15 october 2009
GMCS completed ERP system implementation at Synterra
National communication service provider Synterra and IT consulting company GMCS announce the successful completion of the project of creating a comprehensive management information system based on Microsoft Dynamics AX.

The main goal of implementing the ERP system was to improve Synterra business performance in terms of interaction between the company's subdivisions, including geographically remote divisions and branches. In particular there was a strong need to consolidate information flows, optimize the company's business processes, as well as to increase reporting reliability and optimize accounting and planning procedures for all of the company's subdivisions. A unified system was needed capable of enabling Synterra top-managers to make important strategic business decisions quicker based on precise and profound analytical processing of financial and statistical information, at the same time allowing to simplify operative reporting of the service provider in compliance with both Russian and international standards.

In order to solve this task the client-company made the decision to consolidate the whole range of finance management processes within a single ERP system, including settlements with clients and suppliers, treasury, book-keeping and tax accounting, management accounting and reporting by IFRS standards. Based on an open competitive tender GMCS was sel ected as the partner for project implementation together with its industry solution GMCS Telecom based on Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Taking into account industry specifics the project involved close integration of the financial management system with a number of other IT systems characteristic of a communication service provider: the billing system, the customer relations management system, the electronic document workflow system, the BOSS-Kadrovik automated human resource management system implemented by GMCS during the first stage of working with the company.

"For a telecom company, especially one that is going through a stage of rapid growth, it is particularly important to ensure that key financial and economic data is received in time and that various information systems are unified within a single information space. As part of the project we didn't just automate financial and business activity management, we created a structured flexible system of integrating various information into an information unit operating as a single formation. Today consolidation and processing of managerial and financial information is conducted automatically, thus improving performance of the company as a whole and lowering the probability of errors occurring during manual data formation," notes Andrey Bugaenko, IT Director at Synterra.

The foundation for the project was a large volume of methodological activities aimed at thoroughly working through business processes and the financial model carried out by specialists of the client-company together with GMCS specialists. A number of existing business processes was also optimized in order to include all of Synterra's subdivisions into a unified information space. The work resulted in a set of documents detailing the place, procedures and responsibilities of each employee in the new information space. It is important to note that the quality management system documents were prepared with account of international standards and enabled Synterra to successfully complete certification according to the ISO 9001 quality standard in July 2009.

Based on a decision made by the partners, pilot operation of the system was divided into two consecutive stages. On January 1, 2009 automated solutions for treasury, asset accounting, prepaid expenses and settlements with accountable persons were launched into operation. During the second stage of the project, as of April 1, 2009 the system included the remaining sections of automation – settlements with clients and suppliers, separate accounting, inventory management, tax accounting, IFRS and management accounting.

As part of a separate section of works GMCS ensured the possibility of invoicing clients fr om Microsoft Dynamics AX based on data obtained from the billing system, wh ere only the volumes of services provided and their rates are recorded. Integration with other information systems is carried out via a separate reference data management system ensuring that necessary unified information is stored, processed and fed into IT systems. For the convenience of clients a possibility of provisionally sending out primary documents (invoices, acceptance certificates, pro-forma invoices, reminder letters) directly fr om Microsoft Dynamics AX by email is intorduced, at the same time as the printed documents are issued.

Implementing financial and management accounting in the system was an important component of the project's overall successful completion. Over 50 unique standard reports were created for top managers and financial subdivisions of Synterra. Ensuring formation of the complete reporting pool on a tight schedule was enabled by the specialized GMCS Reporting solution. In the end Synterra management is able to make timely business decisions based on up-to-date and reliable data thanks to the possibility of obtaining analysis reports in real time mode.

In April 2009 the enterprise management information system based on Microsoft Dynamics AX was launched into pilot operation, and as of October 1, 2009 is functioning in constant operation mode. It is being used by over 100 specialists of all Synterra subdivisions. Primary information is uploaded to the system at all company subdivision levels, thus allowing to maintain detailed analytical accounting. At the same time, thanks to financial information consolidation within a single financial accounting system, the speed and quality of preparing operative and consolidated reports have increased, whilst ensuring the possibility of analyzing financial indicators in necessary breakdown.

Vitaly Slizen, Director General at Synterra commented on the results of the project: "Synterra is known to the market as one of the most dynamic, innovative and transparent communication service providers in the market, so automation of the company’s business was very important to us. The implemented system gives us another undeniable advantage, allowing to get a complete and clear picture of the company’s finances and business activities, carry out analysis of the current situation based on a system of financial indicators and make precise strategic decisions."

About Synterra

Synterra group of companies unites service providers and includes the following companies: Synterra, PeterStar, Global Teleport, EuroTel, TeleportSPb and a number of regional cell service providers operating on the telecommunications market since 1992. The infrastructure of Synterra Group is present in all RF regions: the ground trunk intercity network covers over 70 regions of the country and spans over a total of around 67 thousand kilometers, with 13 regions having over 40 nodes of access to trunk lines of satellite communication. It is the foundation for the functioning of IP/MPLS, IN/IC, CMAs, call centre networks connected to all the participants of the communications market.
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