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Following its transfer to the investment fund CVC Capital Partners, Panzani had to set up its own SAP information system. A conventional carve-out to be carried out in particularly short periods of time. A mission entrusted to TeamWork.
Panzani, an agri-food group born in the 1940s, is a leading manufacturer in France in all its sectors: dry pasta, couscous and sauces. Operating in more than 60 countries, the company distributed 425 million products in 2021. Panzani is also the leading buyer of French wheat and the leading European exporter of semolina. The group has a strong industrial base, including 6 production sites and more than 650 employees.
Panzani’s history is littered with mergers and buybacks, with the manufacturer successively owned by Danone, PAI Partners and then Ebro. In June 2021, Ebro Foods announced the sale of Panzani to the investment fund CVC Capital Partners for €550 million. A sale finalized in late 2021.
Panzani had about nine months to prepare, setting up his own SAP information system to take over from Ebro. “We had several imperatives as part of our carve-out: to gain our independence as quickly as possible, while securing the execution of our information system and minimizing business impacts,” says Seimandi.
These challenges go beyond the SAP world, as Panzani also needs to migrate other business applications and set up its own IT infrastructure. “All of this work has been very busy for our CIO. In addition, we have to deal with cross-border and reciprocal ASD, with Panzani providing certain services on behalf of Ebro, particularly in the logistics sector. This has added complexity to our carve-out. We quickly realized that we could not achieve this without the help of a trusted partner, able to contribute its expertise in multiple sectors.” Panzani opts for a recognized actor, the TeamWork Group, able to accompany it from formalization to the execution of the exit plan.
“Application Transition Service Agreements (TSA) were defined in the third quarter of 2021,” said Norbert Seimandi, CIO of the Panzani Group. As of 31/12/2021, the two entities were still co-located in the same SAP system. “One of the challenges we faced in making this carve-out a success was to ensure the separation of systems quickly.”
Accompanied by the consulting teams of Tomorrow by TW, Panzani first defined an exit plan scenario validated by Panzani and EBRO. This exit plan was the backbone of the project, enabling Panzani to fulfill the above objectives while also modernizing the future IS by addressing some obsolescence of Ebro’s initial SAP IS. “We decided to migrate the whole package to x86 servers, with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and the SAP HANA database,” says Seimandi.
This migration is even more complex as the SAP landscape is large: an SAP ECC 6.0 ERP, SAP APO and SAP IBP solutions, and an analytical stack comprising an SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 data warehouse. All of these solutions are implemented on the new architecture, with an equivalent scope compared to the Ebro system, but by updating the software to their latest service packs.
“At the same time, we decided to build the Panzani cloud, building on Microsoft Azure infrastructure.” The project thus addresses three key objectives: the implementation of application TSAs, a modernization of SAP IS and a move to cloud.
Ebro delivers a clean system of non-Panzani data on September 15, 2022. Since Panzani’s CIO and TeamWork teams have now prepared the new system, the migration was completed in just a few weeks, with the new system being put into production on December 10. A solution that is now being turned into TMA.
In the development of the exit plan, the Tomorrow by TW & TeamWork team made it possible to mobilize the right expertise to provide the overall vision of the project and to give Panzani’s senior management the means to take the right options in a very challenging context (timing, challenges…). Exit plan that was then operated by TeamWork teams.
Panzani could not migrate to the SAP S/4HANA intelligent ERP as part of this project, which was too dense and too short to make such a transition. But that’s part of the industry’s plan. “Once our SAP IS has been stabilized and controlled by our teams, we will be able to consider our migration to SAP S/4HANA. To this end, we have already contracted our ERP under SAP RISE.”