Fixed and mobile telecom operator Orange formerly France Telecom is consolidating its financial systems to free its corporate finance people to do higher-level work in support of a companywide transformation initiative dubbed Essentials 2020.

The linchpin of this initiative, from the perspective of the finance department, is replacing multiple vendor and homegrown ERP systems, which help Orange manage relationships with telecom equipment vendors, technicians, and other contractors, with .

The management system is key to our operations, and if it goes down, it could paralyze our entire business, says Christophe Eouzan, the operator s chief accounting officer.

Orange piloted the cloud-based ERP system at a small subsidiary in June 2016, and the results have been probative enough that Eouzan expects the entire company, which boasts a market capitalization of $42 billion, to be using the system s full set of features by the end of 2018.

Eouzan has three main goals to ensure the finance group holds up its end of the Essentials 2020 plan: Free up back-office personnel to focus on more value-added tasks, such as forecasting; ensure that transactions with third-party suppliers and contractors are more transparent; and create a work environment that will help it attract new employees as older employees retire.

Orange uses its ERP system to, among other things, forecast and reforecast its purchasing needs, which means centralizing data—including billing data that sits in a separate system.

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