
Managing Director of Accenture’s Enterprise Data and Finance Portfolio

BENEFITS DELIVERED

Collaborative innovation and intense focus enabled the team to successfully deliver the migration of Accenture’s first major SAP application, SAP BW on SAP HANA, to Microsoft Azure in a span of only six months.

Moving to the public cloud delivered on the business benefits of scale, agility and performance. These capabilities will be needed to support Accenture’s projected growth.

In addition, the move to SAP HANA is enabling better, leading-edge reporting and analytics capabilities for business users not possible pre-SAP HANA—a powerful shift in capability for Accenture.

Accenture continues to collaborate with Microsoft and SAP to stabilize and optimize the platform, while at the same time partnering in the ecosystem to drive the solution in the market.

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AGILITY

New agile delivery for faster response to business changes. Reduced effort on major releases environment build.

AGILITY

USER EXPERIENCE

70% faster management, forecasting and consolidation reporting over world-class optimized BW system.

USER EXPERIENCE

CLOSE HEADROOM

38% performance improvement on the month-end close processing, creating headroom for 50% growth.

70% faster data broadcasting to downstream applications.

CLOSE HEADROOM

SECURITY

Further fortified Accenture's ERP security. Enabled secure SAP HANA agile delivery governance.

SECURITY

PRODUCTION SCALE

Enhanced scale to mitigate peak usage.

PRODUCTION SCALE

ROAD MAP

Foundation for SAP S/4HANA and BW/SAP S/4HANA strategic movements. Enable digital integration with future Accenture IT and ecosystem platforms.

ROAD MAP

“This is the first, large-scale instance of SAP BW HANA in Microsoft Azure,” says Andrew Wilson, Accenture’s CIO. “It is an enormous step forward and marks a major collective achievement for the combined teams across Accenture and our ecosystem partners Microsoft and SAP, clearly demonstrating the art of the possible.”

ANDREW WILSON

Accenture CIO