CLIENT CASE STUDY


Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold: Global ERP implementation

Read how Accenture helped Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold in transforming its SAP environment to achieve high performance.

Overview

When copper and gold producer Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold needed to transform its SAP environment following a major acquisition, it turned to Accenture for help. By delivering critical IT services, Accenture provided Freeport greater agility and improved ability to focus on its growth agenda.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) is the world’s largest publicly traded copper company, with assets in copper, gold, cobalt and molybdenum, revenues in excess of US$19 billion and more than 30,000 employees. The company operates across six continents, owning significant mining operations in North and South America, the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the world’s largest copper and gold mine in the Grasberg minerals district in Papua, Indonesia.

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Opportunity

Following a major $28 billion acquisition, Freeport needed to dramatically increase its systems scalability and performance model. The company’s existing infrastructure and enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment was inhibiting its ability to grow at a critical time when Freeport was revising its operating model to leverage emerging technologies and optimize internal processes.

Freeport launched an extensive expansion initiative, involving a complete ERP transformation and standardization of its storage and computing platforms across its global operations. The company wanted to leverage a common infrastructure across operating system platforms and create a reference architecture that could support geographically diverse remote operations.

Freeport required its new infrastructure to offer simplified manageability and serviceability, increased resiliency and standardized tools, while moving toward a cloud-enabled system. Freeport was also looking for the flexibility to outsource data center operations to a third party following the infrastructure transformation.

Accenture’s experience in SAP deployments for the natural resources industry became a key factor in Freeport choosing Accenture for this major transformation. An infrastructure refresh, required to support the ERP transformation project, was scheduled to be completed within an aggressive nine-month time frame.

Accenture became the clear choice to provide the SAP knowledge and skills, coupled with the infrastructure expertise to guide Freeport through the project and support Freeport’s short- and long-term goals.

Solution

Support by the Accenture and Cisco Business Group was instrumental in preparing a proof of concept that demonstrated how a Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and NetApp Unified Storage Solution could dramatically accelerate delivery of the ERP implementation and create the flexibility Freeport needed. Accenture provided solutions for data center architecture, design and implementation expertise, and appropriate project and risk management to drive a successful migration to the new infrastructure.

Working with our partners, Accenture created a private cloud architecture (a combination of NetApp Unified Storage and Data Management, VMware vSphere and Cisco UCS with SAP software), customizing the installation to meet Freeport’s diverse demands for infrastructure scalability, flexibility and manageability. Accenture will operate the data centers using Cisco UCS to run multiple environments, both physical and virtual.

During the ERP transformation, the private cloud architecture increased speed to value by decreasing the testing window, accelerating system refreshes and enabling the rapid stand up of new environments. Freeport avoided additional cost by using a flexible, scalable single platform to support the in-flight ERP initiative, plus the architecture consolidation and the data center move. Accenture helped Freeport mitigate risk by leveraging a private cloud architecture to easily allocate additional space and computing power.

Results

The project succeeded on both fronts: delivery schedule and end results. The infrastructure refresh was completed within the required nine months to support the ERP transformation. The private cloud architecture allows rapid provisioning of the system landscape to support on-demand development and test environments.

With this new capability, Freeport increased platform utilization and maximized its infrastructure investment, while simplifying ongoing management and operational support for SAP. Numerous operational improvements attest to the higher performance and more responsive ERP environment: rapid deployment and scaling of SAP using service profiles; applications running significantly faster; and lead time for SAP restorations being reduced from hours to minutes. Faster test cycles using rapid refresh of test environments allowed for more testing to be completed within project schedules.

Virtualization of servers and storage resulted in a much smaller hardware footprint and a greatly reduced storage platform. Simplifying storage management has increased efficiency and the new storage architecture can support a mix of applications.

Freeport’s users can now create multiple snapshots for data protection without affecting production or formal testing. Additionally, business continuity and disaster recovery are available for individual systems. By delivering a flexible, highly efficient and scalable open architecture platform, Accenture gave Freeport the ability to revise its operating model, leverage emerging technologies and optimize internal processes. Freeport successfully transitioned to one SAP system with standardized global operations, helping position the company for more efficient operations as it focuses on expanding mining operations worldwide.

The company continues to strive for new levels of innovation and operational excellence, clearly demonstrating how leveraging new technology is a key strategy for achieving high performance. By delivering critical IT services in a way that improves Freeport’s effectiveness and cost-efficiency, Accenture provided Freeport greater agility and improved ability to focus on its growth agenda.

Industry & topics highlighted

Natural Resources Technology