S&P Global Inc.
Upgrade and standardize existing Oracle software
Oracle Cloud ERP
S&P Global Inc.
Upgrade and standardize existing Oracle software
Oracle Cloud ERP
by meeting Oracle on-premises de-support deadline
for future growth and acquisitions
“asset light” technology strategy via transition to cloud technology
on-premises general ledger platform to Oracle cloud solution
of accounts and improved data taxonomy
for additional capabilities and scale
Click on each part of the journey to learn more about our client’s transformation.
Looking for the “one way” forward after acquisition-fueled growth.
Albertsons is committed to “one way.” Meaning that, as large as the company becomes, it aims to remain unified in its vision and in the systems and tools that support it.
Acquisition-fueled growth naturally opens the door to “many ways.” By 2019, different divisions and subsidiaries had their own back-office solutions. People, processes, and data were becoming more siloed.
A different kind of company might have assumed that decentralized processes are an acceptable consequence of multiple acquisitions. Or that you can’t be one of the biggest industry players and move with startling speed and agility when it comes to acquisitions. But accepting trade-offs like those is not the Albertsons way.
290,000+ Albertsons employees come together every day in the cloud.
Today, cashiers at 2,200 stores all log their hours via the same mobile app. That data flows seamlessly to payroll, and across the enterprise-- where it’s available for everyone from store managers making data-driven staffing projections to CFOs reviewing budgets.
Back-office staff spend less time on manual processes and more on analyzing data in ways that help lower costs and improve performance every day, and inform due diligence during acquisitions.
HR executives and business managers find it easy to access candidate information, share observations and schedule interviews, quickly and easily moving the right candidates through the hiring process.
And candidates who become new hires, continue through the same efficient, cloud-based environment as they complete onboarding and get to work—already a part of Albertsons’ “one way.”
Making sure the “one way” continues to be the best way.
Long before the go-live date, Albertsons was collaborating with Oracle and KPMG about future initiatives. They wanted to know what to expect from upcoming product releases and how they should be planning to leverage new functionality.
The company’s agile mindset combined with its investment in Oracle Cloud and KPMG Powered Enterprise will keep it in a position to continue evolving, always finding the best way forward as one, strong enterprise.
“When something doesn't go right, KPMG's going to speak up. We’ve worked with other consultants that weren’t ready to do that, so we really wanted to hear the truth throughout the project. And whatever the problem, it always became a team challenge, and they were ready to solve it. We always got the straight story from KPMG, and we always knew that they had our back.”
—Chris Craig, Chief Accounting Officer, Controller and SVP of Finance, S&P Global, Inc.
S&P Global is a company who provides essential intelligence to make critical financial decisions with conviction. S&P Global has been around for almost 150 years. Our customers include the largest banks, the largest airlines, anyone who is dealing in the commodity space, anybody who is providing financial advice to institutional investors, to commercial investors, to a wide range of customers.
Our reporting needs became different as our company and our business model evolved. Reporting across our different lines of business became more disaggregated, became more fragmented, and was just more and more untenable. As we bought companies, as we sold companies, as we combined into our new iteration of our new operating model, consistent, clear, concise reporting became increasingly challenging. So as we went through and started looking into the future, we really needed a new solution to streamline our financial accounting reporting.
The team at Oracle and how they associated our success and their success as almost one and the same is what really drove Oracle being the best solution for us. The people and the Oracle team just worked with us dynamically, progressively to really build a great solution that we as a company could use going forward.
KPMG has a longstanding relationship with S&P Global. Moving into the Oracle platform, when we looked at who I felt we could work with effectively after going through an iterative process, we really found that culturally KPMG's values aligned to our values. They were honest, transparent, decisive, open, and collaborative. I think KPMG's partners and their team are approachable, probably the most important thing. together we can find the solutions. I think that the collaborative and solution-oriented team who's open to new ideas is what keeps me with KPMG.
KPMG's solutions oriented. KPMG comes in and helps me identify the facts, the considerations, the full complement of challenges that we have, and really iterate to a solution. I think that partnership with KPMG to iterate on solutions rather than come and pronounce the solution is one of the defining characteristics of why I really enjoy working with KPMG, is you get there together. They're really looking at my needs, understanding our challenges, and really crafting the storyline together.
I think every relationship requires investment. And when I look at the team at KPMG, they are here to ensure both our mutual success. And I feel that when I'm working with KPMG. I think that having that humility to work together, to not feel like they always have to be right, is terrific. It creates a more collaborative and open environment where you can really brainstorm with new ideas. that humility balanced with a true desire for the truth just brings the relationship to the next level.
Part of the journey is just having the right partners that are willing to go invent the future together with you. Just to stay in front of disruption, we're going to have to keep changing. So when I look at the future and where we want our industry to go and where we want to go through and make our mark, they're just going to be a great partner to go through and solve our challenges that we haven't even thought of yet.
Click on a phase to scroll down to its description.
Optimizing for today, preparing for tomorrow
KPMG was already acquainted with S&P Global’s finance processes through previous advisory work on internal audit and tax. And in the run-up to the IHS Markit deal, we also advised on integrating financial systems. So, we were well-prepared to develop a target operating model (TOM) for the combined company’s financial systems. The goal was to adopt a scalable, cloud-based solution that could be seamlessly integrated with existing processes at IHS Markit. While other technology providers were considered, S&P Global’s familiarity with Oracle, Oracle’s market-leading ERP and EPM features—and our own status as a key Oracle alliance partner—made its software the clear favorite.
Along with defining how key processes, personnel, and technology should function, and envisioning an optimal model, we also considered how to gather financial performance insights and data to improve decision-making, as well as governance and risk management. Finally, it was understood that the ideal system had to be flexible and scalable enough to handle new services, lines of business, and further acquisitions.
Strong leadership helps build buy-in
As always, preparing for the transformation was not a top-down process driven by senior management. Input and feedback from a range of stakeholders into the financial system design was also critical. Fortunately, both S&P Global and our KPMG team benefitted from strong leadership and advocacy for the project from the company’s Chief Accounting Officer, who helped build support from within. Less fortunately, virtually all planning and validation sessions had to be conducted remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this seemed like a daunting obstacle at first, we soon learned that communication and consultation were not seriously affected, thanks to the collaboration and project management tools embedded in KPMG Powered Enterprise.
Playing it “SAFe”
Significantly, the S&P Global financial transformation was one of the initial KPMG and Oracle projects to follow the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) for software implementation, which differs from the “waterfall” approach used on most ERP/EPM projects. A possible reason for this is that packaged software solutions such as cloud ERP suites typically have inherent dependencies. SAFe is leveraged with applications requiring iterative build cycles with constant end-user feedback. After experiencing an earlier, suboptimal project to revamp the company’s order-to-cash system, S&P Global wanted to be more directly involved in this much larger effort.
Adapting to SAFe meant both S&P Global and KPMG team members had to obtain consistent training as SAFe Agile practitioners. This was no small effort, but it paid off: Leveraging the SAFe Agile delivery methodology allowed us to reduce the project’s overall timeline by a month and prepare for launching the new platform in a single release at the start of the company’s fiscal calendar in January 2022.
Another benefit from SAFe was that every piece of the solution was tested many times—not only by the configurators and developers, but also objective quality assurance specialists and real business users. The waterfall model typically used for ERP projects doesn’t allow as much rigor in testing beyond large test events. Our KPMG team also held pilot testing events to get end users comfortable with the system and resolve any quality concerns prior to launch.
The new cloud-based Oracle financial software platform included modules for managing the following functions:
From rolling cutover to big bang
Instead of an all-out “big bang” deployment across the entire organization, the launch of S&P Global’s new financial solution was a controlled roll-out designed to match the period close process to allow for a clean transition between fiscal years. It started with subledger functions such as accounts payable and accounts receivable, which were taken live gradually to allow for any adjustments, followed by fixed assets and cash management. Once these proved viable, a full rollout across all S&P Global offices in 44 countries was executed. All told, this global launch took less than a month, from late December 2021 to mid-January 2022.
The rollout of the new all-Oracle system also allowed S&P to save money and improve functionality by retiring a range of third-party applications and tools. IBM’s TM1 software for reporting was the most significant, along with others from Toad, Maestro, and Blackline. The shift to a single Oracle-based platform also promises to deliver a more flexible, scalable architecture overall.
Scaling up for growth
Initial data indicate that the new solution is on track to achieve a cost-of-finance reduction of about 15 percent. To measure future results, we set up a KPI monitoring feature that tracks progress toward key targets. And our ongoing relationship with S&P Global management will allow us to observe their experience with the new solution up close.
Looking ahead, the real benefit for the combined company is the establishment of a consistent cost structure for financial reporting that can be scaled to integrate IHS Markit and other future acquisitions or new businesses to sustain the growth plan.
KPMG is now implementing the new Oracle Solution across newly acquired IHS Markit locations in 48 countries, a process which will continue through the remainder of 2022. This phase of the company-wide transition is likely to be more complex, since users will be migrating from an SAP platform to Oracle Cloud. To address this, plans call for additional communications, knowledge transfer and training.
Users will also be introduced to the TOM defined for S&P Global, with its new processes, data model, and reporting. To offset these challenges, our team has refined its SAFe Agile approach based on lessons learned during the S&P Global transformation. New measures to increase capacity and efficiency during the early phases of the project will help to shorten the schedule overall.
Meanwhile, the success of our Powered Enterprise approach and Oracle’s cloud solutions for finance has management evaluating follow-on projects to transform procurement and IT across the combined enterprise.
Working with KPMG and Oracle, S&P Global has quickly transitioned from a financial software platform that was merely sustaining the company to one that has it positioned for an all-digital future. KPMG has been an award-winning Oracle partner for over 30 years, and our delivery teams have experience across all Oracle products and modules.
Along with Oracle, the KPMG Powered Enterprise approach is essential to transformations like this one. Powered Enterprise is a solution for rapid business modernization. We’ve combined our experience from thousands of functional transformations with our knowledge of the latest cloud technologies. The result is a formula for driving sustainable change, rising performance, and lasting value—delivering your business objectives with a high level of certainty.
When data silos, manual processes, and fragmented reporting capabilities are left in place, you sacrifice speed and agility. And when you rely only on internal data, instead of leveraging third-party sources, you reduce your insight into shifting consumer demands and market opportunities. Rapidly integrating financial operations, establishing healthy data ecosystems, and optimizing reporting environments are all key to the kind of insight-driven decision-making that helps capture optimal value from every deal.
At KPMG, we know financial operations and data and analytics. We know the CPG industry. And we’ll get to know you. Then we can work together on transforming your business.