Case Study

Implementing SAP Agribusiness IT Solutions

The client

The client is a leading agribusiness company and a leader in crop protection and high value seeds.

Business need

SAP upgrade

One of the client's divisions was running SAP version 3.1i. As per the corporate strategy of single SAP version, they needed to upgrade the existing version to the enterprise version 4.7. They needed a partner to help with the upgrade, keeping the upgrade cost to the minimum.

SAP basis administration production support

The client runs SAP at multiple locations globally. Because of multi-location and multi-installation nature, the administration and support costs were very high. Due to the high volatility of enterprise solution market, there was difficulty in recruiting and retaining IT talents. Added to it, the rapidly changing technology trends were making it all the more difficult to keep updated with the latest technology and trends in IT. There was an urgent need to have a resource pool of trained SAP resources and to reduce the total cost of ownership. The support process also needed to be streamlined as different locations followed different processes.

The client didn't have well-defined processes for handling development and production support. There were no quality procedure or performance metrics for production support. High attrition rates in the production support teams were resulting in high cost of support. Aggressive timeline, multiple countries, and multi-location nature of support added to the complexity of transition.

Our solution

SAP upgrade

Infosys provided a three-phase solution for the SAP upgrade namely upgrade assessment, technical upgrade, and functional alignment. Infosys SAP Upgrade Information Tool (INSUIT) was deployed during assessment and for project planning to cover all the aspects of upgrade. The entire technical framework for the upgrade was provided by Infosys.

SAP basis administration production support

Infosys introduced Global Delivery Model (GDM), with a large offshore team and very small presence onsite to reduce the TCO. To improve resource availability and capacity on demand, a common resource pool was created offshore for handling various development objects. This resulted in shared services offering cost effectiveness. To streamline the production support, Infosys recommended, finalized, and deployed development and support processes and procedures. These procedures were standardized across the client locations. It included well-defined service level agreements for various support operations. A support cell for 24/7 on-call support for production support was established. The support was extended to non-SAP bolt-on applications also.

Administration was done with the help of following tools to pro-actively monitor the instance and prevent any possible downtime.

  • Clarify CRM tool
  • SAP TIN (Dedicated Exchange mail box for all alerts and calls)
  • SAP / R3 monitoring tools
  • Documentum ( Documentation Version Management tool)
  • Automated and tailor-made scripts to monitor status of processes and components

An optimal mix of functional and technical team onsite for handling client interaction and contributing to preparing functional requirement specifications helped the client's managers to focus on their core business. Implementation of tailor-made processes from the domain experts was also carried out.

Business value

The upgrade was completed in a short time (within four months of project start). Major part of the execution was done from offshore thereby reducing the cost. This resulted in on-time and on-budget completion of deliverables.

The outsourcing of production support led to reduction in downtime of the systems and well-managed helpdesk, leading to increased productivity and reduced cycle time. The reduction in downtime was achieved by automated proactive monitoring and maintaining a well-trained SAP technical resource pool. There was a significant reduction in TCO due to offshoring.

Standardized processes and procedures were implemented across, combined with adhering to SLAs and CMM 5 quality norms, resulted in enhanced stakeholder satisfaction. Enhancement to the warehouse management system resulted in visibility to customer returns for repacking, reprocessing, and hazard management at storage bin level.

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