Microsoft to host Defence’s new SAP ERP system

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday June 18, 2020

Air Intelligence Analyst Operational Intelligence Leading Aircraftwoman Rosemary McAlpine (centre) gives a pre-mission brief in the Operations Floor at the Distributed Ground Station – Australia, RAAF Base Edinburgh. Image: Defence.

Microsoft Australia will host the Department of Defence’s new SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.

Microsoft on Thursday announced that Defence has securely connected its Protected Network to Azure AU Central, which is hosting S/4HANA to develop and deploy the new ERP.

The tech giant argued the move signalled a major transformation for the department, enabled by technology which would integrate and streamline critical Defence work processes.

“Using S/4HANA and trusted cloud capabilities, Defence ERP will enable the resilience, security and performance the Department requires now and into the future,” it said.

“Defence’s ERP modernisation program will see improved financial reporting capabilities deployed this year followed by a larger logistics and maintenance capability in 2022.”


READ MORE: Finance selects tech solution for whole-of-government ERP


The Azure-based ERP solution would be used by Defence personnel in Australia and based overseas, with the ERP expected to support roughly 85,000 users.

The platform would provide a near real-time view of critical information across the department, according to Microsoft Australia managing director Steven Worrall.

“The Department of Defence is a significant user of Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365 clouds,” he said.

“ERP will modernise, integrate and transform Defence’s approach to managing its finances, human resources, logistics, engineering, maintenance and estate with Azure delivering the performance, security and resilience which is essential for such a critical application.”

Under the deal, Microsoft and SAP would also be working with systems integrator IBM. Last year Defence inked a $95.5 million deal with IBM for the initial design of the ERP.


READ MORE: Defence signs $95.5 million contract with IBM to lead billion-dollar IT project


SAP Australia and New Zealand president Damien Bueno argued the combination of  S/4HANA and Azure would provide Defence with much needed security, performance and scale.

“S/4HANA is the first significant workload that Defence has migrated to the cloud and continues the Australian federal government’s commitment to best-in-class digital infrastructure and operations,” he said.

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