Catering and support services company Sodexho is in the middle of several large IT projects, the most challenging of which is its HR and payroll implementation, according to Gary Barr, UK CIO. “We have a very complex payroll system, as many of our staff are temporary or part time and operate in different sites all over the country. We are about six months into a Unix SAP implementation and are using an independent SAP HR specialist, Picasso, to help with the project.” Over the last year the company has been carrying out an infrastructure refresh and has already moved one of the old mainframe finance systems to HP Unix and upgraded it to SAP 4.7. “We did all the work internally, and my team did me proud,” he says.

The company is also in the process of rolling out broadband and has already completed half of Sodexho’s estate. Barr says the rest of the rollout will be finished soon.

The reorganisation of Sodexho’s IT team, which began last year, is finished and working well. “The team work very hard and I would happily pit them against any other,” says Barr.

Because Sodexho is listed on both the New York and Paris stock exchanges, regulatory compliance has taken up a lot of resources over the last year.

“We haven’t underestimated the job and we were right,” Barr says. “But it is having quite a positive effect, as it really involves good practice and common sense. Of course, Sarbanes Oxley is new for everyone, so we are all learning together.”