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1.What is the legacy system problem at CISCO?
2.How was the decision made to implement ERP?
3.How did the team go about selecting the specific ERP vendor? Do you think this approach was appropriate? Why? Why not?
4.Do you think the ‘’conference room pilot approach’’ used as appropriate? Why? Why not?
5.What happened at cutover to ERP? Were you surprised by the performance deterioration?

History of Cisco Systems

This paper includes various insights regarding the enterprise information system. For that reason, the paper describes the details of the case study of Cisco Systems. In that context, the paper describes the history of the Cisco Systems along with the description of the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning in the organization (Agarwal & Jain, 2014).

Therefore the paper will provide the answer to the questions that are raised regarding the processing of the Cisco systems. In addition, the report is such prepared that it should provide a brief detailing of the route from the history of Cisco to the implementation of ERP in the organization.  

Cisco is considered to be one of the primary companies that used to provide the hardware as well as the software services. In that case, it provided its primary product to be the router that helps in providing the facilities of the internet as well as the intranet in the corporate sectors. It is seen that the rise in the internet basically enhanced the demand of the product within the customers. By that manner, the organization turned itself as one of the demanding companies within the market. Along with that, it started dominating the market with its valuable products. By the year 1998, the company transformed itself into the third dominant company in the market (Agostinho, et al., 2016).

At that time Morgridge when joined as the CEO he started working as the experienced executive and formed the professional management team. The team afterward in the lead of Morgridge maintained the centralized functional organization. This functional process has been centralized which is again decentralized in accordance with the three lines of business, i.e.., enterprise, small or medium business and the service provider process and the rest part eventually remains centralized. By that manner, the organization maintained its legacy which then enhanced by the joining of Pete Solvik. He came as the company’s CIO and he provided the significant growth prospects.

Thus the system legacy problem which is to be identified as per this case study is to keep the Cisco’s strong tradition of standardization with them (Bensch, et al., 2014). And more importantly, this legacy is very well maintained by Solvik. It is because the Solvik mentioned in his talk that they want to grow to about $5 billion-plus but at the same time they want to stick with their traditional services without getting upgraded to any other applications. In fact, it can be said that the main legacy problem of Cisco is the objection of Solvik to the ERP solutions. Though the company wants to grow up to billion-plus but Solvik in the initial condition had an inclination to avoid the ERP implementation (Cai, 2014). The reason behind maintaining this legacy is because Solvik feels the presence of this approach to be consistent to make efficient budgetary as well as organizational structures.

Legacy Problem

As per Dai, et al, the legacy of standardization was very well maintained in Solvik’s lead. The maintenance of this legacy had considered all the functional areas which are needed for the financial, manufacturing as well as the order entry systems. Basically, it is seen that the Cisco is seen to be the biggest customer of the software vendors because it enables the application of various hardware and software. Thus it can be said that after the joining of Pete Solvik the company wanted to grow from $500 million Company to $5 billion-plus company. With respect to that, the application that is undergoing with the legacy is seen to not that efficient to provide any effective amount of reliability, maintainability, and redundancy to the company (Dai, et al., 2014, April).

In that context, it is quite clear that Cisco needs an effective change. But Solvik basically objected for the ERP solutions which became a high level of concerns to handle various mega-projects. In that case basically, Randy Pond has been promoted to be the vice president and he provided the proper description of issues in the functional areas just because of the legacy system. As per Domeika, the legacy system turned as problematic just because it was an unauthorized method that makes the ineffective assessment of the database. In that context, the unauthorized database resulted in the inability of the system to perform specific functioning. This resulted in the malfunctioning as well as the corruption of the Cisco’s central database (Domeika, 2015).

This also resulted into product shortcomings along with the system outrages making Cisco to get shut down for two days. The shutdown of Cisco is the large failure of the legacy environment and the dramatic shortcoming of the existing systems. By then Cisco started the processing to bring the cover to the major shutdown and in that matter Pond, Solvik and other managers thought of making the replacement of the existing systems to any kind of autonomous approach to deal with this issue.

In that context, the Solvik described that they basically think of maintaining the process to take any kind of faster action by starting from the manufacturing and thereafter focussing upon the order entry as well as the financial groups for the company. Thus after a month of the closure of the company they worked in putting together a specific team (El Kadiri, et al., 2016). This team will be responsible for carrying out the process of investigation to make the replacement of the application.

Selecting and Implementing the New ERP Product

During that process, Redfield analyzed that how the IT projects are supposed to take their own lives with the implementation experiences. In that context based upon the Solvik’s concerns regarding the project, Redfield mentioned the team that it is better for Cisco to select the approach of the large implementation project. And more specifically they wanted to go for the implementation in a quick process at once without a lot of customization (Gunderson, 2014). Thus the company then realized the basic of implementation process which will be able to meet the demand of the business which resulted into the thought of implementation of ERP within the business processes in the organization.

Cisco in the initial basis started the process by making the realization that implementation should base upon such criteria which must satisfy the business needs. And specifically in this matter, there has been the requirement of the heavy involvement from the business community. Thus the team should build over with a group of very best people so that it should not become any kind of only IT initiative in this process. Thus the team is built up with many of the strong partners who can assist the Solvik as well as Redfield in selection and implementation any required best application (Gunderson, 2014).

For that reason, high level of skills and the business knowledge is quite important. In that case, a strong Cisco team started with an option of the build up of a KPMG board to put forward these applications. As per Klat, Stummer & Decker, by the help of KPMG, a 20 member team has been prepared and based upon that there has been a discussion to provide a multi-prolonged approach for the software market. In relation to that, they gained the efficient and requisite knowledge which will provide the best knowledge to the best application (Klat, Stummer & Decker, 2016).

In that manner, the KPMG becomes the best integration partner. Along with that Cisco has rendered a selection process which will base upon what actually people are using and the decision speed. Cisco ended up their search with two days of evaluation and by choosing two prime members namely, Oracle and another candidate.  But when Pond thought regarding the size issue he decided to not to go with any company of a lesser size. It is because with this the future of Cisco will suffer a lot. For that reason, the team meant for it extended their time period for 10 days and sent the proposals to many of the software vendors.

Conference Room Pilot Approach for Implementation

In that case, the vendors were provided a time period of two weeks to show their response. After the response, they go for meeting the vendors and in return, the vendors will provide them the details with the demonstration of the software along with other key requirements (Kopytov, et al., 2016). Thus it is concluded that the team selected the Oracle as the new application to be implemented in Cisco.

In that context, it can be said that the approach which Cisco has selected is quite appropriate. The reason behind it is based on many factors like initially the project was basically driven by the manufacturing very strongly and no other vendor than Oracle will be able to fulfil this manufacturing capability. Secondly, they took this decision by considering the promises that they made for the long run of the company’s functionality in its long-term development (Liu, et al., 2014, May). And lastly, the flexibility that has been provided by Oracle can help in the functionality of the application which the team liked very much. Therefore Cisco ended up with the implementation of the new release of the Oracle ERP product with a motivation that it will be helpful in making the project success.  

According to me, the implementation of the Conference room pilot system was appropriate and feasible in that frame of time. The team of implementation used this system which leads to prototyping the discussions on paper. The conference room pilot approach to the implementation was useful as every pilot had to refine the prototypes in order to obtain a better fit that would be in accordance with the requirements of Cisco.  

This system helped the company as many members had to analyse the strategy of implementation of rapid iterative prototyping which was the developed technique in sections. The concept of conference room pilot helped the company to gain a better comprehension about the new software. This concept of approach also helped in assisting regulating the functioning of the new software in the business environment. As per Ma & Wang, the use of the conference room pilot approach helped in revealing about the modifications regarding the requirements of the business of the company in the initial stage (Ma & Wang, 2016). It was due to the conference room pilot approach because of which the limited modifications could be devised.  the rapid schedule in which the company had to devise ways to implement ERP system  could be successful due to the  conference room pilot approach  as the problematic cutover  to the new system could be recognized.

According to Mayeh, Ramayah & Popa, the major day to day challenges and concerns that the company was facing and were need to quick attention could be resolved effectively and efficiently due to this approach. The implementation of ERP demanded many rounds of testing regarding its integration and functionality. This testing was crucial for Cisco to gain the comprehension about the working of the ERP software on the technical level (Mayeh, Ramayah & Popa, 2014).  Cisco had realised the fact that testing of the ERP system was not supposed to done after the end of the project therefore the approach of conferencing room pilot allowed the scope for effective and timely testing of the ERP selection process.

This approach also allowed the employees of Cisco to perform the business task with the new software. However, the new team that was hired for the job were divided into different groups in order to handle different task related to the ERP software which saved a lot of time taken to reach the final objective. The intensive training sessions of Oracle which were compressed into two 16-hours class right from a five-day long course time provided strenuous yet comprehensive knowledge regarding the Oracle software to the employees who were ready to implement the software (Mu, Kirsch & Butler, 2015). This way time consumed was minimized.

The assigning of numerous assignments to the employees added to the analytical and creative pool of Cisco regarding the resolution of the issues that were taking place during the testing of the Oracle software in the company (Niu, Da Xu & Bi, 2013).  By implementing the conference room pilot critical process and workflows of the ERP software could be done by Cisco in less duration of time. Cisco locking up its employees and members in an off-site meeting which was a process to discuss the settings related to the ERP system also was a part of the conference room pilot which provided the company with numerous resolutions and methods to identify the issues and generate ways to resolve them which was not possible if it had implemented some other methods.

The approach of the conference room pilot helped in getting 80% accuracy in the testing of the software in just three to four weeks which generally takes six months. By adhering to the conference room pilot approach, Cisco was able to achieve its one of its early objective for implementation of the software regarding the avoidance of modifications in the ERP software. This was beneficial for Cisco as these types of changes were rigid and initiating to incorporate future applications would have become complicated and would have consumed a lot of time. With the incorporation the conference room pilot approach, the changes that were need in the implementation of the software from time to time this helped Cisco in its achieving objectives.

The numerous process of business that was prohibiting the effective implementation of the software could be identified and resolved by the team through this approach.  The gaps that were present in the workflow and process of business could also be recognized and resolved.  The conference room pilot was a key component of installing the effective ERP as the identification of the changes in the technical system could easily be identified (Romero & Vernadat, 2016).  

Proper planning in the implementation stage could be done in Cisco through the conference room pilots. The implementation that was done was done in phases which helped in identifying and sorting out the issues that were arising from time to time with the execution and operation of the ERP software.  The challenges and issues related to the implementation of ERP software were not only challenging but extremely hectic which could only be managed by the incorporating conference room pilot by Cisco (Trost, Harvey & Regas, 2013).

The company had to not gone to losses completely but there were major challenges cropping up one a regular and daily basis that were needed to be attended in order to avoid significant  negative implications to the company. The timely shipment was disoriented and had undergone reduction to 75% from 95%. However, this was neither considered too bad nor too good. The cutover to RRP had the amount of success that was less than the expected extent. The users had to deal with the disturbing and unstable software. The system went down on a daily basis due to the installation of the Oracle (Tsadimas, 2015, May).

The sizing and architecture of the Oracle were too heavy for Cisco to handles in the initial stage. Cisco had to go through the dilemma of purchasing additional hardware in order to correctly the deficiency which would have resulted in higher expenditure that would exceed the planned budget. Ability of the Oracle to handle the volume of the transaction was another issue that arose due to the cutting over to the new ERP.  The design of the application had many negative implications on the issues regarding the hardware which included the inefficient processing of the general task. Regarding the cutting over to Oracle, it was clearly evident that Cisco had committed mistakes while dealing with the testing of the ERP in the final stages of the implementation of the software.

Cisco had tested the software with fewer amounts of data which back-fired the company when heavier data was implemented and tested (Tsadimas, et al., 2014, June). However, Cisco had purchased equipment that was based on the promised capability than the configuration that was specified which saved the company from the issues related to the hardware performance. Post cutover, execution of all the processes resulted to be too heavy for the database system of Cisco to process. Thus, after the cutover of Oracle and due to the cropping up of the issues, the consecutive months were utilised in testing the whole implementation process. This was very hectic and complicated w for the employees specially belonging to the IT department (Zhang, et al., 2017).

The issues after cutover resulted in bringing heavy workload and long working hours for the employees. The project status of ERP was the priority for the weekly staff meetings. Cisco had to demand for strong vendor commitment from KPMG, hardware vendor and last but not the least from Oracle for the ultimate stabilization of the ERP software and enhanced performance (Wan & Xu, 2015, March). Cisco had to be in a high determined mode to get issues corrected which included the appointment of the president of the hardware vendor to be the executive sponsor.

However, the technical issues were temporary and Cisco had got its ERP software stabilized adding full capacity to the system. This ensured rapid growth for the company the decision of the Chief Information System regarding the implementation of the new ERP system had resulted in better productivity that has been helping the company in its business.  

To me, there was no surprise to the deterioration of the performance at cutover to ERP as it is a fact that implementation and installation of new software to any work system would initially result in issues regarding compatibility (Wang, et al., 2016).

Moreover, Cisco   had not tested the software with a heavy load of data and had opted for batch processing instead which lead to inefficiencies for short duration of time which was recovered after resolution. According to me, the approach of Cisco regarding the entire installation of new ERP software system was very effective (Zhang, et al., 2014).

Conclusion:

The assignment deals with the different insights and events that were made by Cisco regarding the installation of new ERP software system. The assignment deals with the analysis of various implementations, decisions that were taken by the management regarding the technology of new software by Cisco.  The answers to various questions have that are associated with the technical systems of Cisco as an organization has been provided in the assignment.

The paper deals with the analysis of the causes that resulted in the making of a decision regarding the implementation of the ERP software have been discussed. The methods and the stages through which the company and the IT team of the company had to go through have been reflected. The approach regarding the conference room pilot with respect to the implementation of the Oracle software has been discussed in brief. Finally, the facts and events that took place post cutover to ERP have also been described.

References

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