With 53,000 employees, 128 logistics businesses and 90 shipping terminals around the globe, DP World is one of the world\u2019s largest port operators \u2014 and plans to get even bigger. To support its global expansion, it's undertaking a massive, global cloud migration project with ERP at its core.\nDP World provides logistics services in 60 countries and is in the process of broadening its business model with recent acquisitions including that of supply chain solutions provider Syncreon, and launches of new services such as global wholesale e-commerce platform Dubuy.com.\nThese support the UAE-based company\u2019s goal to transform and lead the global supply chain logistics industry. To do so, it\u2019s key that the organisation remains agile, a challenge for any international business, let alone one working across multiple verticals, each with their own locally deployed systems.\nIn order to achieve this goal, the company understood the need to overhaul its back office. It began a major cloud transformation project to replace 160 disparate on-premise systems across departments such as finance, supply chain and HR, with a single, unified global cloud suite as part of its "One Strategy" initiative.\nFragmentation causes communication issues\nPrior to this ERP migration project, the company had to deal with frustrating slowdowns and unnecessary costs due to communication issues among teams. It would often struggle to bring together the necessary information to make important, strategic decisions quickly. Furthermore, the connection and digitalisation of systems became even more important with the arrival of the pandemic and the need to facilitate remote working wherever possible.\n\u201cThe leadership understood that as our business model was changing it was very important to connect all our business verticals and provide a seamless end-to-end solution. They knew that as we acquired these new businesses around the world, we had to integrate all their geographically dispersed solutions in order to bring real value to the business,\u201d says Mohamed Absar, head of projects and solutions at DP World.\n\u201cConsolidating all the different systems gives us multiple benefits. Not only are maintenance costs reduced, but also having a single source of truth enables us to access information quickly and make fast decisions,\u201d he points out.\nDP World chose to make the move over to Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications, which it did during the first half of 2020. Although it was also dealing with the consequences of the pandemic, it was able to stay on track and managed to launch cloud-based applications while also moving staff to working from home and continuing with business as usual.\nOracle was chosen due to not only the vendor\u2019s breadth of offerings, but also its history with DP World \u2014\u00a0 back in 2005 the company had deployed Oracle E-Business Suite across the UAE.\n\u201cWe started this journey with Oracle a long time ago. [In the case of the ERP migration] we evaluated multiple solutions and found that Oracle is the leader in some of the areas we\u2019re looking to embark on. Also, as we\u2019re trying to implement solutions across the globe, we wanted to have a partner who had the capacity to cover all those areas. From our due diligence, Oracle kept coming up top and \u2018Fusion had all the required components to run a large enterprise,\u201d says Absar.\nStandardisation provides global efficiency\nDP World knew it wanted a system that could be rapidly deployed across the globe. It started the project with end-user discussions across the business to establish the system's \u00a0specific requirements and begin creating a "global design" that would provide standardisation across the business.\nThe system design can be modified regionally where needed, but provides the business with a \u201ccookie cutter\u201d solution that can be delivered within 15-20 weeks across specific regions, verticals, departments or acquisitions. This provides significant support for faster growth, as getting a complete on-premises system up and running in a new location used to take up to a year.\n\u201cHaving a global design supported standardisation of processes across the business, from finance and supply chain management through to human capital and enterprise performance reporting,\u201d says Absar. \u201cOf course, there\u2019s flexibility to meet regional legal, regulatory and tax requirements etc, but we\u2019ve essentially got a global out-of-the-box solution. We didn\u2019t introduce customisation because the solution came with such rich functionality. Also, if we had, we\u2019d have lost out in the long run as Oracle updates its solution every quarter.\u201d\nChange management is organisation-wide\n\u00a0Although at its heart an ERP migration project, the undertaking became something bigger; a change management process that looked to optimise information flow across the business and eliminate any redundant processes.\n\u201cThis is a transformational journey. It\u2019s not a change or upgrade to your systems, it\u2019s a change to how you do business. Technology is a part, yes, but the most important is people,\u201d says Absar.\nIn order for transformation to be a success, a company must have the buy-in of employees, and so it was key for DP World to bring its staff along on the journey. It did this by communicating the value the changes would bring to the business, to help staff understand and embrace the changes being made.\n\u201cWe\u2019re taking our organisation to the next level and the transformation\u2019s going successfully because each person in the organisation has been shown how they contribute to the bigger picture, the higher purpose of our organisation. When you see how your work helps improve the supply chain, and supports humanitarian efforts like the transportation of Covid vaccines for example, that feeling of purpose is contagious. We show them our dream and how they can be a part of it,\u201d Absar says.\nTraining is key for staff success\n\u00a0This is backed up with staff training, to ensure employees are comfortable with the new solution and understand how to get the best from it.\n\u00a0\u201cRolling out Oracle Fusion requires huge change management activity and training is an important part of this. We\u2019re using Oracle University to empower users in terms of training, and provide them with certification,\u201d says Absar. \u201cWe\u2019re also using a number of other training tools from Oracle \u2014 in fact we\u2019ve used Oracle for many change management activities. They\u2019ve helped us develop online training, and short training videos that answer specific questions users might have, for example.\u201d\nTo date, the cloud ERP migration has taken place across 60% of the business, with Fusion having gone live across DP World\u2019s businesses in India, Africa and the Middle East. The company\u2019s already seeing many benefits; for example, it\u2019s been able to eliminate the majority of its data centres, saving significant maintenance costs. Furthermore, staff are no longer required to work on maintaining or upgrading on-premises systems, freeing them up to work on other projects, and consolidating to one solution has reduced licencing costs by 10%.\nBenefits have also been seen within specific departments through Fusion\u2019s implementation. For example, it\u2019s enabled finance to cut the time needed for budgeting by half and procurement can now process invoices 50%-60% faster.\nBut this is just the start of the journey, says Absar, who\u2019s excited to see how the company will evolve going forward.\nHe points out that Oracle now updates its ERP system on a quarterly basis. "This is another example of the business needing to be agile and open to change \u2013 traditionally you\u2019d install and run the same system for four or five years, but that\u2019s no longer the case. Continuous innovations will come in, and we will continue to look for ways to respond to the needs of our customers,\u201d he concludes.