SAP Business One for Degremont, a branch of Suez Environment
“Come together for water, the source of life”: this has been Degrémont’s vocation for over 70 years. Degrémont is a pioneer for the sustainable management of water resources.
Degrémont, a branch of Suez Environment, provides municipalities and industries with water treatment solutions in 4 ways: conception and construction of factories; operation, service and maintenance of installations; equipment and technology; BOT/PPP1 partner contracts. Degrémont develops a large range of skills around the production of potable water, from desalinization, to municipal waste water treatment, the reuse of treated wastewater, sludge recycling and industrial water treatment.
Uniting 5200 employees in more than 70 countries over five continents, Degrémont reached almost 1.4B € in revenue in 2012, investing 14.5M€ in Research and Innovation. On a global scale, 1 billion people have access to potable water thanks to one of the 10,000 factories constructed by Degrémont. This strong international presence and business diversity represents major challenges for information technology systems, as evoked by Emmanuel Bernard, Chief Information Officer of Degrémont: “Essentially, our IT issues reflect our multiplicity: diverse offers, a global geographical network, legal complexities, an inconsistency in the size of our structures… Degrémont has historically been forced to deal with a plethora of IT structures of which many are obsolete. So many factors led us to the Omega project in 2007, a global reflection that aims to rationalize all of our processes on an international level.”
The logical next step for this process driven strategy was to harmonize all information systems; a desire to optimize that was thus incarnated by the Saphir Program launched in 2009 based on two axes: the implementation of SAP ECC 6 at the heart of all major establishments and the deployment of SAP Business One for subsidiaries and branches of all sizes (Saphir One Program).
This was a natural choice as it was in line with the Suez Environment IT system equipped with the leading ERP solutions.
“Thanks to intuitive user interfaces, the coexistence of two ERPs seemed to be an obvious choice given our specific desires and challenges. The number of users may vary from 20 to 200 depending on the size of the subsidiary with several branches using an “Account Finance” solution originally created for only 2 to 3 users. In addition to its large functional coverage, SAP Business One happens to be a very affordable, reactive, flexible, easily implemented and evolving solution.”
Simple, intuitive and featuring a very user friendly interface, the solution is available in 25 languages in more than 40 locations, thus integrating the legal specifics, rules and financial aspects of each country.
A flexible reiterative method
Following a hands down victory among other tenders, VISEO was given the mission to audit pilot sites, a preliminary phase for a Core Model approach. VISEO then defined and constructed the two Core Models.
The first Core Model meets the needs of all “Equipment” subsidiaries, with functional SAP Business One coverage including processes of “Case Management – Project Management”, via the certified vertical SAP solution: ProjectManagement by Maringo.
The second core model allows for subsidiary financial consolidation at the heart of SAP ECC 6. “Beyond the expertise provided by VISEO concerning SAP Business One deployment for large companies, we specifically appreciated the agile method approach, thus providing quick implementations (from 2 to 12 months). VISEO uses a reiterative and flexible method that matches well with the profiles of our subsidiaries: key-users with limited time and structures with a restricted number of users. The same approach was preferred for user training, based on a progressive attribution of new tools during live tests.”
A lasting partnership
Since 2010, the model has been proven effective with the implementation of SAP Business One within 18 subsidiaries and an efficient AMS via the implementation of a dedicated VISEO platform in Morocco. “Over time, we capitalize on the benefits of this industrialization method, with the ambition of fostering a strong partnership with VISEO. I would also like to make a parallel with the agile solution and the flexibility of VISEO, a company always ready to accompany our teams anywhere in the world. Recently, VISEO was again proven reactive and creative during Degrémont’s purchase of Industrial Water Management (IWM), a company specializing in conditioning products for cooling circuits and furnaces. We needed to install SAP Business One (outside of the Core Model) at IWM, within a short period of time. The challenge was met within 4 months with an on-time operational launch on October 1st, 2013.”
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