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Case study

The challenge

Founded in 1874, Orica is the world’s largest provider of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems for the mining, quarrying, oil and gas, and construction markets. Orica realized that to better serve customers, the company had to migrate its users from legacy SAP and non-SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to an automated system that would help users process sales orders, contracts and financial models to supply goods, and improve material requirements planning forecasting. Users include subject-matter experts, business executives and owners, and supply chain employees, among others. Lack of standardized business processes led to low visibility into the company’s performance. The need for a scalable enterprise solution was evident, as Orica’s teams in multiple countries had to rely on disparate processes across the major mining markets. The company reached out to Cognizant for help.

Our approach

Believing in our delivery capabilities, Orica engaged Cognizant to design, implement and manage a global ERP system based on SAP S/4HANA. The Orica project codename, “4S,” is a nod to the solution’s design, which is simple, standard, single and SAP-first. It generates data-driven, real-time decisions and actions that the company and its customers can put to work. To increase overall utilization and efficiency, we simplified the SAP technical operations. Cognizant collaborated with Microsoft and SUSE to design the world’s first high-availability solution on Azure with a multi-node iSCSI interface. This gives Orica the ability to switch to a reliable second node automatically, without any business disruptions. The new system operations, based on managed platform as a service (mPaaS), enables Orica to choose from a pay-per-use pricing model categorized by three unit-based tiers — platinum, gold and silver — for its cloud infrastructure and SAP administration services. Using this model, Orica can increase or decrease its workload on a monthly basis. Additionally, Cognizant implemented mPaaS automation and deployment use cases, which resulted in cost-efficient implementation.

Smooth execution of the new SAP S/4HANA solution

The new system would support operations for customers in more than 57 countries and standardize processes for industry operations. Users can now access the new system from anywhere, any time and on any device. The new disaster recovery service level agreement for the recovery time objective is now 4 hours, with near-zero data loss, thanks to the Azure platform features that safeguard backups against physical infrastructure failure and manual mistakes, such as accidental overwrites or deletions. Through this program, users gained access to a modern intelligent enterprise application that provides a responsive user interface with more than 1,400 Fiori applications for business transactions in the SAP S/4HANA system.


savings over 3 years by periodically analyzing cloud capacity utilization


increase in system availability


of system infrastructure automated