Purdue University transforms the future with S/4HANA

As part of the Transform Purdue initiative, Purdue entrusted the migration, hosting and management of all its SAP systems to EPI-USE Labs


Purdue University is a public research university in West Lafayette, Indiana and is the flagship campus of the Purdue University system, founded in 1869 when Lafayette businessman John Purdue donated land and money to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name. The main campus in West Lafayette offers more than 200 majors for undergraduates, over 69 masters and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Purdue also has 18 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 900 student organizations. Purdue is a member of the Big Ten Conference. The University has the fourth largest international student population among US universities and in 2018 improved its Time Higher Education global ranking to 60th. Visit our website

  • Year founded: 1869
  • Academic staff: 3,055
  • Total Enrollment: 43,411
  • Made up of 13 schools and colleges


The Challenge: Transform Purdue

Founded in 1869, with over 3,000 academic staff, Purdue University is a public research university in West Lafayette, Indiana made up of 13 schools and colleges. Purdue partnered with EPI-USE Labs to support their Transform Purdue Business Process Re-engineering project and realize its strategic objectives through a redesign of accounting structures to reconcile financials and perform accurate projections, improve user experience, enhance transparency and reporting, automate key business processes to remove redundancies and eliminate paper from all processes. Along with the redefined financial structure, Purdue upgraded to SAP S/4HANA 1610.

Why Transform?

Purdue needed to move to S/4HANA to take advantage of future innovations for the University. Purdue’s financial structure was too complex, impacting their ability to quickly create financial reporting at various leadership levels. Lack of standardization around financial elements, terms, best practices and procedures affected their data integrity. Due to their complexity, the ability to easily move units with their financial parameters intact was a difficult, timely process. It was time to rebuild and redefine their core financial structure to use SAP functionality and organize data to help alleviate reporting issues they were facing.

Key Challenges on the road to S/4HANA
Key Challenges on the road to S/4HANA
  • Desire to outsource (hosting and management of landscape)
  • Finding a flexible partner with consistency over the long term
  • Lack of in-house HANA skills
  • Basis team was costly, with key members nearing retirement
  • Hardware (including for DR) would need to be procured
  • Benefits unknown for greenfield vs brownfield
Why EPI-USE Labs?

As Purdue was looking for a partner to host their S/4H System, they didn’t want to allocate resources to an administrative system where they would have to learn new technologies. EPI-USE Labs offered:

  • Rapid prototyping of S/4HANA on AWS, allowing Purdue to validate the approach
  • A long-term investment with Purdue
  • A flexible, tailored approach to service delivery

The Outcome: Transforming how higher
education does business

The Transform Purdue project was an ambitious undertaking that required the right software and implementation partners for us to be successful. Moving to SAP S/4HANA allowed us to modernize our business processes, resulting in year-over-year cost savings while leveraging our SAP investment. Couple this with EPI-USE’s extensive reputation for transforming how higher education does business, and we had a winning combination. We look forward to our continued partnerships and supporting the university’s core mission to be a leading educator and expand knowledge sharing globally.

Victoria Farnsworth, Executive Director, IT Enterprise, Purdue University

The Outcome: Transforming how higher education does business

We could not be more pleased with the initial outcomes of Finance transformation and our partnership with EPI-USE and EPI-USE Labs. Together we were able to take a vision for simplified finance structures and processes and build technology that significantly enhances our financial transparency, while creating automated, efficient and paperless workflow.

Timothy Werth, Senior Director, Business Process Re-engineering, Purdue University

The Solution: System Conversion to S/4HANA 1610

As part of the Transform Purdue initiative, Purdue entrusted the migration, hosting and management of all its SAP systems to global software solutions and managed services company EPI-USE Labs. This includes S/4HANA, BW, GRC, PI/XI, HCM/Payroll and employee self-services for more than 30,000 employees across four campuses.

Innovative SAP migration and upgrade

To enable Purdue properly to vet their transformation business case and migration strategy, EPI-USE Labs performed a rapid two-week cloud-based migration and conversion to S/4HANA using AWS. Due to the large SAP footprint, the amount of customization and a desire to keep existing history, Purdue chose to go with the System Conversion Approach from an existing ECC 6.0 SAP system to S/4HANA 1610.

  • S/4HANA conversion rapid prototyping on AWS
  • Eight complete ECC6 to S/4HANA conversions
  • Re-platforming to HANA on Suse Linux
  • Trialed and committed to new “DMO with system move” option
Fully managed SAP hosting offering

The managed systems are hosted in two of the EPI-USE Labs data centers located in the US, to provide full redundancy. EPI-USE Labs' Managed Services team uses its Unified Platform software to monitor, automate and orchestrate this complex landscape, Data Sync Manager to maintain refreshed non-productive systems and mask sensitive data, and Client Central as an incident and change management tracking facility.

  • S/4HANA, BW, PI, GRC, Biller Direct, SAP Mobile Platform, SAP IDM
  • Full data center migration of SAP assets
  • 24x7 support via global support team
  • SAP HANA TDI certified Fujitsu hardware
  • Full multi-site DR solution with redundant datacenters (Atlanta, Dallas)
  • Full networking and security implementation
The Solution: System Conversion to S/4HANA 1610



Ensures accurate, consistent data in non-production systems
Creates clients quickly and with no post-processing effort (BDLS)
Provides data when you need it, where you need it
Reduces system interruptions and downtime
Complies with data protection standards, such as Sarbanes Oxley, the BDSG, or GDPR
Offers unparalleled data quality and completeness
Cuts disk space and data storage costs significantly
Supports over 1600 business objects – more than any other data copy product