International gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti is implementing a single global instance of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from SAP in order to unify its business processes.
AngloGold Ashanti was created in 2004 following the merger of South African mining company AngloGold and Ghana-based Ashanti Goldfields Corporation. In 2009, the company launched a programme entitled Project One, in order to unify the business operations across the company.
According to CIO Andrew Crocker, Project One succeeded in delivering some benefits, but the diversity of the company’s IT environment was hampering progress so it decided to move from its 30 legacy ERP applications to a single instance.
Following a long evaluation, the company selected SAP for the breadth of the business processes that its software could support, and the fact that it is well established in the mining industry, Crocker says. "We only had one instance of SAP previously, in our Australian division."
The SAP instance will be hosted by IT service provider Fujitsu in two UK-based data centres. Fujitsu was selected for the strength of its business continuity provisions, and the global reach of its telecommunications network.
The business case for implementing SAP is linked to the progress of Project One, Crocker explains. "The business benefits include financial gains, but also reduced risk," he says.
"When you have multiple systems, you need to have multiple control environments, to make sure you are Sarbanes-Oxley compliant, enforce segregation of duties, reduce the risk of fraud etc. This will greatly simplify our controls environment.
The company’s implementation partner for the SAP application is Accenture. The design of the application is due to be complete by the end of May, and the data centres are due to be available from August.
Earlier today, BT announced a five-year, $220 million managed networking services contract with AngloGold’s parent company, Anglo American.
BT will support a unified networking infrastructure for Anglo American’s requirement in 15 countries. "These will be provided using a number of technologies, such as Ethernet, MPLS, satellite and microwave access," the company said in a statement.