London-based drinks company Diageo has set out its five year digital transformation plan, with the help of SAP and IBM.

Diageo guinness
– Diageo

The company is looking to transition its technology suite to a single operating platform, the SAP HANA cloud platform. According to the company, this will impact processes in the 180 countries Diageo currently operates in.

“This partnership with IBM and SAP demonstrates our continued investment in digital transformation,” said Diageo’s CFO Lavanya Chandrashekar. “It will enable greater agility in how we respond to our global consumer and customer needs."

The company is also hoping that the move will reduce the workload for its IT teams.

The decision to move to the SAP HANA cloud platform is somewhat surprising, due to previous legal disputes between SAP and Diageo. The company had previously licensed (and paid for) SAP’s sales platform, MySap. However, when Diageo expanded its user base, SAP demanded more money. Ultimately, the UK High Court agreed with SAP, ordering Diageo to pay £54.5m (then US$68m).

The move to the SAP HANA platform is being led by IBM Consulting. Rahul Kalia, managing partner, IBM Consulting, UK & Ireland, said: “The consumer goods industry is striving to address the challenges posed by inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions, while staying focused on delivering exceptional products and services for its customers and consumers.”

Diageo is known as the maker of Guinness, Smirnoff, and Johnnie Walker. According to GlobalData, Diageo’s estimated ICT spending in 2021 was $565.4 million, the vast majority of which went on data centers. That same year, Diageo opened a 17,000 sq ft (1,580 sqm) facility known as the Diageo Collaboration Center to enable partners to use its “trove of data and analytics resources.” Diageo has not publicly shared its data center footprint. DCD has contacted the company for more information.