Case studies

Propelling responsiveness through a virtual SAP 6.0 environment

Bell Helicopter client spotlight

Bell Helicopter has a simple, but powerful, purpose: “One Bell. On a Mission.” Extending that strategic focus to its SAP environment proved to be a transformative effort that has increased IT’s ability to support the business.

​​Launching a large-scale program to implement many SAP modules at multiple locations at once has been an evolutionary journey, but Deloitte has been there in a number of different capacities to help.
- Diane Schwarz, Director of IT, Bell Helicopter

An evolutionary journey

​Impacts from Transformation

  • SAP 6.0 upgrade completed on time and within budget
  • Zero business disruptions through a seamless transition to the new platform
  • Greater flexibility and responsiveness through a widely deployed, modern SAP infrastructure
  • A best-practice model for future modernization efforts

As director of IT at this leading manufacturer of military and commercial helicopters, Diane Schwarz was challenged with migrating the company’s platform to SAP 6.0. The upgrade would involve Bell Helicopter and Textron Defense Systems—both business units of Textron, Inc.—and impact thousands of users working in different geographic sites across two countries.

The goal was to avoid losing market share to competitors who were moving to the same, more modern SAP infrastructure. But Schwarz had real concerns about how this would be accomplished.

“There was no natural central location to run this project, and we wanted to optimize resources and keep it as low cost as possible,” she explains.

Despite a potentially risky option, Schwarz and team decided to proceed with a virtual model for the SAP 6.0 implementation. And they looked for help from a partner with a history of strong service and support.

Specifically, Bell IT had long relied on Deloitte Application Managed Services (AMS) to oversee the company’s SAP portfolio. In addition, Bell IT had previously engaged Deloitte AMS to help with its virtual rollout of an SAP finance module at the company’s Singapore facility.

“Deloitte AMS knew our SAP operations, data, and users. They also worked remotely with their clients all the time,” says Schwarz. Knowing these credentials would help minimize risk, Bell partnered with Deloitte to perform the large-scale SAP 6.0 migration.

It’s one of those success stories where we were on time, on budget, with zero business disruptions. What’s more, with Deloitte’s guidance, our team learned really well how to work in a virtual model.
- Diane Schwarz, Director of IT, Bell Helicopter

​A controlled take-off and smooth landing

With Schwarz’s go-ahead, Deloitte led a joint project team in the simultaneous virtual deployment of SAP 6.0 across multiple locations, including Bell’s Fort Worth, Texas headquarters and its Mirabel, Canada facility. In the end, they made SAP 6.0 available to 4,000 SAP users.

As the project had “no escalations because nothing was broken,” Bell and Deloitte completed the SAP upgrade on budget and as planned. Today, Bell enjoys greater flexibility and responsiveness to business demands through a modern SAP infrastructure.

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