The CSC treasury team wanted to take advantage of the organisational transformation and launch an ambitious project of its own. The project included upgrading their banking connectivity and implementing XML file formats across its Asia Pacific operations. In doing so, the team wanted to create a robust, homogeneous banking platform to ensure an efficient migration to India, as well as seeking other benefits including the reduction of back office and banking costs.
Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) is an innovative, global, next generation IT solutions provider and a leader in offering technology solutions to solve every day operational challenges. Through an organisational transformation, the company recently centralised and relocated its Asia Pacific regional treasury structure and shared service centre (SSC) from Singapore to India. The project also included an upgrade to a new iteration of its SAP system within the region.
The SAP migration was scheduled to take place on 1st April 2013, to coincide with the new financial year. However, the old and new systems were unable to run in parallel, and all projects had to launch concurrently. As a result the CSC treasury team was faced with a number of challenges when implementing the solution. According to Mark Greenhalgh, Director, Treasury – EMEA and Asia, CSC, “the four-month timescale allowed little time to test payment files before the cutover, a factor made more difficult by the broad scope of the initial implementation, ranging across eight countries in Asia Pacific including Singapore, Japan and China.” The treasury project also had to fit seamlessly with a number of other organisational changes. “Given these dynamics, it was a very ambitious project, both in terms of what we did and when we did it,” Greenhalgh says.
To successfully complete such a challenging project, CSC required a banking partner that could offer not only the products but also constant support and a deep knowledge base. For CSC, Citi ticked all the boxes in helping to address its transformational objectives. “Citi was already our primary operational banking partner across Asia Pacific,” says Greenhalgh. “We therefore knew Citi would have the ability to support us and have products that suited our requirements.”
Phase one of the project was launched in January 2013 as CSC began to implement host-to-host connectivity and Citi’s ERP integrator solution. “The ERP integrator was a very useful tool for us because it takes the raw SAP information and converts it into XML format which banking platforms can understand,” says Greenhalgh. “Without this product, we would have to use a number of different file format structures.” With the time saved by the ERP integrator solution, the CSC team could focus on testing the host to host connectivity and refreshing its master vendor data so that countries could move into production testing as soon as the SAP cutover occurred.
Once established, Citi’s integrated technology solution ensured CSC had a robust, XML-based, host-to-host solution to facilitate the operational processing move from Singapore to India. Despite the pressure, CSC was able to meet its 1st April 2013 deadline. “Citi was very supportive and assigned us an excellent project management team,” says Greenhalgh. Frequent contact was maintained throughout the project between Citi, CSC’s on-the-ground testing team, and its SAP experts based in Germany. “Citi gave expert advice on what issues they encountered and the areas they believed we should focus on,” says Greenhalgh.
To date, CSC has achieved around 80% of its overall transformation programme including overlaying a liquidity management solution across its operational accounts, offering additional access to liquidity and harnessing greater financial flexibility. The company is also continuing work with Citi to roll out the technology and pooling solutions across the next phase of locations in the Asia Pacific region. Since the project began, CSC has undertaken an additional financial transformation project. “This initiative seeks to further standardise our processes across the world,” says Greenhalgh. “The standardisation which has been established will assist with moving to a SWIFT based connectivity. The financial transformation project dictates that we have XML in place across the world. The fact that we have already established XML standards in Asia Pacific means we are ahead of the game.”
Despite the initial challenges, CSC has achieved far-reaching benefits with its bold transformation vision and productive partnership with Citi. “We will change the way we interact with our banks as a result of the project and the host-to-host connectivity in place with Citi cements our relationship with them in Asia Pacific,” says Greenhalgh.