To reduce the complexity of the legacy system, the company opted for a greenfield deployment of SAP S/4HANA, and engaged IBM Services for help on the journey.
Satha Pillay continues, “We selected SAP S/4HANA because it allowed us to introduce automated, best-practice processes for finance and procurement. Because SAP S/4HANA is powered by the SAP HANA in-memory database, it supports lightning-fast analytics. Additionally, SAP S/4HANA is the next generation of SAP solutions, and SAP offers a strong roadmap for the platform.
“We engaged IBM because IBM is a trusted Veolia partner, having managed many successful SAP implementations for our worldwide subsidiaries. Additionally, working with IBM allowed us to rely on the same vendor for the implementation, application management and cloud services. We have a single point of contact and enjoy peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, IBM will fix it.”
IBM and Veolia ANZ carefully assessed business requirements, and mapped processes as close as possible to a standard SAP S/4HANA implementation. By reducing customization, Veolia ANZ can expect a reduction in the time and expense required for future upgrades or enhancements.
IBM designed, built and tested the new solution according to the IBM Ascendant methodology for SAP deployments and IBM’s program management methodology. The IBM team also built more than 40 real-time and batch integration interfaces between Veolia ANZ’s key enterprise systems using SAP Process Orchestration. Furthermore, IBM used SAP Data Services to perform the extract, transform, load (ETL) processes over 30 master-data and transaction-data objects in the data migration between various enterprise applications. Accurate integration and data migration were critical to the success of the project.
SAP S/4HANA Finance now supports Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, General Ledger, Controlling, Banking, Fixed Assets and Project Accounting for Veolia ANZ. SAP S/4HANA Sourcing and Procurement supports Materials Management and Procurement.
“We made a commitment to our group headquarters in Paris to go live with SAP S/4HANA by a certain date,” recalls Satha Pillay. “IBM worked tirelessly with us to ensure that the project was completed on time and within budget. IBM and Veolia staff worked as a single team, and we forged a very strong relationship.”
IBM also helped Veolia ANZ implement the SAP Access Control for SAP S/4HANA application, and build new roles-based access management controls to ensure that personnel can view only information that they require for their jobs, tightening security. Additionally, the IBM team deployed SAP Single Sign-On to provide a smoother user experience to employees accessing the SAP S/4HANA solution and SAP Fiori mobile applications.
Veolia ANZ decided to run S/4HANA on IBM Cloud for SAP Applications (US) in line with the company’s cloud-first strategy and aim to decommission all data centers by 2019. At the time, many cloud providers were not yet offering SAP S/4HANA, or Veolia felt that their offerings were not yet mature. IBM enabled the company to take advantage of the latest SAP platform right away.
The cloud model enabled Veolia ANZ to deploy S/4HANA rapidly and avoid upfront investments in new infrastructure. Furthermore, the IBM Cloud for SAP Applications team monitors the systems on a 24/7 basis to support 99.9 percent availability – which would be difficult to achieve in an on-premise deployment – and keeps a close eye on data security. IBM Services helped Veolia ANZ simplify and accelerate its transition to the cloud, and provided application innovation services for the SAP S/4HANA deployment.
Satha Pillay remarks, “Cloud gives us flexibility on a whole new level. For example, if I want to try out a new idea, I can spin up a test server for a few hours and pay only for the computing resources I use. Changes like that give us much greater freedom to innovate as we aim to continuously improve our operations. We are very happy with the service from IBM Cloud for SAP Applications.”
The SAP applications are managed by IBM Services, marking a significant culture change away from Veolia’s previous model of managing its legacy system in-house. Within just a couple of months, the IBM and Veolia teams built a happy, fruitful relationship, and the Application Management Services team now acts as Veolia’s single point of contact with IBM.