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Enterprise master data management

Powering Accenture's digital journey

THE EARLY DAYS

Accurate master data—an organization’s single source of basic business data used across multiple applications and processes—has become a strategic imperative in the drive to achieve high performance and a key element in driving a digital agenda.

The journey to a master data management (MDM) capability began with the implementation of a single SAP® system instance. Accenture’s story is one of the progressive steps it took since those early days to shape MDM to being the prime provider of high-quality, timely master data. This is the data that today drives Accenture’s integrated cross-functional reporting, integrated security model and other core business processes that support the company’s business runners and internal functions.

THE NEED FOR MDM

Accenture’s need for a robust MDM capability was driven by two main factors:



1

Improving data quality

The need for improved data quality to address new
Sarbanes-Oxley requirements and data inconsistency
driven by point-specific needs within silos without
appropriate governance and controls.

2

Enhancing agility

The challenges faced in the limited agility to support
the company’s ever-changing business, such as
management reorganizations, new focus areas in the
market, and ventures, acquisitions and divestitures.


Both business and IT leaders recognized the need to create an MDM capability to eliminate the long lead time to manage master data changes and address quality issues.

ACCENTURE’S JOURNEY

Transitioning from a private partnership to a global public company enabled Accenture to create an ERP strategy from a clean slate and lay a new IT foundation.

Accenture made the strategic decision to create a single global system instance of its ERP, based on SAP software, to transform all corporate functions, leveraging standard, global business processes and shared services.

Internal IT collaborated with the business to create a finance Master Data Management function that would sit within Accenture’s Operations Support for the Enterprise (OSE) organization. Together, OSE teams deliver production and end-user support for Accenture’s ERP operations.

Aligned with the Finance ERP capability implementation, the finance Master Data Management function’s initial focus was on management and legal organization structures, WBS elements, global chart of accounts, and customer records.

As SAP Human Resources and Sales capabilities were implemented, the scope was extended to Career, Competency, Location, and Product data.

The MDM capability naturally scaled in cost-effective shared services centers leveraging a follow-the-sun approach to support their respective business and system processes. The team has evolved to nearly 100 specialized employees managing more than 10,000 transactions per month.

A key development was the implementation of a single, integrated data model spanning business processes and applications ensuring one version of the truth. While the model assures rigorous processes, it also has the flexibility to adjust to the ever-changing reality of the business and to take on new applications or capabilities.

The MDM team was aligned with the Accenture Operations organization, enabling further scale, cost savings, career development opportunities, sharing of best practices and enhancement of Accenture’s go-to-market capability.

Many of Accenture’s workflow and request management tools are undergoing a major transformation to leverage ServiceNow, a cloud-based, platform-as-a-service solution for Enterprise Service Management that is digitally enabling Accenture’s end-to-end service management process.

The solution is automating the MDM request fulfillment process with real-time validation and seamless integration and master data creation across Accenture’s ERP, leading to a faster turnaround with higher quality and less effort.

MDM TODAY

Accenture’s MDM capability has evolved from simple beginnings to one that is a critical component in supporting Accenture’s growth strategy. Notable results include:



REDUCE LEAD TIME

REDUCED
LEAD TIME


Lead time to process master data
significantly reduced.

REMOVED FROM CRITICAL PATH

REMOVED FROM
CRITICAL PATH


Lead time to process master data
largely removed from the critical path
of reorganization changes, integration
of acquisitions into Accenture business
applications, and other critical
business events.

IMPROVED DATA QUALITY, COST

IMPROVED DATA
QUALITY, COST


Data quality and cost-to-serve
are significantly improved.


As Accenture’s MDM journey continues, the team looks to bring in additional functions and enhance technologies even further, especially in areas of analytics and artificial intelligence.



“Process rigor, automation and organization optimization are providing the business with greater agility and confidence in data and reporting than ever, enabling the team to rotate from the provision of basic transaction services to critical business advisory services.”


Matt Foulger

Managing Director of Accenture MDM Operations



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