• This business process project may be the most daunting Large ERP Project

Business Process Project – Large Multi Unit Business Redevelopment

This business process project may be the most daunting

This business process project may be the most daunting project of all times.  It certainly was the largest project I ever worked on. In 2000, Invensys (now owned by Schneider Electric) purchased BaaN.  Baan is now owned by  Infor Global Solutions of Atlanta and the product is known as SSA ERP but back then, BaaN was struggling in the marketplace after gaining popularity and market share.  It appears that after discovering some “fuzzy accounting” practices investors and customers alike began to lose confidence in the company.

Despite the past, Invensys was determined to make the product the dominant ERP platform on the market and one way to accomplish this was to use the product; in ALL of their businesses.

The belief was is all of Invensys’ business units were on the same platform (BaaN), the everything could be standardized, streamlined, templatized, integrated, and utilized most efficiently. Imagine the effectiveness of a large international organization who could assist every business it owned because everything was the same across the business.  The IT assets would be the same, the business software identical, revisions could be maintained across all businesses. In addition, since every business would be on the same ERP system, financial reporting could be integrated and consolidated as information moved up the corporate value chain.  Everything would fit seamlessly together. In addition; since the resources would now be identical, pools of resources could be shared across all organizations creating a utilization efficiency not seen before.  Imagine the power of being able to see exactly where the trouble spots were across 100’s of business units. Certainly an impressive vision.

In order to effectively accomplish this easily stated task, an entirely new infrastructure needed to be implemented.  Since everything needed to be tied together, new hardware from the IT assets at the business unit to consolidation services and the trunks to transmit the data.  Everything needed to be constructed from the ground up.  IBM was chosen as the IT partner and would be responsible for laying the new trunks, implementing the new infrastructure, and ultimately, managing a shared IT resource pool for all of the Invensys business units.

With all of the reporting being consolidated, it made sense to find an international giant who could manage the volume and complexities if such a strategy.  Deloitte and Touche was selected to consolidate accounting and HR.

So, along with new infrastructure and new shared services, each business unit owned by the parent organization would be required to implement the Baan platform.  Interestingly, the templating of the business models would prove to be quite onerous for the business unit leaders who would need to adapt to the models that were being constructed.  However; should the templates prove viable and  the implementations in the various business units actually work, then the shared services would be receiving standardized information to report up to the parent.

As a Program Manager for the Americas, I was involved in many facets of this project.  I was a member of the Program Governance Team that oversaw the many interconnected facets of the program.  I was also a member of the standardization and template development, training, and shared services teams.

Projects Overview

Company:  Invensys, PLC 
Invensys logo

Project Goal:  To have all business units utilizing BAAN ERP, and utilizing shared IT, HR, and accounting resources.

Time to develop: 18 months

Organization structure: traditional organization, multinational corporation

Project Type: Business Process Development

Number of Streams Managed or a member of: 4 (Governance, templatization, shared services, and training)

Project Partners: IBM, Deloitte and Touche
IBM LogoDeloitte and Touche logo


Largest single project team: Core Leadership Team: 12, subteams: 100’s

Organizational authority of project manager: ensure technical streams were aligned with project goals.

Budget: estimated to be well over $1 Billion USD.


  • Client Invensys
  • Date June 9, 2015
  • Tags Business Process Improvement

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