The replacement of core systems is part of Transco's efforts to cut staff numbers by 17.5% over five years. The company aims to reduce its costs by 25% to meet industry regulator Ofgem's demand that gas prices are reduced by up to 13% by 2007.
The gas giant has replaced its core legacy systems with mySAP modules in a £4m project to update systems dating from the British Gas era. The company has also developed a new meter asset management business unit, and upgraded its gas network control system using Oracle 9i Application Server.
The replacement of core systems was carried out in two phases over a 14-month period. Financial modules were implemented first, followed by human resources, payroll and e-procurement. The bulk of the work involved evaluating business processes and reworking them to fit with the introduction of the new system.
A Transco spokesman said the biggest challenge was not preparing the data and business systems for the migration but retraining users for the vastly increased number of functions being delivered to the desktop.
A SAP competency centre, comprising SAP specialists and Transco business process experts, has been set up between the company's IT department and end-users to mediate the relationship between software and business processes.
In a separate programme, Transco has mapped the costs, location and customer details of 22 million gas meters onto a mySAP database. The programme fulfils a regulatory requirement that details of all the UK's gas meters must be made visible to potential competitors in the metering market.
"To respond to the competitive market we are investing in new ways to deliver process improvements and respond to the changed, industry-led business requirements," said Stephen Johnson, head of operations at Transco Metering Services.
Meanwhile, Transco has beefed up the database and middleware underpinning its Ulysses gas pipeline control system with the implementation of Oracle 9i Application Server. Ulysses will now be able to handle one million electronic transactions per day.