The Schibsted Group is streamlining its financial operations using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance. The goal is to achieve transparency in the subsidiaries' finances, as well as increasing efficiency in operations throughout the Schibsted organization.
To achieve their strategy and operational goals Schibsted established the project «Future Finance» in 2020, consisting of a large internal, finance-based project group. Columbus has been Schibsted’s partner since April 2021.
This project report has been approved by the internal Schibsted project management team
Innovations at the Core
Schibsted was founded in 1839 in Oslo and has since grown into one of the largest media enterprises in the Nordics with an annual turnover of NOK 15 billion.
Today, the group has about 150+ subsidiaries in eight countries. Schibsted has three main business areas:
- News Media, with leading news organizations such as VG, Aftenposten, Svenska Dagbladet and Aftonbladet
- Nordic Marketplaces with leaders such as Finn.no and Blocket.se (marketplaces for jobs, cars, real estate)
- Financial Services & Ventures, where Schibsted invests in innovative digital companies, including Prisjakt and Lendo.
Establishing Future Finance
Through a number of acquisitions and mergers, the companies in Schibsted had several different financial and business systems which made financial operations more complex than they had to be. In 2020 group management decided to implement one common finance system throughout the corporation to increase efficiency and to optimize financial operations.
The choice fell on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, a modern, cloud-based scalable system, ready for new functionality to be implemented to meet the needs for the different companies and the group as a whole.
Business Development Project
For Schibsted it is important to emphasize that «Future Finance» is not an IT project, but an organizational and business development project. The project management’s main goals show the extensive scope for the project:
- Design and implement a Global Template throughout Schibsted, which includes common processes, financial management model and governance processes
- Design and implement one common finance solution for the entire group
The implementation of one common Global Template for the entire group will also make it easier for Schibsted's service center to offer financial services to the individual subsidiaries as operations will be unified and transparent.
Columbus' main contribution has been the best possible implementation of D365F and securing that the Global Template based on Schibsted’s business requirements was completed. Columbus has also supported the companies already in the D365 production environment, as more than half of the companies in scope are already using the new system.
A key task for the Schibsted project group was to develop the specifications for the global template for core financial processes, not a small job considering the template had to cover the processes for all the companies in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. With the template, all the processes from purchase to pay, order to cash and record to report is done in a similar way and processes are automated where possible.
As of June 2022, a number of the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish subsidiaries are using Dynamics 365. The first part of the project has been a success and the plan is to complete the roll-outs in 2023.