Philips gets IT in Latin America

January 23, 2014

Philips Selects Invoiceware’s SAP Hybrid Cloud for Brazil Nota Fiscal

SaaS-based solution replaces legacy on-premise Nota Fiscal software reducing annual maintenance costs by 80% while increasing productivity within the electronic invoicing operation by 25%

Large companies may have large budgets, but the challenges are also proportional. The Information Technology Department is often seen as costly and often in conflict with the expectations of their internal customers who depend on minimal downtime and agility. IT systems need to be stable to manage the day to day business requirements as well as agile when time-sensitive changes are required. If any aspect of the systems or support structure are not well managed, companies will either invest more than needed to keep the operations running or invest less than necessary leaving the business to deal with the problems manually.

Philips’ global architecture and IT department is dedicated to providing innovation and support services to various business units throughout Brazil. However, the technology landscape was already showing signs of obsolescence and creating a support burden as the more than 140 legacy systems required extensive labor just to perform ongoing annual maintenance. Add to this another required upgrade of the current on-premise SAP GRC Nota Fiscal and

Alexandre Quinze, CIO and Head of Operational Excellence for Philips Latin America, realized the need to break away from the standard operating procedure.

Corporate advantages would be found in the cloud.

Although the company already had an integrated Nota Fiscal solution with their ERP in its operations, Quinze explains that the required upgrade to the NF-e module triggered the decision to analyze alternatives offered by the market at that time. "Our decision came down to upgrading the SAP GRC Nota Fiscal solution to issue electronic invoices (NF-e) and keep the entire infrastructure and annual maintenance or select an alternative solution based on Software as a Service (SaaS),” he says.

Four solutions from different suppliers were selected to participate in the evaluation including Invoiceware, which supports both the Nota Fiscal requirements as well as the wide range of SAP ERP requirements. Given the options that all four vendors presented, the CIO of Philips solidified his preference for the Invoiceware software. "The solution provides automatic contingency, and this gives our business peace of mind. Also, the Invoiceware solution does not require internal maintenance removing the need for our internal resources to manage NFe related support and maintenance tasks," he says. Moreover, the economics of the SaaS model compared to the legacy on-premise licensing model influenced the final decision to select Invoiceware.

The project of Philips was divided into two phases, with the issuance of NF-e being the first priority. The implementation across all environments only took three months from start to finish. Thus, the benefits of the transition quickly became apparent and surpassed even the most optimistic expectations. "We had an 80% reduction in our costs from deploying the Invoiceware solution. We pay the SaaS fees, and all the infrastructure is provided by Invoiceware "summarizes Quinze.

Productivity and breaking the Paradigm 

The productivity of our Brazilian business users is directly linked to the availability and reliability of the Invoiceware solution.  The migration process was smooth, without harming the day to day routine of users, and the ongoing operations are backed by an enterprise support team with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.9%. By transitioning to the Invoiceware solution, Philips achieved a 25% increase in productivity among employees across all the business units of the Brazilian multinational. 

"Our biggest challenge was that Philips had a global IT architecture and strategy based on our ERP platform, and our mission was to break the paradigm that everything has to be done one way," says the CIO. The decisive moment came when the Invoiceware executives convinced the corporate headquarters that the solution was reliable. "We brought the Netherlands based staff of Philips into the evaluation, and after showing them the Invoiceware SaaS solution, the international team not only approved the adoption of the system, the solution became part of the overall architecture strategy, "he says.

Philips is quite strict with information security procedures. Because of the unprecedented nature of the project, the solution was extensively audited by the corporate IT security team. At the end of the evaluation, our teams only required a small change in the final architecture due to a company specific security requirement. Invoiceware accommodated the change seamlessly. The successful implementation in Brazil has opened opportunities to deploy it in other countries including Mexico and other Latin American countries where Philips also has operations. The Brazil Nota Fiscal project, which reached its goals, ended up serving as a pilot and example of efficiency for other Philips business units.

About Philips

 

Royal Philips of the Netherlands is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs approximately 114,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare.

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