Veolia is setting the bar for ecological transformation. As a global group, the organisation’s success in developing sustainable water, waste and energy management solutions in 48 countries stems from their keen insights and initiatives but also from their belief that overcoming our ecological challenges involves holistic, collaborative solutions. When the company’s UK and Ireland branches recognised that their disparate technologies were creating unsustainable complexity for their 14,000 employees, Veolia took action.
Replaced and repurposed in the cloud.
In the UK and Ireland, Veolia’s finance and HR teams were managing core processes such as payroll, supply chain, procurement and forecasting for global sites with paper-based processes and disparate apps, including 50 ERP systems. To advance its ecological strategies, Veolia wanted a centralised, cloud-based solution that could leverage its existing IT investments and give employees seamless automated workflows. After careful analysis, the company decided to architect their transition with a full-suite Workday deployment, starting with Workday Financial Management, Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), and Workday Spend Management.
Testing 130 integrations in one big bang.
Veolia planned an initial big-bang deployment in the UK and Ireland with end-to-end automated workflows involving 130 applications. Everything had to work on day one, including payroll and vendor payments. Mark Eaglefield, head of corporate systems at Veolia says, “We were looking at an incredibly critical and complex project. The region has more than 14,000 employees, 400 sites and distinct water, waste and energy business lines.”
Veolia immediately sought testing help. Peter Keery, finance transformation director at Veolia says, “Our project team was pretty green as far as testing regimens go. We needed leadership and guidance to help us find a way forward.”
A proactive approach that works with existing resources.
Eaglefield explains that after an extensive search and a few unimpressive vendor engagements, “Someone asked, ‘Can Workday help?’ The Workday Test Lead Service had the expertise we sought; they steer tests in a way that aligns with our perspective.”
With the help of the Test Lead Service, Veolia completed the first planning and architecting phases in the Workday methodology. “It’s quite difficult to define how to test something you don’t understand, but with the Test Lead Service, we didn’t have to start over,” says Eaglefield. “We looked at the unit tests and they guided our functional team and project managers through the initial phases so we could quickly move forward instead of spending too much time in design.”
The Workday Test Lead Service had the expertise we sought; they steer tests in a way that aligns with our perspective.
Head of Corporate Systems
5,000 scenarios tested in 5 weeks.
Performing integration tests during the configuration and prototyping phase was new for Veolia, and the company found it easier to complete the tests for HCM than for the more intricate financial functions, which required simulations. “The Test Lead Service provided invaluable guidance in helping us get past our apprehension and complete over 10,000 tests across all testing phases,” says Eaglefield. “And once we got into our groove, we ended up doubling our test scenarios. In five weeks, we tested over 5,000 scenarios, and for end-to-end, we were up to 7,000 for both financials and HCM. From an execution perspective, we were over 95%.”
With testing complete, Veolia began deploying Workday to the region’s 14,000 employees. On day one, processes worked as planned, and people and vendors were paid seamlessly. “Everyone was so focused on work that pandemic lockdowns may have done us a favour,” says Eaglefield. “But at the end of the day, we can trace our successful 20-month deployment to how comprehensive and powerful our test programme was. All the parallel payroll testing and rigor that went into that clearly paid off.”
In five weeks, we tested over 5,000 scenarios, and for end-to-end, we were up to 7,000 for both financials and HCM.
Head of Corporate Systems
We can trace our successful 20-month deployment to how comprehensive and powerful our test programme was.
Finance Transformation Director
Focus on sustainable water, waste and energy management.
Today, instead of struggling with disparate applications and, in some cases, only paper-based workflows, operations managers use Workday. “Before, only 4,500 of our operations staff had system access,” says Eaglefield. “Now all 9,000 of them use Workday. Not only do they spend less time on back-office processes and more time on operational improvements, but now we can engage with them in new ways and improve their experiences.”
Veolia also has faster, more integrated insights to quickly adapt for what’s next. “People used to wait 24 hours for financial reports,” Keery explains. “Today, they’re available on demand and everyone shares the same real-time information. And instead of having separate applications all over the place, we have one integrated system.” He concludes, “Financial and HCM systems flow together so our people, processes and payments are easier to manage. On a small scale, our transition to Workday shows that it is possible to meet complex global requirements with one collective solution.”