JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South African power utility Eskom is the first organization on African soil to be awarded the prestigious Advanced Centre of Expertise (COE) certification from leading global enterprise software solution provider, SAP.
According to Sean Maritz, acting CIO and Divisional Executive at Eskom, SAP has had a positive impact on the utility’s operations over the last ten years. “With SAP’s systems in place, we have seen a significant reduction in system outages due to the improvement in our internal processes. Our internal IT ratings have also improved by 15% and we have experienced 10% fewer outages due to the increased levels of accurate real-time data in our systems.”
The SAP Advanced Centre of Expertise certification covers the full spectrum of SAP solution operations. With this the new certification, the Eskom team now has integrated IT systems quality management in place, bringing complete transparency to the challenges and issues faced by the organisation as a whole. Visibility, alignment and a common understanding of the most critical issues affecting the organisation have been enabled through the organisation’s ability to now maintain a single source of data – one central repository where everything is tracked and from which all information flows.
The journey to the advanced SAP certification is an intricate two-year process requiring both executive-level commitment and resource allocation and Eskom is the first SAP customer in Africa to have radically transformed its business to reach the prerequisite COE certification level. At the end of 2015, Eskom presented its business transformational journey at the SAP International Advanced Centre of Expertise to a group of senior global experts from some of the world’s most admired organisations.
“This SAP certification conveys a level of commitment to quality above all and highlights Eskom’s drive to do the right thing – not just for short-term gains, but to ensure sustainability in the long term. Throughout this process, we have challenged the silo thinking prevalent in the market today, securing a deeper understanding of how every action impacts other areas of the business, the economy, and indeed the people that live and work within South Africa,” commented Maritz.
Moving forward, Maritz said that Eskom will now focus on further improvement of the organisation’s IT systems. “This includes adding more business processes and improving the quality of the existing processes. Eskom is a lighthouse to many other utilities in Africa. With SAP as a partner, we have demonstrated to the world that we have a mature ITC environment and that effectively harnessed technology can change the playing field. Furthermore, this certification offers immense skills development benefits for our people as learners and interns become far more employable due to their exposure to the highest possible levels of SAP-optimised processes.”
According to SAP Africa Managing Director, Brett Parker, executive-level buy-in from SAP and Eskom was one of the key ingredients to the success of this project. “Eskom and SAP jointly decided to pursue the achievement of the Advanced Centre of Expertise cerification over four years ago. Since then, every action and plan was specifically undertaken to bring the organisation closer to this goal, supported through the SAP CIO advisory services delivered through SAP next generation of MaxAttention approach. We commend Eskom for their efforts and are proud to see the first Advanced Centre of Expertise on the African continent. We also look forward to taking our collaboration into the future to achieve even greater success.”
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