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Client story

Enabling future-proof operations for partners – De Lijn’s SAP story

Client: De Lijn
Region: Belgium
Industry: Public Sector

De Lijn partnered with Capgemini to migrate their SAP to future-proof operations. Capgemini’s approach involved migrating the system to HANA database, simplifying the architecture, upgrading to S/4HANA, and renewing hardware. The successful completion of the project established Capgemini as a trusted advisor to De Lijn.

De Lijn, Flanders’ major public transportation company operated a vast fleet of over 2300 buses and 400 trams, serving commuters across the region. With such a large fleet and a considerable workforce of around 8000 employees, the transport giant needed efficient and reliable systems to manage its operations.

Capgemini’s ties with De Lijn extend back to 2014, and given our previous successes with the company, our partnership reached new heights in November 2020 when we were awarded the challenging project of migrating their entire SAP environment to a new domain and upgrading it to S/4HANA.

Strengthening foundations, laying newer pathways  

The objective of the S/4HANA project was to future-proof De Lijn’s compliance with their ERP roadmap and strategy. Our team proposed an approach that involved migrating the entire system landscape to the HANA database, simplifying the solution architecture, and renewing end-of-life hardware. This project also involved a review of the complete architecture and network security to ensure that De Lijn is prepared for the future.

Capgemini’s proposed approach, short timeline of 10 months, and methodology for this complex upgrade played a crucial role in winning the contract. The project was completed successfully by April 2022, adhering to the proposed timeline and budget, in a one-team approach with the client. The project involved intensive testing phases (67 test cycles) across all environments (SBX-DEV-TST-ACC-PRD), and key-users were involved from the start. The SAP environment was simplified, and SAP best practices were applied during implementation.

As a result of the successful completion of the project, Capgemini’s expertise and support were recognized by De Lijn, and they were awarded the contract for the complete SAP environment support for the next four years. This further strengthened their partnership and established Capgemini as a trusted advisor to De Lijn in defining and implementing an IT roadmap for all SAP initiatives.

The challenges

Around 40 Capgemini team members from Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania, India, and other subsidiaries were involved in the project. The one-team approach adopted for a company-wide project involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders was critical to the success of the project. The team organized intensive testing phases, and key-users were involved from the start.

The project was challenging, and the timing was crucial. Several strategic projects from De Lijn’s roadmap were dependent on the project’s success. Therefore, the minimal impact on business and system freezing during the upgrade phase were critical client requirements for this project.

Simplified solutions leading to bigger wins for the client

The successful completion of this project has enabled De Lijn to undertake future digital key-initiatives with a baseline system landscape that meets their ERP roadmap and strategy. The migration to the HANA database and upgrade to the SAP S/4 solution has simplified the solution architecture and enabled broader availability of SAP Fiori apps. This will lead to faster acceptance by end-users.

In conclusion, the collaboration between De Lijn and Capgemini is an excellent example of a successful partnership between a public transportation company and a leading technology services provider. The migration of De Lijn’s entire SAP environment to a new domain and upgrading it to S/4HANA was a complex and challenging project that required a one-team approach and intense collaboration between all stakeholders. Capgemini’s expertise and support were critical to the success of the project, and their partnership has been further strengthened by the successful completion of this project. Capgemini’s advisory role in defining and implementing an IT roadmap for all SAP initiatives will enable De Lijn to continue delivering efficient and reliable public transportation services across Flanders.