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Throughout the business transformation they call Evolution Vodafone (EVO), Vodafone Group Plc has partnered with SAP to update and improve business processes. Departments ranging from procurement and human resources, to finance and marketing are saving time and money while improving customer service with powerful, integrated SAP solutions.
Vodafone Group Plc
Newbury, United Kingdom
Human Resources, Finance, Procurement, Information Technology
SAP InfiniteInsight, SAP for Telecommunication, SAP Solution Manager, SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management, SAP Mobile Platform, SAP HANA, SAP Spend Performance Management, SAP Customer Relationship Management
The world’s largest mobile telecommunications company keeps more than 400 million consumer and enterprise customers connected by providing the latest, greatest, and fastest mobile networks and technology, superior services, and an ongoing commitment to their needs.
Since 2006, the EVO program has encouraged Vodafone to pursue best practices in every aspect of what it does. Using SAP ERP and associated applications as the single, integrated platform for their business, Vodafone has been able to pinpoint where they spend money, share data across the organization, and implement mobile solutions to improve productivity.
The focus on best practices prompts Vodafone to continually seek areas for improvement. Month-end closing is a critical process that also happens to be highly visible. The availability of financial information is critical to managers who need it to respond to changing business conditions. Timely information supports timely decision making, so Vodafone set the goal of reducing their month-end closing process.
Another goal of Vodafone Group is to maximize savings while minimizing risk. This requires visibility into spending that helps proactively identify savings opportunities and control supplier risk.
Customer churn is another key issue Vodafone sought to address. Since there is no single characteristic that can identify a customer who is likely to change mobile providers, Vodafone Netherlands wanted to figure out a way to make the most of their scarce analytics resources and apply findings to minimize customer turnover.
What determines customer churn?
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The largest IT transformation in Vodafone’s history began in 2006, when Accenture and SAP collaborated to deliver a single platform for finance, HR, and supply chain across 20 operating companies. Over the years, this has meant addressing considerable challenges of scale and complexity. As Vodafone’s global delivery partner, Accenture has worked side by side with Vodafone to design and deliver the overall solution in all locations.
Accenture has focused on maximizing the reuse of assets, making best use of and optimizing Vodafone’s mix of offshore and specialist resources, and deploying a comprehensive suite of tools to achieve high levels of automation. By adopting an industrialized approach, Accenture was able to drive major cost savings and realize the value that Vodafone had set for the program.
SAP, Accenture, and Vodafone have worked closely to deliver meaningful results as part of the EVO program. The SAP HANA implementation was completed within one month-end closing period. SAP Spend Performance Management software has delivered comprehensive reporting and process functionality to power smarter purchasing decisions throughout Vodafone Group. Now using SAP InfiniteInsight, Vodafone Netherlands is developing analytical models to identify customers who may cancel service and opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.
Using this tool like a black box…
Month-end closing has been improved at Vodafone through a combination of system and process improvements. After implementing SAP HANA, Vodafone cut an entire day out of their closing process.
Vodafone had been using SAP Business Warehouse in the data flow, but using the reporting application for operations was a time-consuming process of iterative extract-transform-load (ETL) database cycles. With SAP HANA, Vodafone can analyze large amounts of data in local memory, eliminating the need for multiple ETLs.
Vodafone is able to integrate spending data with other key information and keep it within a secure loop of sourcing and spend management that helps identify risks, such as single-supplier dependencies, while helping control spending through accurate information and performance targets.
Analyzing exactly how money is getting spent
In the Netherlands, Vodafone is using SAP InfiniteInsight to develop models that seek ways to save customers money. With the ability to quickly develop models, Vodafone Netherlands is looking forward to further ingenuity and experimentation.
Huge analytic benefit…
Vodafone workers now get back one day each month thanks to SAP InfiniteInsight. ETL cycles that used to take up to two-and-a-half hours are now completed in six minutes. This 96% reduction in process times means Vodafone can save approximately €500,000 in labor costs over the next four years. SAP Spend Performance Management is helping Vodafone optimize their spending strategies with features including what-if simulations, which can help the company set and manage higher goals for spend under management.
Predictive analytics powered by SAP InfiniteInsight helps Vodafone optimize their marketing spend by identifying the relevant offers for different customers. Vodafone Netherlands creates predictive models in SAP InfiniteInsight that help identify patterns in the spectrum of behaviors among customers. With an indication of customers’ predispositions to changing providers, Vodafone can develop offers and campaigns to retain them.
The biggest benefit…
Now in production, the new month-end close process is giving Vodafone greater flexibility than ever. Data extract, transform, and load cycles are 25 times faster, ending the dreaded 16-hour days that workers faced during the old process. Employees are now free to contribute at higher levels, resulting in higher job satisfaction and greater business innovation. Data analysts and business decision makers are also more productive because they have the information they need much sooner.
Modeling that would have taken weeks to produce by a team of statisticians can now be completed in only two days by one or two experienced analysts at Vodafone Netherlands. The analysis can also be presented in formats that can direct the actions of marketers, such as when to contact customers with a certain message, and when not to over-contact customers.
Vodafone is now refining its month-end closing process. For example, they have introduced a set of preliminary reports using the SAP HANA data. These reports can provide advance notice of approximate results, allowing stakeholders to prepare accordingly for final results. In addition, Vodafone has several potential plans for broadening the applicability of SAP HANA to their business needs in business functions outside finance. Meanwhile, SAP Spend Performance Management continues to help Vodafone uncover new ways to save money and mitigate risk through consolidated analysis.
Similarly, Vodafone Netherlands is continuing to develop programs around predictive analytics using SAP InfiniteInsight. Their goal is to use analytics to optimize processes according to customer requirements. In a rapidly changing business such as mobile telecommunications, Vodafone clearly sees the value of transitioning away from tactical insights to predictive and prescriptive analytics.
– Valentina Del Frate, Innovation Manager and SAP HANA Project Manager, Vodafone Group Plc