ERP Payoffs and Pitfalls

From HBS Working Knowledge comes an interview with Mark J. Cotteleer on ERP, a segment in which companies poured $47 billion last year. Says Cotteleer about two success stories:

Cisco represents the classic, accelerated implementation approach. They claim to have implemented ERP in nine months for 15 million dollars. Cisco had many advantages as they embarked on their initiative. They were much smaller then than they are now, and had a relatively simple legacy environment. However, at the time they were also experiencing exponential growth and the failure of their legacy information systems. They did many things right to get the system selected, implemented, and stabilized in a relatively short period of time.

Tektronix faced a much different implementation challenge. As an older company, primarily a manufacturer of measurement instruments and color printers, they faced a much more complex legacy environment, a more diverse product family, and a more geographically distributed implementation rollout. Tektronix provides an excellent example of how functionally and geographically phased implementation can work.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.