Cisco was far away the biggest software vendor customer supporting the application that supported order entry, manufacturing and financial. Cisco wanted to grow from $500 million to $5 billion plus company, but the application was not proving the degree of maintainability, reliability and redundancy are needed. Moreover, Cisco was not able to make the needed changes to the application anymore to meet their business needed because it was too customized (n.a 146). Difficulties in system replacement of the functional areas further perpetuated deterioration of the legacy environment of Cisco.
Moreover, system outages were a routine, and this was exacerbated by product shortcomings that made it difficult to recover from the outages. Finally, the legacy environment of Cisco dramatically failed in January 1994 that it was hard to ignore the shortcomings of their existing systems leading to shut down for two days. The struggle, to recover by Cisco from the shutdown, made the managers of Cisco conclude that there was a need for an alternative approach, hence the decision to deploy ERP system (n.
Before selecting Oracle as an ERP vendor, Cisco and KPMG went to the software market to identify the best packages of software. They oriented their process of selection to what people were actually using and in two days narrowed down to five packages. After evaluating the packages for a week, the team settled on two candidates, another major player in the market of ERP and oracle.
The decision was also based on the fact that the vendors were not to be significantly smaller than Cisco. Finally cisco settled on oracle because of numerous factors (n.a 148).
Cisco’s project was strongly being driven by manufacturing and Oracle has a better capability of manufacturing compared to other vendors (n.a 148-149). Oracle also had many promises concerning the long term package functionality development. Moreover, Oracle was flexible and was close by in addition to a belief that Oracle was highly motivated to the success of the project (n.a 149).
In forming the ERP implementation team, Cisco sought the very best to include in the project from its core of 20 to about 100, to represent a cross section of the business community of Cisco. Recruitment to the team was for a short term duration and not a career change to the selected candidates. Cisco also extended relationship with KPMG because of the firm’s performance through the selection process of the software and its continued commitment to provide seasoned personnel to the project (n.a 151 para 2).
The Cisco’s team members were placed into five “process area teams” (tracks) with each track comprising of Cisco business leader, Cisco information systems leader, IT and Business consultants from either Oracle or KPMG, and other personnel as team members from the business (para 3).
The management of the tracks was being done from the office of the project management which comprised of KPMG project manager Mark Lee, and Tom Herbert, Cisco’s business project manager. Sitting on top of the whole structure of project management was the Executive Steering Committee which included VP of customer advocacy, VP of manufacturing, Corporate Controller, Partner in charge of the KPMG’s West Coast Consulting, and Oracles senior VP of Applications (para 4).