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Harvard Business Case. Cisco Systems,Inc.: Implementing ERP - Term Paper Example

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This paper makes an overall assessment of the value and effectiveness of the ERP implementation project at Cisco, as discussed in the Harvard Business School case, centering the analysis on an evaluation of the entire ERP project from the perspective of Porter’s value chain model…
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Harvard Business Case. Cisco Systems,Inc.: Implementing ERP
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Download file to see previous pages The paper first presents a synopsis of that case, alongside a discussion of the business model and IS strategy for Cisco. That business model is based on a rapid growth strategy, in which context the supporting IS strategy of adopting a radical change to the company’s ERP system with the implementation of the Oracle system makes sense. The change in the ERP infrastructure at Cisco is warranted by the value creation capabilities of a reliable and scalable system that will be capable of supporting the company’s growth strategy (Porter, 1996; Liabotis, 2007; Zook and Allen, 2011; Austin, Nolan and Cotteleer, 1998; Rifkin, 1997; Mayer and Kenney, 2004; (Mind Tools Ltd., 2013; Institute for Manufacturing, 2013). The paper takes off from the preceding analysis to make an assessment of the overall value and effectiveness of the ERP project at Cisco. . Referencing the literature, the paper acknowledges the aspects of the project that were excellent, including that the project was able to secure the support of top management, and benefitted from the collective wisdom from top consultants such as KPMG, the Big 6, Gartner, and industry practitioners and project managers with experience in ERP projects. Seeing the screening process for the software system as a flaw that resulted in the scoping changes that ensued, the paper makes recommendations to further strengthen the selection process by requiring vendors to prototype and map Cisco value chain processes to the system, among others (Porter, 1996; Liabotis, 2007; Zook and Allen, 2011; Austin, Nolan and Cotteleer, 1998; Rifkin, 1997; Mayer and Kenney, 2004; (Mind Tools Ltd., 2013; Institute for Manufacturing, 2013). II. Case Synopsis There was a need for Cisco to replace legacy systems or risk losing the capability to support a growing business that was poised to grow to more than a billion dollars from the US 500 million dollars that the company was able to generate yearly at the time of the case. The Unix system served the company well for a time, but moving forward, and with the breakdown of the system in early 1994, it was clear that that a new system was needed. For a time Solvik tried to manage the needed changes by allowing functional areas to upgrade their own systems or maintain current systems while adhering to common architectures and databases. This proved to be disastrous as functional areas proved risk-averse and chose to maintain aging and increasingly incapable legacy systems rather than step forward with proposals for large investments in new systems. The breakdown in early 1994 proved that what was needed was more decisive action. In 1994, therefore, the company chose to embark on a unified system change and chose KPMG to help it choose from a number of vendors, eventually choosing Oracle’s ERP suite. With KPMG as consultant and provider of systems integration manpower and expertise, the company embarked on a $15 million Oracle ERP project that touched on the entire supply and value chains of the company, and was slated for nine months, with the project to go live on the fourth quarter of that year. With top management support, and an Executive Committee made up of top leaders from Oracle, Cisco, and KPMG, the implementation team used a “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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