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Employing 50,000 staff and with an annual revenue of £2.3 billion, Interserve is one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies. Its portfolio of services spans advice, design, construction, equipment management and facilities management, providing these services to organisations in the public and private sector.


A group of colleagues laughing outside an office building during daytime
A group of diverse colleagues in an office setting watching a presentation

The challenge

As a consequence of growth, through the acquisition of several companies as well as new contracts, Interserve found itself with a wide portfolio of finance systems supported by manual processes and multiple spreadsheets. A comprehensive review of its business processes and information technology (IT) infrastructure revealed that the IT architecture was complicated, cumbersome and was no longer aligned with the organisational structure. From a business point of view there were different ways of managing core financial processes and performance information that was produced locally, leading to consolidation challenges. Extra employees were required at multiple sites to ensure that reporting timelines could be met and adequate controls maintained.

Multiple systems operated in isolation

From an IT point of view, multiple systems operated in isolation, resulting in duplication of data across different platforms, creating ‘multiple versions of the truth’. These disparate legacy technologies were not delivering value across the business, which meant the company incurred significant, on-going costs. Interserve knew it needed to update its aging, overly complex finance and human resource system to reduce the number of solutions and to create one singular view of the organisation. The company realised that by unifying processes and integrating its core data onto a single platform, that information could be shared across the entire business, driving cost savings, improving data accuracy and providing efficiencies.

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The solution

Having made the decision to update its IT systems, Interserve went through a rigorous evaluation process evaluating a number of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, including SAP and Oracle, before deciding that Microsoft Dynamics AX was the best solution. In particular, the evaluation process demonstrated that the Dynamics AX Finance and Human Resource (HR) modules were robust and flexible enough to provide the performance that a services company of Interserve’s size and diversity required. Another factor was that Dynamics AX was very competitively priced, particularly compared to some of the large traditional ERP solutions. Having chosen the right business application, Interserve needed to engage a partner with Microsoft Dynamics AX expertise to guide them through the implementation, “We appointed Hitachi Solutions based upon its expertise in managing complex projects and in-depth technical understanding of Microsoft technologies,” says Shaun Devey, IT Director at Interserve. Hitachi Solutions collaborated with Interserve on the process change, shared services consolidation, procurement processes, complex data migration and integration, using more than 30 business and technology experts onsite at Interserve’s offices.

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We appointed Hitachi Solutions based upon their expertise in managing complex projects and in-depth technical understanding of Microsoft technologies

Shaun Devey
IT Director at Interserve


By implementing a single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and aligning the business processes, the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX has enabled Interserve to standardise its core business processes and clean up its data. The IT landscape is now less fragmented and there are fewer applications to support. “We are now able to operate our finance and human resource systems across a single platform with unified processes and consistent metrics. The reduction from multiple disparate systems to Dynamics AX has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership of our IT systems,” added Devey. The introduction of Dynamics AX was also a key enabler to providing a shared service for finance and human resources across the whole company, when previously there were many
localised departments.

The IT architecture is relatively simple, streamlined and aligned to its organisational structure. Performance information across the business is now produced centrally and is therefore consistent and easily available at a central level.