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CASE STUDY

An SAP transformation to rise above the day-to-day

Accenture Finance is leading the way for large enterprises to move beyond everyday maintenance of digital core and focus on business transformation.

5-MINUTE READ

Call for change

Accenture is evolving, rapidly.

As our global finance business becomes increasingly complex and diverse, agility is crucial to our continued growth. For many years, we collaborated with our core partner SAP to transform Accenture Finance into an organization of the future. We made huge advances to become one of the first large enterprises to run its core financial operations on a single, global instance of SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. We worked together to create a single source of truth to achieve full data transparency and integrity. With our ‘platform first’ initiative, we paved the way to leverage real-time data and analytics to give our leaders key metrics to support decision-making.

But something was missing.

Accenture had a bold vision – to set a new performance frontier by moving more core operations to an as-a-service model. We were already utilizing as-a-service models to maintain our Sales and HR operations, therefore it was time for us to shift our Finance ERP to a similar model. Global IT was spending its time maintaining large scale systems and networks. The right technology partners and a flexible data architecture would allow us to focus on business transformation with more automated capabilities and faster AI-led processes. We could spend less time on the everyday maintenance of our digital core. With a move to as-a-service, we could elevate our attention, look beyond the day-to-day, and move at the speed of business.

When tech meets human ingenuity

That’s when SAP came to us with their new RISE offering. Here was an as-a-service solution, with SAP working as both software vendor and cloud provider. Along with simplified processes, it would provide the predictability and transparency necessary for an accelerated transformation.

However, there were gaps between SAP’s RISE offering and our needs as a large enterprise. The offering was focused on companies that were not already on S/4HANA and in the cloud, moving them closer to that transformation model. Accenture had already taken those steps.

But in these gaps lay an opportunity to build something new.

If Accenture could shape and augment SAP’s RISE for its own needs, then it could help to create a more expansive solution to help other large organizations. With a relationship of over 40 years, in Accenture, SAP had the right collaborator – a strategic organization, a system integration partner and a customer ready to work with them to create a new more inclusive product.

“Powered by our own cloud services and adapted for the specific requirements of our Global IT organization, this SAP transformation journey brought us closer to our organizational goals of greater agility, innovation and value,” said Eli Lambert, Managing Director for Global IT’s Finance Platforms at Accenture. With a reduced burden on resource intensive tasks, and as a greater consumer of cloud services, our organization can focus on emerging capabilities to propel growth.

Countless human hours are freed up with people upskilling to complete more strategic work. Global IT thought leaders can focus on long-term roadmaps and transformative initiatives. The organization can now expand on its digital foundation through improved visibility around spending and increased use of intelligent technologies.

For example, Accenture Finance can now focus on emerging capabilities like our predictive analytics that enable more accurate cash forecasting and machine learning-powered cash application for more timely and accurate collections.

A valuable difference

And now that we know the way, we can show the way.

Drawing on Accenture’s own experience, SAP and Accenture have now launched a new joint offering, RISE with SAP and SOAR with Accenture for Large Enterprises.

SOAR with Accenture amplifies the benefits of RISE with SAP for faster and easier SAP S/4HANA migrations at all stages of a company’s transformation journey, providing new opportunities for growth.

This will help meet the unique needs of large enterprises on their transformation journey, helping them to build a highly optimized operations model across SAP and third-party applications. The result? More flexible operating expenses, lower costs and more clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Incorporating Accenture’s comprehensive suite of transformation services, and including customized cloud services and proprietary intelligent tools, this offering is delivered through a cohesive as-a-service model.

“The most successful companies will undergo Total Enterprise Reinvention over the next decade, transforming every part of their business through technology, data and AI, and new ways of working and engaging with customers as well as new business models,” said Julie Sweet, chair and chief executive officer, Accenture. “SAP and Accenture are now offering the ability for large enterprises to dramatically accelerate their transformations and new opportunities for growth.”

Accenture is the largest SAP partner to offer services entirely designed to help large enterprises across industries easily plan, implement and manage deployments of RISE with SAP in the cloud. This results in improved security, compliance and reduced total cost of ownership. Organizations can now pivot from ‘Run’ state operations to ‘Optimize and Transform’.

When it comes to our technology landscape, we invest in digital capabilities that set us apart from our competitors, leveraging AI and predictive analytics to unearth smarter and more sustainable ways to operate. We are moving beyond mere transformation to reinvent our organization from the ground up.

And having charted this journey ourselves, we now have the map for others.

Meet the team

Eli Lambert
Managing Director – Global IT, Finance Platforms
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Michalene Schechter
Director – Global IT, SAP Platform Architecture
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Abdel Altabarani
Director – Global IT, Finance Platforms
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David Pereles
Managing Director – SAP Technology for Talent and HR North America
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