Customer stories

innogy SE

innogy SE Transforms Accounts Payable Processes with OpenText. Energy firm automates and streamlines supplier invoice processing with OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions


  • Support, maintenance and handling upgrades in multiple SAP systems was difficult, time-consuming and costly
  • There was no single, consistent process across the business


  • Automated invoice approval routing

  • Reduced the incidence of fraud

  • Successfully integrated existing OCR


In order to remain competitive in the market, innogy has to have quick, easy and accurate access to information. It must be able to perform end-to-end analysis of the complete purchase-to-pay lifecycle and have full visibility and understanding of its financial commitments at any time.

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OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions enables us to handle hundreds of thousands of inbound transactions, regardless of the channel chosen by our suppliers.

Marcus Johannes
Process Manager Accounts Payable, innogy SE

Having used SAP R/3 for more than 20 years, innogy was heavily reliant on non-standard workflows and processes that had been developed across multiple business entities and countries. As the business evolved, the SAP landscape had become distributed across a number of company codes and multiple SAP systems. This all made support, maintenance and handling upgrades difficult, time-consuming and costly. For example, in the area of accounts payable, extensive testing was required for its supplier invoice handling processes, as there was no single, consistent process across the business.

Marcus Johannes, Process Manager Accounts Payable at innogy SE explained further, “Our board had made the decision to implement S/4HANA across the enterprise, an extremely large and ambitious project. Key among its objectives was to future proof our IT landscape, using standard implementations, consistently, across the business. For accounts payable processing, that meant we needed a new, standard solution, to avoid repeating the issues of the past.”

With around 330,000 supplier invoices to be processed each year, innogy sought to implement a solution that could be deployed with little or no customization during the S/4HANA project. The solution had to be closely integrated with SAP and had to be aligned to SAP’s roadmap to avoid problems in the future with upgrades.

“Working closely with SAP, we selected the solution best suited to our needs, OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions,” added Johannes, “The solution follows industry best practices, is capable of covering all of our needs, across multiple geographies and works hand-in-hand with S/4HANA. A big advantage for us is that the OpenText solution is SAP certified, provides many opportunities for automation and also offers SAP Fiori mobile applications too. We could clearly see that OpenText would provide what we need for at least five to ten years.”

Focused on customer orientation and digitalization, innogy continuously improves self-services and automation for its suppliers.

A big advantage for us is that the OpenText solution is SAP certified, provides many opportunities for automation and also offers a number of SAP Fiori mobile applications too.

Marcus Johannes
Process Manager Accounts Payable, innogy SE

“Suppliers in particular don’t want to submit invoices in paper form, they want to submit electronically,” said Johannes, “For some that could be a simple email attachment, and for others this could involve some kind of electronic trading platform. OpenText Vendor Invoice Management for SAP Solutions enables us to handle hundreds of thousands of inbound transactions, regardless of the channel chosen by our suppliers.”

When implementing the solution, innogy wanted to utilize an existing optical character recognition (OCR) tool to automatically process scanned invoices or emailed attachments.

“We wanted to use our existing OCR hub to enable us to reduce the overall project cost and leverage the knowledge we already had of that solution,” stated Johannes, “OpenText facilitates this extremely well, allowing us to plugin capabilities from other solutions. We record all incoming invoices in one place, the OCR hub, and seamlessly pass information between it and OpenText. OpenText sends updates back to the hub and in turn we can update e-trading platforms for our suppliers. Any mismatch between master data in the systems is also picked up and corrected automatically, saving time and therefore money.”

innogy worked with OpenText Professional Services to implement the solution and also engaged OpenText trainers to build knowledge of the solution and to educate users.

“Our experience of working with OpenText Professional Services was really, really good. Their approach was one of thinking outside of the box, not just doing the bare minimum. They looked beyond our existing processes and brought their knowledge of industry best practices to make our processes more efficient. There were no borders, no us and them, just one team,” said Johannes.

Anyone in the business is potentially a user. For example, raising a purchase order, approving an invoice or checking on an order or invoice status, all from a convenient Fiori application. There was some initial skepticism from users about the new solution, due to process changes and the new interfaces. However, all users and especially those in the centralized Shared Service Center (SSC), where invoices are processed, now understand and welcome the improvements.

“Our colleagues in the Shared Service Center like the new capabilities that are now making their lives easier,” explained Johannes, “Things like the automatic detection of duplicate payments and the automatic handling of both purchase order and non-purchase order related invoices. For non-purchase order based invoices, once coded to a cost center, they no longer have to think about who needs to approve it. The OpenText solution takes care of this automatically based on the chart of authority.”

In the past, with paper invoices and physical signatures needed for approval, there was the chance of error, omission and even fraud. This has now been all but eliminated, as only electronic approvals are allowed.

Overall the OpenText solution, part of the larger S/4HANA landscape, is contributing to the company’s goals to increase efficiency, improve compliance and lower risk. Although no formal measurement has been undertaken, the team at innogy instinctively know these outcomes are being achieved.

“User feedback is positive, we know we’re able to process invoices faster and more accurately now and we can quickly and easily check on the status of any invoice,” stated Johannes, “We can also see where things have stalled, thus enabling us to take prompt action and identify where we can further improve our processes.”

About innogy SE

innogy SE is an European energy company part of the E.ON Group. The company has a variety of products and services in the Grid & Infrastructure and Retail business. In 2019, innogy generated revenue of more than €35 billion and employed more than 34,500 staff. innogy’s activities are focused on its 19 million customers. The key markets are Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Belgium, as well as several countries in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe. Furthermore, innogy is also actively involved with renewable energies. E.ON and RWE AG have agreed to transfer the business unit to RWE in 2020.

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