AppsTek and Walter Energy join forces to create valuable Oracle E-Business Suite support solutions

The Client

Walter Energy is the world’s leading publicly traded “pure play” metallurgical coal producer for the global steel industry. With corporate and U.S. headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, and Canadian and U.K. headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, the compa­ny produces steam coal and industrial coal, anthracite, metallurgical coke, and coal-bed methane gas.

The Challenge

Through a series of corporate acquisitions, Walter Energy accumulated many subsidiaries in a short amount of time. Each of these organizations joined the corporation running a different Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system. Walter Energy needed each of these disparate systems to “talk” to each other, but that is easier said than done. As a result, the company was suffering from time-consuming, complicated, extremely expensive processes. Month-end-close procedures were particularly challenging and problematic.

The Solution Deployed

AppsTek worked closely with the management team at Walter Energy to quickly convert the new organizations from their existing systems to Oracle EBS. During this process, the need for applications to support international capabilities in Canada and the UK were also identified, including VAT taxes, foreign currency gain/loss calculations, and regulatory reporting. These were added to the existing configuration of the EBS environment as part of this project. To test the quality of the newly integrated systems and the additional capabilities, AppsTek conducted conference room pilots. These tests involved the configuration changes and data which were converted from the legacy systems. New and existing users worked through the carefully scripted system integration test, allowing all issues to be resolved. After that, the AppsTek team led users through a series of successful data conversions and rollouts to the new subsidiaries with on-site and remote training, and the team provided enhanced support during the critical post-implementation period. As operations stabilized, the users were able to transition to a new on-going production support process. Interactions with the company’s IT leadership, primary stakeholders, and their hosting provider allowed AppsTek to design a new, integrated change management process to streamline and standardize the prioritization, approval, development, testing, and production migration of system changes. As a result of this successful project, AppsTek was honored by Walter Energy as the key Oracle Technology and E-Business Suite support provider for all Walter Energy operations worldwide. AppsTek has since assisted the company in implementing Hyperion Financial Management to support consolidation and financial reporting.

Collaboration and Support

The company chose Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), the world’s leading ERP software, as its foundation because their largest operating unit was already using it with great success. Walter Energy reached out to AppsTek, a proven partner and leading provider of Oracle Consulting and Support Services, for help with its software standardization. AppsTek immediately began supporting the company’s ongoing operations, which allowed them to avoid hiring a large internal support organization within its own IT department. simultaneously, AppsTek began collaborating on the best way to achieve a more streamlined and standardized environment. The combined effort of AppsTek and Walter Energy allowed the company to continue to operate successfully while also saving money, time, and resources.

Business Value Delivered