BMS already utilized the SAP ERP platform for its complex enterprise resource planning capabilities and had maintained an extremely well-managed environment with quality data.
This factored into its decision to select SAP S/4HANA ® on Amazon Web Services (AWS). As one of the system's earliest adopters, BMS now has one of the world's largest, most modern and simplified conversions of SAP S/4HANA on the cloud, supporting critical functions in manufacturing, supply chain, finance, order-to-cash and procurement. The upgrade involved 44 global markets, 12 manufacturing plants and 13,000 users — all done with zero business disruption.
BMS teamed with Accenture to define the upgrade path and flawlessly execute the approach. Given the initiative's complexity, and the potential for business disruption, BMS decided to divide the program into two phases. Phase One focused on a technical upgrade, delivering "like for like" capability to manage scope and risk of disruption. Phase Two will focus on leveraging SAP S/4HANA capabilities to enable business process transformation. After building a S/4HANA proof of concept, the team spent 8 months in careful planning to ensure conversion readiness of system functionality and infrastructure. These efforts minimized risk by ensuring compatibility of third-party vendors and reports, data quality assurance through archiving inactive data and removing custom code, and optimal performance through a scalable infrastructure.
Together with Accenture and Amazon Web Services (AWS), BMS executed many firsts that innovatively solved for execution complexity. For instance, Accenture worked with AWS to scale BMS' ability to support 12 terabytes (TB) in a single system, converting 23TB of database to 4.5TB. In addition, IT accelerators, such as Accenture's S/4HANA profiler tool, helped produce quality work quickly with minimal downtime. Originally estimated to be six days, go-live downtime ended up being just 65 hours. To accomplish this, the team utilized SAP's Zero Downtime technology to support its detailed cutover plan. The system was stabilized and fully effective at go-live.