Cisco Systems Inc Implementing Erp Case Study

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Cisco Systems Inc., Implementing ERP
Cisco, incorporated in 1984 by 2 Stanford scientists, was fast growing technology company in the nineties; but its internal IT could not adapt very well to its rapid growth. The UNIX based software system that supported its various functions was more suited for a smaller company. This and other events made the adoption of ERP inevitable for Cisco.
What factors had made the difference between success and failure of Cisco ERP project? Where had the ERP team been smart? Where had the ERP team been plain lucky? Do you think that the Cisco team could do such a project again if they had to? Why? Why not?
From the case it is evident that Cisco’s ERP implementation was a success and the following are the success factors
1. Organizational structure – ERP implementations are relatively smoother in centralized organizations than in decentralized ones. Morgridge, Cisco’s CEO, maintained a centralized functional organisation – manufacturing, customer support, finance, HR, IT and sales organizations were centralized. Hence for Cisco it was more of software replacement than change management (compared to the kind of resistance to ERP and accompanying standardization in decentralized organizations).
2. Cisco’s strong tradition of standardization – ERP implementation entails integration of
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Partner and software solution selection – Cisco was implementing ERP for the first time and the implementation was extremely critical to business. They could not take any risk in selecting the integration partner or the solution. KPMG was selected as an integration partner because it was very experienced, had great technical skills and business knowledge and demonstrated great commitment. For selecting the solution they did lot of research – asked large corporations, the “Big six” accounting firms, Gartner etc. – before zeroing on five packages. Also during the RFP phase they contacted the “reference clients” for feedbacks. Eventually they selected
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