SOUTH32 orchestrates SAP carve-out with SNP in a strategic spin-off

The key to growth right now is flexibility, resilience and composability. To take advantage of a more agile way of working, organizations are looking to modernize their systems and restructure their business. Spinning off business units and regional enterprises comes with a host of compliance and timeline challenges. However, there are tools available to make this a straightforward, and above all compliant, procedure.

11/23/2022  |  3 min


  • Carve Out & Divestitures
  • S/4HANA

Data is key when it comes to growth

Data is a key pillar of every customer-centric enterprise, and it relies on quick, agile decisions to become increasingly sustainable and intelligent.

Most organizations recognize the inherent value in harnessing the power of data, driving deeper business insights that can help streamline processes, uncover efficiencies, and reduce costs across the board. However, truly successful businesses also recognize the value in taking this one step further. Speed, efficiency, and accuracy of data is critical to business success, and organizations that fail to prioritize technology upgrades and transform the data that is captured in their business to meet changing expectations in their industry risk falling behind competitors.

Complex data migration in 48 hours?

South32, a globally diversified mining and metals company, recently recognized the need to reshape its business portfolio, which triggered complex data restructuring and customizations in an SAP carve-out to S/4HANA with selective data transformation. With the support of the SNP CrystalBridge® solution, the 15TB data structure project was completed within six months. This included full historical data migration within 48 hours while ensuring business continuity. 

Combining a data transformation with divestiture

South 32 is a globally diversified mining and metals company that produces bauxite, alumina, aluminum, energy and metallurgical coal, manganese, nickel, silver, lead, and zinc in Australia, Southern Africa, and South America. As part of its ongoing strategic transformation, which included divestiture and reshaping its business portfolio, South32 needed to move its SAP ECC data onto its existing SAP S/4HANA system as quickly and accurately as possible in line with its implementation plan. This project was in collaboration with our partner TCS.

The company’s decision to reshape its business portfolio included an extensive review of options regarding the future of the business. As a result, South32 required an extraction of all its company codes, and relevant selective historical data migration to be completed in just a few months. Supporting a time slice-based data carve-out as part of a massive database structure involving 15TB within a short amount of time is no small task.

Minimal downtime means minimal business disruption

To help deliver this project, South32 selected SNP CrystalBridge® to support the SAP carve-out project. CrystalBridge kept the production system up and running with minimal disruption for buyer and seller entities and allowed for flexible management of multiple change requests simultaneously.

Because CrystalBridge is fast, secure, and automated, it meant South32 could achieve the business continuity it required to be future ready with accurate and relevant data, without experiencing major disruption throughout the transformation project.

“As part of a strategic divestiture, South32 utilized SNP CrystalBridge® software to conduct an automated selective data transformation of our SAP ERP Central Component and data systems critical to meet the transaction requirements. SNP exceeded our expectations, delivering a quality outcome for this complex, time-sensitive carve-out, within budget and on time.” - South32

Data migration planning is a key step

Finding your way through a big data migration project can be overwhelming. Automation offered by CrystalBridge means you can quickly blueprint and roadmap your SAP landscape. It collects more than 300,000 SAP data points, so you can effectively visualize everything, and it even provides interactive planning recommendations. Solid planning before the big move has a huge impact on keeping the downtime to a minimum.

A wetland in New Zealand

Big change can mean big opportunities

Shifting business priorities and vision can trigger massive events such as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and often involve carving out business units and reshaping portfolios. While this can look simple on paper, the accompanying business requirements of separating data and processes is often not one your organization is prepared for. It takes specific skills and knowledge to make sure the process goes smoothly, and timelines and compliance requirements are often inflexible. Working with an experienced partner can give you the flexibility to shift with changing business needs, carve out the segments of the business that need to be separated without impacting the rest of the organization’s operations all while staying compliant.

There’s no need to do it alone. Find out how SNP can help your organization reshape your business.


  • Carve Out & Divestitures
  • S/4HANA