Tuesday, 22 September 2020 11:08

Zag, Hydro Tasmania overcome pandemic to deliver ERP systems conversion to S/4HANA remotely


SAP specialist Zag has completed the remote conversion of Hydro Tasmania’s legacy SAP on-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to SAP’s next generation ERP solution, S/4HANA with Fiori 3, despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zag says the project was already working to tight deadlines to meet Hydro Tasmania’s end of financial year, when COVID-19 travel restrictions introduced another challenge.

According to Zag enhancing its accounting and financial capabilities was a key outcome for Hydro Tasmania which meant there was “tight governance of the project and shared responsibilities by both Zag and Hydro Tasmania”.

“The size and complexity of the project – with 1000+ seats, a large asset base and an intricate SAP backend – combined with tight deadlines and the need to balance other ongoing projects at Hydro Tasmania all combined to make the delivery of the project a complicated task without the introduction of the pandemic,” Zag says.

Zag CEO Nick Mulcahy says the successful completion of the project, on time and on budget, is a “testament to both the teams’ ability to adapt to changing conditions and the close working relationship they developed with Hydro Tasmania’s team prior to travel restrictions coming into force”.

Mulcahy said Zag and Hydro Tasmania identified and managed the project’s risks weeks before the pandemic materialised in Australia, and when it was required, the project team quickly adapted to remote working and virtual collaboration.

“This was a 10-month project and prior to the pandemic the team had already worked closely with Hydro Tasmania to scope and define the full functionality of the system and delve deeply into what the system needed to do to deliver on their needs,” said Mulcahy.

“This meant that when we had to unexpectedly switch to remote collaboration, both teams were fully up to speed and were able to maintain good communication despite the challenges COVID-19 brought to the project.”

Zag says that from March to June 2020, all project activities were delivered 100% remotely, including two dress rehearsals and the production cutover/go-live. 

“Remote working went seamlessly. It was well managed, and the strength of the team shone through. The early on-site collaborations and relationships we built with Zag helped us engage well later in the project remotely,” says Hydro Tasmania GM Corporate IT Anna Bird.

“Zag as a partner is right-sized for our organisation. Sometimes, if you’re engaging the Tier 1 type players, you can get lost as a small fish in the big pond. The willingness of Zag to collaborate with us on the ground and work as one team stood out.”

Zag says Hydro Tasmania saw the conversion to S/4HANA as an enablement project to get the business onto newer technology, opening the door to streamlined, simpler processes and improved user experience with Fiori 3.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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