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CA picks SAP for ERP rollout

Computer Associates International (CA) has selected SAP as its supplier for a new ERP system to replace a collection of homegrown accounting systems. Services firm Accenture will assist with the implementation.

CA said earlier this year it would invest $5m to $10m on a new, industry-standard ERP and accounting package. The move comes in the wake of an accounting scandal that wiped out CA's top management ranks and led to reparations including a $225m payout to compensate victims of the fraud.

CA's new management team, including chief operating officer Jeff Clarke, listed the ERP replacement as one of the steps CA would take to tighten its financial controls to prevent future violations. It is also intended to help the company meet requirements laid out in the deferred prosecution agreement it reached with the US Department of Justice.

CA will immediately begin its ERP transformation project, which will focus on four key areas: financials, business intelligence, CRM and e-procurement and sourcing, the company said.

CA chief information officer Kevin Kern declined to comment on what other supplier CA considered. SAP was selected because of the depth of its offerings and the ease of integrating them, Kern said. The deal represents a high-profile win for SAP, which has lately reported stronger sales growth than have its most significant rivals, PeopleSoft and Oracle. CA was already a PeopleSoft customer.

"I traded off best-of-breed products to have the tight integration of one company like SAP," he said.

CA has a few packaged systems in place, including PeopleSoft human resources software and a marketing system from Aprimo. Those systems will stay intact for the time being while CA focuses initially on other areas, including financials, where it will replace its Masterpiece accounting software, Kern said. CA had no SAP software installed previously, he said.

Up to 15,000 CA employees will eventually have access to some features of the SAP systems being installed, Kern estimated. Eighty employees at CA are working on the SAP project, along with a team from Accenture.

Kern said a timeline for the overhaul is still being devised, but several pilot projects are already running. CA's IT and business teams are working together on the system design, and will rely heavily on SAP and Accenture for best practices recommendations, he said.

"I am looking at it, with the management team, as a transformation, which is well above and beyond just ERP," Kern said.

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service


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