IBM and SAP help Shell launch one of the largest SAP solution upgrades in the world

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LONDON, U.K. and Walldorf, GERMANY - 13 Nov 2013: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced that Shell has reached a milestone in its downstream business IT infrastructure by having successfully delivered one of the largest single SAP upgrade implementations in the world, covering operations in 35 countries and four global businesses and Shell business service centers, and impacting more than 29,000 users. Improved functional capabilities, which are highly integrated and cost effective, will enable Shell businesses to work faster and more effectively. Furthermore, new functions allow for future business growth and expansion into areas that have the potential to deliver competitive edge, including mobile enablement through mobile apps and interactive self-service portals. 

Shell’s “Downstream One” programme aims to simplify and standardise its downstream business processes, which cover all operations from manufacturing to marketing and sales of oil products around the world for domestic, industrial and transport use. Simplified business models, standardised processes, roles and responsibilities were implemented prior to the global implementation of SAP solutions across all countries in a phased manner. Now Shell’s downstream staff can access the same system, with common data, common processes and a uniform basis for reporting.

Working alongside the Shell business, both IBM and SAP were engaged to provide expert support for the upgrade implementation. IBM provided business consulting services to lead the analysis of the existing processes; the Business Transformation Services group within the SAP Consulting organisation provided an upgrade value assessment to identify areas of improvement based on their knowledge of new functionality and SAP solution roadmaps. IBM also led an IT asset refresh, which saw Shell switch to IBM Power 780 systems in order to deliver greater computing power and improve IT efficiency. With the delivery of the upgraded system, IBM will continue to provide ongoing maintenance support.

Robert Wilkinson, IBM Global Business Services Lead for Shell’s global downstream business, said: “IBM is dedicated to developing intelligent ways to make operations more efficient and cost-effective, while developing smarter solutions that benefit the continued growth of our clients’ business.”

Experts from the SAP Active Global Support (SAP AGS) organisation delivered various SAP MaxAttention services to help safeguard Shell’s upgrade, complementing experts from SAP Consulting embedded within the upgrade project team.
“Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for SAP, in that we helped Shell’s vision become a reality, in one of the largest SAP application upgrade projects in the world,” said, Gerhard Oswald, member of the Executive Board of SAP AG. “Our success was only achievable through the great teamwork among Shell, IBM and our own experts utilizing the ‘Near Zero Down Time’ approach to ensure that total business downtime criteria of 48 hours was achieved.”

The programme delivery contract has been annually renewed since 2004 and is part of a multi-phase project spread over 10 years to transform Shell's downstream business. IBM will continue to work with Shell on the global rollout of the Downstream One Global SAP programme, which will conclude with the final major markets of Australia and the U.S. fuels business in 2014. Expertise from SAP Consulting has been a vital component present throughout the programme providing knowledge and value together with visibility of latest solutions and roadmaps.

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As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organisations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 251,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

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