“We were able to run the whole [back-office] operation without anybody in the office. We never thought we’d be able to run the company without employees onsite.”
In early 2020, DP World was already grappling with a big challenge–integrating a patchwork of 160 disparate on-premises systems worldwide into a unified global suite in the cloud. The company has 53,000 employees, running 128 logistics businesses, including 90 shipping terminals around the world.
The fast-growing company was struggling with slowed operations and increased costs due to its on-premises systems sprawl. It needed to streamline operations and build a back office that could support growth, including quickly integrating acquisitions and starting up new facilities.
And DP World had even bigger goals: to help digitize global trade and logistics, and along the way to enhance the efficiency of its own internal processes. Global trade remains surprisingly analog, with paper documents accompanying cargo on its journeys, requiring people to go into offices to submit paperwork.
When the pandemic hit, it brought new concerns about keeping employees safe while maintaining daily business operations. Cargo volumes stayed strong even as passenger ferry traffic declined due to COVID-19.
DP World’s priorities during the pandemic were to protect its people, accelerate digitization of logistics and trade, and keep trade flowing around the world.
Why DP World Chose Oracle
After reviewing its options, DP World selected Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications because of Oracle’s breadth of offerings and a history of partnerships between the two companies. That relationship began in 2005, when DP World deployed Oracle E-Business Suite in its home region in the United Arab Emirates. DP World’s prior familiarity with Oracle would make it easy to switch from on-premises to the cloud.
Additionally, DP World was won over by Oracle’s cost-effectiveness, its overall superior solution compared with competitors, positive analyst evaluations, and steady innovation cadence.
And Oracle offered a comprehensive suite, allowing DP World to stop mixing and matching apps from multiple providers, which would eliminate the work of integrating those systems.
Using Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP, DP World’s finance team cut the monthly close process from 15 days to 3. The company cut budgeting time in half, accelerated invoice processing by 50% to 60%, streamlined its supply chain using Oracle Fusion Cloud SCM, and sped up HR processes using Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM.
DP World deployed Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications across finance, human resources, and supply chain, doing much of the work during the start of the pandemic. Despite the global emergency, the company stuck with plans to deploy the applications in the first half of 2020.
As a benefit from running cloud-based applications, DP World found it could maintain critical operations during the pandemic with only minimal staff in the office. The Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications deployment reduces the need for manual processes. As one example, using Oracle Cloud ERP, an employee can scan documents using a mobile phone and submit electronically.
DP World’s transition to the cloud provides a foundation for its global “One Strategy,” integrating financial systems, human resources, operations, and customer relations.
Moving to the cloud eliminates the major cost of maintaining a global network of data centers to run on-premises applications (though the company does still require some small data centers for specialized workloads that require on-site computing power, such as operating equipment remotely). DP World can bring new facilities online in 15 to 20 weeks, down from a year previously when it had to set up a large, new data center on site. Consolidating on one application suite has also reduced DP World’s licensing costs by 10%.
And DP World no longer needs to upgrade and modify its previous separate systems; Oracle now handles that work in the cloud. DP World’s own IT staff is now doing more important work, rather than upgrading, customizing, and maintaining on-site applications.