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Cisco erp case study answers

In late , Pond came to the realization that these continuous modifications of the system were insufficient, and called for an overhaul of the system. In January of , Cisco experienced their worst outage ever it was so severe it shut down the business for nearly two days. This prompted management to immediately begin research into implementing an ERP system, a solution that they had previously attempted to avoid. With the need for a much larger system for their growing company Cisco decides to purchase a single ERP system.

The success of the ERP implementation at Cisco was dependent on strong leadership, smart planning, and a bit of luck. The decisiveness of the leaders on what they wanted pushed the selection process forward in a short amount of time. Senior management fully backed the project, and was kept informed on every step.

ERP: Payoffs and Pitfalls - HBS Working Knowledge - Harvard Business School

From the very beginning, a strong schedule and the backing of the entire corporation helped to insure success of the project. Selection of an integration partner and vendor was another key point in the implementation process. KPMG was the perfect partner for Cisco because they were willing to give them the expert resources that Cisco required to complete such a large project in as short a time as possible.

After researching several software vendors, Cisco made an excellent choice selecting Oracle. The selection of Oracle as the vendor for the project was beneficial for several reasons. Oracle offered strong manufacturing capability and long-term functionality, and was also very flexible because of their proximity to Cisco headquarters.

The contract the company had agreed upon with Oracle contained amazing benefits in value and other aspects. Cisco stipulated that capacity would be covered by the vendor relieving themselves of many out-of-pocket expenses later in the project.

ERP Implementation Scenario – (Why ERP required?)

Having so much at stake forced Oracle to put a large amount of resources and some of their best people on the project to guarantee its success. The company was also lucky in the fact that it chose to roll-out the system without any financial analysis. Foregoing the completion of a thorough financial analysis, many significant expenses could have gone unaccounted for.

Excess labor and training costs, as well as accounting for possible problems could have easily increased the original number drastically. Luckily for Cisco, the financial guesswork at the beginning of the implementation proved to be fairly accurate, and several potential problems were avoided.

Although Cisco had many strong points in their implementation process, they were also guilty of some weak decisions during the approach. One such weak decision was that the team jammed the configuration session into two days with 40 people. Normally an approach would be to analyze the system for approximately six months, but the Cisco team met for only two days, working into the night, to come up with an recommendation on how to configure the ERP system.

However, the training that was normally a five-day session was significantly reduced to two, sixteen hour days. One week after the configuration session and after completion of CRP0, Cisco realized that they had another problem.

ERP Implementation Scenario Information Technology Essay

The system was going to require a much larger amount of customization than initially believed. After one month of design, they realized that there was going to be a need for changes; after two months, they realized that the changes were going to be sizeable. When it came down to the overall performance, Cisco was very successful. From the beginning to the end, the performance was solid. The performance was triumphant in the fact that the job was finished in the scheduled amount of time. The initial estimation aimed for a time period that was in between the shortest and longest implementation times possible and resulted in a date of nine months.

Cisco was successful in reaching that goal. Cisco also reached its goal in system performance. With only a few customizations, the system was working well. The only trouble that had plagued the implementation was the capacity, but as discussed earlier, it was covered in the contract with the hardware vendor. The complete system performance was worked out when the project team did its CRP design and testing. By building on the previous version of CRP, the team was able to optimize its functionality.

At the end of the implementation, the cutover was successful because of strong coordination between each company involved. The overall cost expectancy was met. Although Cisco was able to meet its ERP system budget, it had not accounted for the excess labor costs. The high level employees they pulled out to do this project needed temporary replacements. Excess costs would be incurred either because of hiring cost or overtime pay. Cisco was able to meet its overall cost expectancy except for the excess labor costs that were not taken into account.

The implementation showed that the Oracle ERP system could run an entire manufacturing company with few problems. This implementation shaped the way that manufacturing businesses as well as other types of businesses would have to think. Because of the agreement between Oracle and Cisco, Cisco would help Oracle market the newest release to other potential customers. The strong relationships formed for the project were the result of good timing.

Nor should large, blue chip companies take comfort that their size or market clout will ensure that they get the best team, even from a leading consulting firm. But it should also reflect experience with client-specific circumstances, e.

A firm with a well-developed methodology will be more efficient, less likely to make major mistakes, better able to estimate resource requirements and able to identify project risks before they arise—all of which are essential to successful ERP implementations. Symbiotic relationships between ERP software providers and consulting firms can create compromised incentives and conflicts of interests that prejudice the client.


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For one thing, software vendors are often eager for companies to implement the latest products, and consulting firms, often recommended to clients by the software vendor, necessarily lack both the experience implementing newly released software and the incentive to advise clients of the potential risks involved. Project delays and cost overruns—and, yes, ERP disasters—can result from implementing new modules or bolt-ons that lack the stability and refinement of more established and equally suitable products.

In such situations, even competent systems integrators can be at the mercy of the software provider to address the defects that might surface during an implementation. Ultimately, of course, it is the client that will bear the cost of fixing the defects or addressing the lack of functionality, as well as the risk of a failed go-live. Have those go-lives been successful? Are those other companies in a similar industry? Has the software provider been willing to quickly supply technical know-how to address the inevitable issues? Will my system integrator level with me when signs of trouble emerge?

Because we specialize in guiding clients through failed or troubled implementations many of which have led to litigation , we have had a front row seat watching ERP disaster movies. Our core takeaway is that the three issues described above make their appearance, in some form, each and every time. CIOs are well advised to be on point looking out for these problems and nipping them in the bud with alacrity. Webroot: Revolutionizing Cloud-Driven Cybersecurity. Innive Inc. Clarizen: Bringing Clarity to Process Automation.