Taronga Conservation Society Facilitates Data-Driven Decision-Making with SAP Analytics Cloud

Taronga Conservation Society Australia (Taronga) is a leader in conservation research, animal welfare, wildlife rehabilitation, and environmental education. In 100 years, Taronga Conservation Society Australia has evolved from a location of entertainment to a mature conservation and education hub. A not-for-profit organization, Taronga advocates “for the wild” and is committed to conservation and securing a shared future for wildlife and people. The organization works in partnership with governments, universities, and conservation organizations supporting dozens of science, research, and conservation programs around the world.   

600 Employees
$90 million US Revenue

Taronga operates two zoos in Sydney and Dubbo, Australia, and cares for over 4,000 animals from over 350 species. The zoos create experiences for 1.9 million guests that inspire lasting connections between people and wildlife. Through its education programs, community engagement, and environmental campaigning, Taronga works to create the next generation of conservation champions. 

Through cutting-edge cloud technology and in partnership with SAP and its partners, the organization delivered a unified technology platform while streamlining and digitalizing business processes. Developed using SAP Cloud Platform, Taronga’s new cloud application “Stax” simplifies the employee experience with a single point of entry into core business applications.  

With SAP S/4HANA Cloud at the core and integrated with the SAP Analytics Cloud solution, Taronga experiences greater transparency, flexibility, and scalability while taking full advantage of its data to improve operations and expand its impact. 

Our challenge was to improve the daily lives of back-office employees and staff by providing a unified digital experience that will integrate existing systems, streamline our business processes, and automate our cumbersome tasks.

Cassandra Long, Manager IT Operations, Taronga Conservation Society Australia

The Challenge

On a journey to modernize its business, Taronga wanted to enable greater focus on caring for wildlife and vital conservation projects by reducing the time staff members spend on administrative tasks.  

To improve operational efficiency, the company sought to overhaul its aging legacy systems, cumbersome processes, and paper-based reporting, as well as: 

  • Multiple stand-alone billing and revenue systems and an aging legacy ERP system  
  • Many time-consuming, paper-based, cumbersome administrative functions, such as HR, finance, and procurement 
  • Manual, error-prone manipulation and consolidation of data across disparate systems required for monthly reporting 
  • Static monthly financial and management reports (PDFs) preventing executives from diving deeper into data 
  • Largely mobile zoo workforce – some on the grounds and others deployed globally – who need fast access to information. 

To expand its impact on wildlife conservation and enhance the visitor experience, Taronga needed access to real-time reporting to make data-driven decisions.  

Sign up now to get started with your free trial of SAP Analytics Cloud.

Try for free

Our partners are absolutely mission enablers for Taronga. We wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing without SAP and the efficiencies gained across the organization. SAP has really gone above and beyond for us. SAP calls their approach ‘Customer First,’ and that’s what it really felt like working with the team.

Cassandra Long, Manager IT Operations, Taronga Conservation Society Australia

The Solution

Taronga leveraged SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management and worked with Bluetree Pty Ltd. to deploy SAP Analytics Cloud, all of which are a part of SAP’s Business Technology Platform 

Seen as “mission enablers,” Taronga’s partnerships with SAP and SAP partner Bourne Digital and Bluetree played an essential role in its digital transformation journey.  

As a strategic advisor for Taronga, SAP provided expert guidance and support to identify the right technology and approach according to its strategic objectives. SAP was proactive in ensuring that the company was aligned with best practices and had access to the right information to help them be successful. A dedicated customer engagement executive and customer success manager from SAP Preferred Success services collaborated to help Taronga get the most value out of the SAP technology through end-to-end engagement and support across the journey. 

The SAP Activate methodology played a critical role in configuring and successfully deploying SAP S/4HANA Cloud off-site during the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of highly skilled services consultants from SAP and a small team at Taronga 

From the beginning of the SAP Analytics Cloud journey, SAP experts helped develop a proof of concept and integration approaching partnership with Bluetree, a partner with strong expertise in SAP Analytics Cloud that was able to accommodate Taronga’s reporting requirements. 

Bourne Digital helped design and implement the Stax application using SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management and other services in SAP Cloud Platform, leveraging design thinking and agile development to quickly deliver an easy-to-use application in a short time frame. 

The culture of Taronga is one that embraces innovation, collaboration, and experimentation and accepts failure as a necessary part of transformation and improvement. The support of the executive board and a formal change management structure were integral to the success of the project.  

Taronga enlisted the help of a dedicated change manager who managed all change management and testing activities, including establishing support channels, facilitating process and role changes, training, and communication with employees. By maintaining a consistent connection with executives and staff, the change manager minimized disruption, built awareness of the change, and addressed any gaps identified through user feedback. 

Additional change management activities include: 

  • Top-down communication and training of executives 
  • Development of training assets and coordination of multiple training and user acceptance testing sessions 
  • Thorough and easy-to-flow test scripts from SAP that simplified authorizations and reduced guesswork and manual effort 
  • Open session with SAP consultants to allow users to ask questions and speak openly about their struggles. 

SAP was by our side during our remote go-live of SAP S/4HANA Cloud. The methodology as well as the executive sponsorship from SAP gave us a lot of confidence.

Cassandra Long, Manager of IT Operations, Taronga

The Results

Taronga digitalized its business to bring operational efficiencies with insights, which in turn empowered informed decision-making company wide.  

With a future-ready technology platform, Taronga was able to 

  • Enhance the efficiency of operations by transitioning core business systems for HR, finance, and procurement to the cloud  
  • Empower data-driven decisions with easy-to-use analytics tools and increased transparency 
  • Build a feature-rich, responsive Web application that provides a single point of entry to various business applications 
  • Simplify access to core functions and content from any device in a secure manner using existing corporate credentials 
  • Deliver critical and time-sensitive information and updates on zoo activities, using a common application platform 
  • Improve productivity through increased automation of daily administrative tasks, enabling staff to focus on more important activities such as caring for the animals and visitors 
  • Enable standardized workflows and approvals for common tasks such as leave and requisition request. 

As well, by leveraging near-real-time and data-driven decisions, C-level executives at Taronga leveraged strategic dashboards in SAP Analytics Cloud to gain insights into its most important key performance indicators. The team could share comments in the solution to point out or highlight opportunities, insights, or learnings.  

Taronga also replaced their legacy planning tools with those of SAP Analytics Cloud for planningand leveraged its features to perform scenario analyses, create forecasts, and predict growth. 

Speaking of replacing: the company saw a savings of four to five hours of administration time each month by replacing manual reporting processes with automation. 

In addition to investing in change management to drive user adoption and minimize risks, Taronga emphasized the importance of the explore phase, as it will be the foundation upon which the solution is delivered. It is critical that business requirements are well documented, with high-level representatives in each area. 

Taronga identified SAP Analytics Cloud as a future-ready platform – a solution that enabled the company to adapt quickly and pivot to rapidly changing market needs. 

With the support, guidance, and expertise of SAP and Bluetree, we successfully deployed SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud, which have enabled streamlined financial reporting, data-driven decision-making, and a superior user experience.

Leonard Lek, Finance Manager, Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Looking Ahead

In the next phase of its digital transformation, Taronga plans to leverage SAP S/4HANA Cloud to decentralize purchasing. The goal is to empower its employees in each area of the organization with autonomy and accountability to create purchase orders. Digitalized procurement workflows will enhance efficiency while ensuring compliance.  

The organization also plans to expand its use of SAP S/4HANA Cloud beyond capital projects to manage its conservation initiatives. This will provide Taronga with the ability to monitor return on investment for global conservation projects, to which it contributes $A15 million a year. 

Taronga aims to use SAP Analytics Cloud for planning to perform scenario analysis, financial planning, and cash flow modeling to help it adapt quickly to rapidly changing market needs, which has become even more crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. By bringing together data across multiple stand-alone revenue systems, Taronga will be able to accurately predict future growth.  

With the implementation of SAP SuccessFactors solutions underway, Taronga will integrate them with SAP Analytics Cloud for planning to enable more efficient labor planning. Employees will also be able to access payroll information and time and attendance features through the Stax staff application.  

Taronga will also further optimize its digital experience with conversational AI and use of workflow and business rules for further process automation and extensions. 

I see Taronga’s partnership with SAP as absolutely critical so we can uplift our core business systems to continuously updated cloud systems for Taronga’s new phase of commercial growth and exciting expanded education and conservation programs.

Cameron Kerr, CEO, Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Ready to start seeing success with SAP Analytics Cloud?

Learn More