Hydro Tasmania’s Legacy SAP ERP System Shifts to SAP S/4HANA


SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC), also commonly called SAP ERP system, is the German company’s legacy suite of enterprise applications designed to run on a third-party database.

After almost a year of planning and remote collaboration, Hydro Tasmania has officially completed the transition of its legacy SAP ERP system–SAP ECC– to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori 3 covering more than 1,000 seats and a large asset base. Zag, the only New Zealand SAP partner to have won a global SAP innovation award, led the modernisation project of Australia’s leading clean energy business and the largest generator of renewable energy.

Spanning for over 10 months, the final project activities were delivered remotely, including two “rehearsals” and the final production go-live. Before travel restrictions and social distancing protocols due to COVID-19 were implemented, Hydro Tasmania has already been working closely with Zag, which enabled them to transition to remote working seamlessly. 

Nick Mulcahy, CEO of ZAG, explained:

“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.” 

Mulcahy also shared that Hydro Tasmania’s modernisation project is one of the first businesses in Australasia to deploy SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori 3, SAP’s new target design system to fully support the Intelligent Suite and provide an ultimate user experience (UX). With the new platform, Hydro Tasmania has seen faster response times, better system performance, and higher availability.

On Choosing the SAP Partner

According to John Barriga, Hydro Tasmania’s CIO, the state government-owned organisation was determined to update its legacy SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA.  Fully built on the in-memory platform SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA family provides a new generation of business applications – best-of-breed enterprise software for big data, designed to help organisations run simple in the digital economy. 

“It was integral for us to convert to SAP S/4HANA and continue building our capability for the future,” he said.

CIO Barriga explained that they have selected Zag when the Kiwi SAP provider said that they would deliver the conversion with Hydro Tasmania, as opposed to other vendors saying “they would do the conversion to us”. 

Zag has been consistently recognised as an SAP channel partner winning last year’s SAP Best Run Awards ANZ – Best Run Digital Supply Chain and Best Run CRM & Customer Experience. For this Hydro Tasmania project, Zag is recognised as a finalist for the Australian Reseller News Innovation Awards – Partner Value, Customer Value (winners will be announced in December 2020).

Tim Rockett, Project Manager at Hydro Tasmania, said that the go-live of the project happened at a crucial time nearing the financial year. He stressed:

“Having a successful end of the financial year in a two-week-old ERP solution was not a given, there was some nervousness around that.” 

“Zag certainly helped make it happen by supporting the finance team before, during, and after the go-live process, giving them confidence that the solution would do what they need and had the correct data in it, enabling them to create the reports and complete the tasks they needed to at the end of the financial year in the new system. This was crucial,” he stated.

“We’re audited all the time and we’ve got to report to the Australian Government so, if we were unable to do our end of financial year processing, it would have been a serious problem,” Rockett further explained.

The SAP S/4HANA deployment follows a year after Data#3, an ASX listed cloud computing and ICT solutions provider, upgraded Hydro Tasmania’s IT systems. Last year, Hydro Tasmania had already seen performance improvement across its existing SAP system and tracing environments with the support of Data#3.

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