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Customer Success Story: Centrica

Helping a long-time client remove complexity by making the move to Workday—how Alight Solutions and Centrica improved their employee’s experience, resulting in improvements for all.


Removing complexity

When Centrica, an international energy and services organisation headquartered in the United Kingdom came to Alight Solutions in 2006, they were looking for a globally cohesive, full-scale HR transformation. Alight Solutions initially provided HR services including a fully managed payroll service for Centrica in the United Kingdom. In 2012 they decommissioned myHR and implemented HRonline, their own self service front end for SAP. The scope was increased in 2014 to incorporate their United States and Canadian employee populations, and SAP Payroll rolled out in North America at the start of 2015.

At this time, Centrica was using two separate instances of SAP, one in the United Kingdom and one in North America. As they began to truly globalise their organisation, the disconnected HR systems, and related costs led to frustrations amongst the leadership team and Centrica made the decision to move to Workday as their core HR platform. Joint discovery sessions were held between Centrica and Alight Solutions, driving global process standardisation and harmonisation.

Centrica’s HR technology really didn’t give our people the kind of first class, user experience we were developing for our customers, they deserved better.

Rob Cook, Vice President of HR Technology

Time for a change—Centrica’s needs

  • Looking to implement a fully integrated, mobile ready, people management platform that could be delivered through lean cloud technology.
  • Vision to create the best in market employee experience by transforming all associated people processes to adopt simple, standardised, global templates to enable significant business efficiencies.
  • Visibility into and reduction of cost to serve after realising their support costs were considerable.
  • Improve data quality so employees could analyse and act on readily available data more efficiently.
  • Expedite time to hire.
  • Simple, integrated technology and vendor landscape.
  • 24/7 connected and empowered employees.


Centrica’s current HR and payroll systems, processes and operations were extremely complex including:

  • 23 systems: 5 HR, 7 payroll and 11 time-recording systems in place.
  • 355 templates: 175 different employee contract templates and 180 offer letter templates.
  • Few using self-service: Only 6% of all HR requests in North America were submitted through self-service.
  • 20,000 monthly emails: Over 20,000 HR operations emails distributed monthly in both the UK and North America.
  • Significant restructuring following Centrica’s strategic review added an extra layer of complexity to the project.

  • Centrica was the first global deployment of Workday and HR Services since Alight Solutions acquired Kloud in 2015.

  • Large scale deployment required the development of over 80 integrations, including a complex bidirectional integration with all of the existing SAP Payroll systems in the United Kingdom and North America.

  • Alight Solutions needed a strict programme governance to be upheld, in order to ensure all security and risk requirements were met.

  • Deploying a ‘big-bang’ approach is always a potential risk, as deploying all software modules within Workday across the whole company on the same day leaves zero room for error.

Services provided

  • Application of Alight Solutions standard methodology, leveraging our experience of deploying and operating for other organisations.
  • Discovery sessions ultimately driving global process definition.
  • Workday change and test management.
  • Operating procedure preparation for the Alight Solutions ongoing delivery team.
  • 12 month ‘big bang’ deployment of global Workday functionality with future phases planned to cover payroll, benefits and learning.
  • Configuration of HCM, benefits, talent, absence, compensation, recruiting, time, expenses, integrations, data conversion and reporting.
  • Development and deployment of over 80 integrations in and out of Workday.
  • Workday developed interface to link into SAP Payroll systems for payroll in the United Kingdom and North America.

The results say it all

  • 37,000 global employees, and 12,000 contingent workers in 6 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands.
  • Single, largest global transformation in Centrica history and the first ever Centrica system deployable on personal devices.
  • Alight Solutions + Workday provided a high impact, innovative and targeted change that leveraged an extensive change network while successfully competing for attention in a crowded airspace.
  • For the first time, Centrica is able to see a single overview of its permanent and contract staff, allowing managers to keep a tighter control on costs.
  • Employees are averaging significantly higher HR transactions per day, with most accessing the HR system over mobile devices.
  • Significant cost savings in technology after eliminating over 30 HR and IT systems used for managing Centrica’s workforce.

We’re looking forward to continuing our long standing partnership with Centrica and the next phase of their journey.

Dave Portsmouth, Director HR & Financial Solutions EMEA
Alight Solutions

About Alight Solutions

As a leading provider of human capital solutions, we help our clients and their people navigate the complexity of health, wealth and HR. We combine data-driven, consumer-centered technology with personalised care and service to deliver a superior customer experience. Our dedicated colleagues across 28 global centers help 23 million people and their 11 million family members simplify work and life, both now and in the future. At Alight, we are reimagining how people and organisations thrive.

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