Camelot overhauls back office with SAP outsourcing

Lottery operator Camelot today said it had completed a transition of its SAP back office environment to a new managed service ahead of time and under budget.

The company has signed a multi-year SAP application management services contract with IT services company, Atos Origin. The migration of Camelot's back office SAP environment was completed in just two weeks.

Camelot IT director, Neil Kellar spoke exclusively to IT PRO about the strategic thinking behind the contract, saying that outsourcing the key systems handled by SAP was always part of its plans when it began to migrate to the software platform back in 2005.

"We have a track record in building gaming systems, so decided to go for as vanilla an implementation of SAP as possible a couple of years ago to build back-end lottery IT systems for the future," he said.

The SAP systems provide the back office financials, human resources (HR), payroll, business intelligence (BI) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions for the lottery operator.

Kellar said: "Our SAP systems are critical in terms of information management. For example, we implemented SAP in our supply chain in July and August of last year to help in areas like order consolidation, where we can now get orders to retailers in the most efficient way."

Atos Origin began working with Camelot on management and development of its SAP systems while Camelot was preparing its successful bid for the next UK lottery licence, submitted earlier this year.

"The key thing for us was to move towards open standards," Kellar added. "It's important for our back office to interface with our major gaming systems, where we now have over three million players registered to play on the internet, interactive TV and mobile phones."

He said that Camelot would be able to access business-specific integration and project management skills through the Atos contract that will allow the operator "to scale resources to peaks and drops in demand".

"It's important to keep our SAP implementation as simple as possible to ensure the lowest possible cost of ownership and flexibility to change the systems," Kellar added, citing the fact that the transition of Camelot's SAP environment to Atos management came in ahead of time in just two weeks, as well a sunder budget.

Atos will work with Camelot on its next phase of SAP-based IT transformation which includes plans to complete retailer management systems by February 2009, when its third licence period begins. This will enable the rollout of 27,600 new lottery terminals - the largest network of its kind in the world.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.