This article was originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of The Record.
Founded nearly 180 years ago, Schneider Electric provides energy management and automation solutions and services for use in residential and commercial buildings, data centres and other infrastructures.
Over the years, the company has acquired different business units, which meant it had multiple enterprise resource planning solutions across its various residential, business and partner departments. For almost a decade, two of the acquired business units, Schneider Electric Buildings America (SEBA) and Mission Critical Systems (MCS), used separate customised versions of Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 to manage projects and financial operations with the support of two different partners. When mainstream support ended for Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011, Schneider Electric decided to upgrade to a new version and, at the same time, reduce licencing and support costs by creating one integrated system for both business units.
SEBA’s original partner – DXC Eclipse – was chosen to manage the project and move both business divisions to the consolidated Microsoft Dynamics SL 2015 platform. The go-live date for both business units was initially the same, but operational differences meant that MCS required more customisations, so it went live a few months after SEBA. Data changes were minimal so there was no disruption for users.
“DXC Eclipse discovered a way to have users log in to their respective division and only see the information that applies to them, greatly cutting down on change management,” says Amanda Moore, Schneider Electric’s director of IT, Services and Solutions for North America. “There’s no indication to the end user that it’s a merged system, but we benefit financially and on the back end. Although the MCS go-live was delayed, we ended up with a much more elegant solution than what was first proposed.”
Moving to one platform has given employees access to new mobile Web App capabilities and other simple customisation tools, which have bridged the gap between project management and accounting processes. There have also been financial benefits.
“The shared licencing model from Microsoft is less expensive and has simplified support for us,” says Moore. “We were able to combine our support staff and take advantage of an upgraded system. We’re fully under Microsoft support again.”
Most importantly, Schneider Electric has found a long-term partner in DXC Eclipse.
“DXC Eclipse has good people who know the systems and has a good rapport with my team,” says Moore. “The company never wastes our time like other partners have and it put the right team in place from the start. DXC Eclipse functions as an extension of our team, which is what we were looking for…a true partner at every level.”
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