Moving from on-premise to the cloud: Cargill’s experience

This article is excerpted from a recent paper by ADP themed “Payroll unplugged: moving from on-premise to payroll in the cloud”.

More companies than ever are now moving payroll solutions to the cloud to save cost, improve scalability and stay compliant.

How can you make a smooth transition to the cloud? Here is Cargill’s story.

With business locations in 65 countries and 20 million pieces of data relating to 155,000 employees stored across a fragmented network of HR systems, Cargill was losing large amount of HR time to data management, whilst inconsistencies and delays made global reporting difficult and unreliable, prompting the decision to move payroll into the cloud with ADP.

Cargill’s implementation experience

When Cargill was moving its HR System of Record from the US to Europe it had to be especially mindful of the European legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation, as well as the role of Works Councils in countries like Germany, France and Belgium.

Cargill closely examined ADP’s data center and operating processes when assessing ADP’s security capabilities and was ultimately satisfied that cloud infrastructure can be a more secure option than an on-premise payroll or HR system.

Taking the learnings from other companies’ attempts to implement a single HR system, Cargill created its own global, cross-functional project team of around 70 people and a clearly-defined set of global processes, with input from HR in all regions. Here’s how they worked to ensure a successful migration:

Communication is key

Travel costs were factored into the implementation budget from the start, making sure the core team got together once a month. Travelling can take its toll, but the dividends are huge.

Gain commitment from leadership

Having solid governance around the project is very important, so Cargill focused on the governance model, how things were going to operate – and stayed on top of data protection.

Ownership is vital

Cargill’s HR and IT teams took responsibility for the project, whilst the Systems Integrator and ADP team shared weekly updates to help with the change management activities.

Establish the order

As many payrolls as possible need to be operational before deploying a new HR system, which is why Cargill implemented payrolls in EMEA and APAC before the new HR system of record.

Prioritize for speed

Cargill made clear that the project team was not looking to deliver perfection, but was focused on the critical with outstanding issues to be fixed quickly after go-live.

Minimize configuration

Cargill avoided customization and made very few configuration changes except, of course, where legislation dictated.

The cloud difference

Since launching its ADP Global Payroll solution, Cargill now has complete and consistent data, always up-to-date information about employees and greater flexibility to grow or shrink the system as business requires, while made cost savings on hardware maintenance and software upgrades.  

“We are now starting to see savings on maintenance of hardware and software upgrades. With cloud service, we only pay for what we need,” says Steve Drury, Pay Service Lead from Cargill, “the move to the cloud has brought us greater flexibility. The system can grow or shrink as our business requires, with less effort needed to upscale our cloud capability.”

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