Grid operator one of the first SAP S/4HANA-adopters in utility sector
Enexis modernizes and simplifies the ERP environment with SAP S/4HANA. The grid operator is laying the foundation for a simpler, more agile IT infrastructure required for the energy transition. SAP partner Accenture assisted during the implementation.
Enexis is one of the 7 grid operators responsible for the transmission of gas and electricity in the Netherlands. The energy transition has consequences for the organization. The company must be able to respond quickly to changing needs. This requires an IT environment and associated processes that can facilitate this. To achieve this, Enexis launched the company-wide ‘EneXt’ program.
“In the energy transition, the volume of work for us as grid operators is increasing rapidly. At the same time, you see that technical staff to carry out all this work is scarce. That calls for extra efficiency. In addition, the energy transition requires flexibility on the part of the grid operator in fulfilling its role,” outlines Jan Willem Janse, EneXt program manager at Enexis.
“With EneXt we therefore want to simplify and standardize processes and make the IT landscape more agile. Replacing the ERP environment is an important first step in this,” continues Janse. “At the moment we have a complex landscape in which implementing changes is complex and time consuming. This is undesirable in the changing environment in the middle of the energy transition”.
In 2017, this changed significantly. The grid operator opted for SAP S/4HANA as an ERP solution to replace the current R/3 landscape. After a tender round, Enexis chose Accenture as its implementation partner. After a period of framing and creating an overall integrated blueprint, the implementation was completed within a year.
Within that period, not only were the ERP system and the other applications and integrations realized, but the processes were also adapted to the standard environment. According to Laurens Snoeren, programme and project manager at Accenture, the secret was to work closely with Enexis’ business and project organization according to a customized SAFe methodology.
Haico Hangx, program manager S/4HANA at Enexis, agrees. “For such a radical operation, a one year delivery time line is unprecedented. We succeeded thanks to the good cooperation between Accenture and Enexis, in which we kept the business closely involved. What’s more, we consciously took the implementation one step at a time. A phased roll-out turned out to be wiser for such a large-scale implementation,” says Hangx.
Although the environment has only just become ‘live’ for part of the organization, Enexis is already experiencing the benefits of SAP S/4HANA. The finance department in particular, is now able to run reports much faster and easier. “This is important, because we have to report regularly to our stakeholders. They also now have much quicker insights,” says Hangx.
Foot on the ground
In the coming months, the new ERP platform will continue to gain a foothold within Enexis. For example, the company is using SAP Central Finance architecture. This is a ‘bridge solution’ so that the financial data of the local branches that have not yet made the switch are consolidated in the central S/4HANA system. This temporary architecture will be phased out in the coming years as the local branches gradually switch to the central S/4HANA system. “The most important thing is that we now have an agile basis for the future,” concludes Snoeren.
More information about this project? Click here to watch a movie about Enexis and SAP.