The first track of the program consisted of a three-phased approach designed to minimize impact to the business while laying the foundation for future business needs.
Phase 1. Technical foundation: Move to SAP Business Suite on HANA
Migrating from running SAP ECC 6.0 on Microsoft SQL Server to SAP Business Suite on HANA was a technical prerequisite for implementing SAP S/4HANA (Phase 2). Accenture’s implementation took six months and set the foundation for the SAP S/4HANA upgrade to enable the transformation of Accenture’s technology architecture and IT capabilities.
Phase 2. Functional and transformational foundation: Upgrade to SAP S/4HANA
The second phase established the transformational technology foundation with the implementation of SAP S/4HANA 1610. As Accenture had already optimized its global financial processes and technical architecture, it chose a brownfield conversion (i.e., in-place upgrade and data migration), leveraging Accenture’s SAP methodology.
The upgrade to version 1610 involved the following major steps: prototyping; enabling Accenture’s economic model on SAP S/4HANA and aligning Accenture’s design with SAP S/4HANA enhanced capabilities in treasury, fixed assets and cross-business process master data (customer, vendor, and business partner); scoping agile delivery into three sprints; performing a cutover of multiple technical and four production-like mock conversions; conducting extensive automated testing; developing training; supporting business readiness with an integrated change and communication plan across the impacted functions and systems; and developing service introduction for the cutover, stabilization, and steady-state operations.
Upgrade to SAP S/4HANA version 1809
Accenture’s SAP strategy is to stay current with upgrades. This strategy has been pivotal to staying secure, maintaining compliance with the latest legal and regulatory changes, achieving timely resolution of production incidents, providing enhanced scalability and performance to address growth, and enabling the ability to leverage the newest digital capabilities on the platform. These business drivers made the case for Accenture to perform an upgrade from SAP S/4HANA version 1610 to version 1809.
Phase 3. Continued finance technology transformation: Further technical capability transformation to meet new business needs
Accenture is currently evaluating business needs and leveraging SAP S/4HANA functionalities to drive further value to the business. This value includes a more flexible and agile platform to support diverse businesses, enhancing intelligent, real-time digital financial reporting, insights and analytics, and the ability to leverage future SAP capabilities.