Better visibility of global operations
sa.global had historically followed a de-centralized IT strategy, with many of its countries and regions being responsible for their local business applications. However, as sa.global continued to expand their global footprint, the volume of multinational client projects increased significantly. These multinational projects introduced a new level of complexity in terms of managing inter-company transfer pricing rules and billing relationships and other global project management and accounting functions.
In addition, as sa.global experienced rapid growth and demand for their services, it became imperative to leverage their global pool of resources. This required new levels of visibility into the capabilities and availability of their broader pool of resources.
“As our business continued to grow and evolve, it became more critical that we move towards an integrated global ERP platform,” explained Brian Lounds, Group CFO, sa.global. “We needed a common platform that could help our teams better collaborate, streamline key project and resource-related processes, and improve visibility across our global business.”
A solution for the professional services industry
To address these challenges, sa.global selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 as their global ERP platform. Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a Service Industries solution that is specifically designed to meet the needs of professional services organizations like sa.global, helping them to manage their projects, resources, finances, and clients all in a single web-based application.
After participating in Microsoft’s early adopter (TAP) program, sa.global went ‘live’ on the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 in January 2016. Microsoft Dynamics 365 now serves as the organization’s primary project management and accounting platform for hundreds of users across the US, EMEA, India, and Asia.
Up in the cloud
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a native cloud-based application that was developed to run as a service on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. This means that sa.global did not need to purchase or manage any hardware or network infrastructure, which helped to reduce IT overheads and expenses. And because the new cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 utilizes a cross-platform HTML5 web browser interface, the application is easily accessible by sa.global’s distributed global workforce for key processes such as time and expense entry and approvals.
sa.global also leveraged Microsoft’s cloud-based Lifecycle Services (LCS) tool to assist with the deployment and management of Microsoft Dynamics 365. LCS is an Azure-based application lifecycle management suite that provides a number of valuable implementation, deployment, and support tools. These tools help to deliver predictable, high-quality implementations of Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Optimized planning of global resources
Through the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365, sa.global has realized the following benefits:
- Streamlined key project-related business processes such as time and expense management and billing
- Enhanced inter-company processes to improve the delivery of multinational client projects
- Optimized resource planning and utilization through better visibility of their global resource pool
- Reduced IT costs by consolidating many disparate applications and systems onto a single cloud-based platform
"The new Microsoft Dynamics 365 has really helped us improve our visibility across our global operations. We now have much better controls in place throughout our global business and have been able to standardize key processes around the world. In the end, this will help us drive efficiencies throughout our business, and empower our team to more effectively deliver our projects and to better serve our clients.”Brian Lounds, Group CFO, sa.global