Call for change

To manage Accenture’s enterprise assets, teams across Accenture were using a variety of solutions and processes. Much of the data capturing was manual and inconsistent across systems, driving the need for a modern, integrated system.

Our global IT and Geographic Services organizations collaborated to develop a solution. As we continually look to obtain new value from our ServiceNow platform, we recognized that the ServiceNow IT Asset Management solution held the potential to address enterprise asset management (EAM) needs across Accenture.

As a result, we partnered with ServiceNow to influence the solution road map. This joined effort between global IT and Geographic Services teams such as Local Technology Services, Procurement, and Workplace, also collaborated with Controllership within Accenture Finance, to ultimately enable a cross-function, integrated approach.

Our objective was to launch a program to create a single system to manage software, hardware and workplace assets, establishing standard processes and facilitating consistent accounting and end-to-end life cycle management. Software covers license management and modernization of our current software catalog. Hardware assets include such items as workstations, mobile devices, servers, and video conferencing devices. And, workplace assets include such items as office furniture, fixtures, kitchen equipment and TVs.

A single solution would allow us to decommission the disparate range of tools that teams were using across the organization, reducing manual efforts and improving data quality and centralized management with better visibility on asset location and movement.

Accenture Enterprise Asset Management solution overview

Scope

Asset management process reengineering and software implementation: software, hardware and workplace

4M

Estimated number of assets for migration

$326+M

Software spend tracked

$2+B

Estimated asset value

3800+

Software products tracked

When tech meets human ingenuity

Our cross-functional, enterprise asset management (EAM) program team needed to address an environment of disparate solutions and processes in order to migrate asset information to the ServiceNow Asset Management product. The goal was to have consistent global processes across Accenture and a capability to track assets from end to end with a single enterprise system.

Getting to this end state would require three phases of effort over a three-year period: establishing a foundational capability, deploying targeted geographies, and evolving the enterprise asset management (EAM) solution.

Establishing the foundation centered around rationalizing processes, data and establishing core integrations. Our project team migrated an initial 800,000 assets from disparate tools to the ServiceNow platform. This number is projected to reach 4 million. We rationalized data and implemented system controls to drive standardization and data integrity across asset information. Data governance controls and legal compliance guidelines were automated. Global ownership of data governance was established as well.

In addition, our team built integrations with ServiceNow and core platforms to drive automation with SAP Ariba for asset procurement and a single global SAP system instance for financial data. These connections help facilitate an integrated, end-to-end asset management life cycle by tracking assets from procurement until disposal, along with real-time audit and reconciliation capabilities.

During this time and in the subsequent phases, our team focused development on four key elements:

Global processes

Our team inventoried existing asset management processes across Accenture’s geographies and selected the best of them. We used these to reengineer new, end-to-end asset life cycle processes to get to a standard, global solution.

This solution can be customized at local levels to address specific regulatory compliance requirements. Designing this global process flow formed the "core" for deploying the asset management application in stages to Accenture’s 50 countries.

Custom portal

To provide an enhanced user experience, the team developed a custom, mobile-friendly service portal with an intuitive and interactive user interface. Key features include auto-generation of standardized asset tags and QR codes when assets are received. The asset manager capability lets asset teams view and edit assets, check the activity log as well as reprint asset tags. Asset teams can upload assets in bulk using an intuitive and easy-to-use template.

The portal is also accessible on mobile devices via a browser, making it easy for asset managers to tag assets and generate bar codes directly from their devices. For software managers, the portal enables end-user license management giving software owners the capability to allocate and manage the licenses they are responsible for. In addition, all Accenture people are able to view assets assigned to them and confirm receipt of assets shipped to them. This ability was especially important when thousands of laptops needed to be shipped to our people who needed to work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dashboards

The team created several role-based dashboards that provide real-time reporting to govern data. The dashboard for asset managers provides the ability to precisely track all their assets, confirm data governance and accurately forecast stock refresh.

Those in asset operations can monitor and directly engage in asset life cycle activities (movement, maintenance and disposal) and related compliance tasks. The dashboards for Accenture Controllership give users end-to-end visibility on fixed-asset creation, accruals and overall reconciliation of physical assets in the EAM system and fixed assets in SAP. The dashboard for software asset administrators displays actionable information, trends and a cost-savings view.

The integration of the dashboards with Accenture’s SAP ERP system facilitates financial reconciliation of assets and eliminates the need for users to toggle between ServiceNow and SAP to download and compare records. Manual effort is greatly reduced, and users now have one unified view of asset records and consolidated reports.

Mobile app

Working jointly with ServiceNow, the team developed a powerful mobile app to register, manage and periodically audit assets from anywhere. The app has several distinct features, one of which is a multi-scan capability that enables asset teams to scan QR or bar codes on multiple assets in one pass. The mobile app is integrated with the overall solution and automates and accelerates the amount of time it takes to register assets, resulting in increased operational efficiencies and major time savings.

Collaboration counts

The EAM program teams consist of many members with specialized skills from different locations, working on different areas but toward one common goal. In our day-to-day efforts, our teams engaged more than 200 global stakeholders representing 50 countries. Team members and stakeholders participated in design thinking workshops to complete a gap assessment of the current processes and then developed "to-be" processes to finalize designs. Business analysts converted those processes into user stories that were then passed to the development team to write the code.

Other teams at Accenture’s Innovation Centers collaborated on the mobile app development together with ServiceNow. The collaboration of all our teams made tremendous progress in deploying the asset management solution to nearly all of Accenture’s geographic units globally. We continue to evolve and improve the solution.

A valuable difference

Accenture is transforming the way the company tracks and manages software, hardware and workplace assets globally. This single, integrated solution significantly streamlines the process and helps to manage the life cycle of assets from beginning to end.

In just one Accenture location alone, the introduction of the mobile application to manage assets through their life cycles reduced time spent resolving location discrepancies by 40 percent, reduced the time to perform asset audits by 50 percent and improved asset issue resolution time by 25 percent.

When the COVID-19 pandemic set in and Accenture needed to move desktops and other hardware assets to employee homes quickly, our EAM program team was able to take advantage of the work accomplished to date. We quickly spun up an ad hoc asset tracking solution onto the ServiceNow platform, made some enhancements to the mobile app to enable check-in and check-out of the assets, as well as developed a way to automate the return-to-office process. These capabilities helped other Accenture teams quickly and effectively perform large numbers of equipment moves.

In terms of software, the management of software publishers that have previously audited Accenture has currently surpassed 67% and will continue to climb. The EAM system will provide time-saving reconciliation reports to possibly eliminate or avoid future software audits.

Data from the EAM system is also providing functionality previously unavailable for tracking workplace assets related to furniture moves within an office or between different office locations and managing the refurbishment and recycling of furniture. The data is helping to deliver cost benefits, enable depreciation and support our our sustainability efforts.

Benefits of Accenture’s enterprise asset management system on ServiceNow:

"This intelligent, automated asset management system is enabling a whole new level of agility, tracking and forecasting in our workplace. It is accessible and meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines."

— Margaret Smith, Managing Director – Global Geographic Services and Business Operations, Accenture

Centralizes software, hardware and workplace assets, providing enterprise visibility

Standardizes the asset management process

Performs auto-discovery of software and hardware assets

Enables end-user license management and software requests

Enables anytime, anywhere access with a mobile app

Meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Automates data controls, governance, and risk and compliance activities

Established governance and compliance policies

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