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Cisco ERP Implementation Case Study

             At the start of the case, Cisco's information systems are failing, yet no one steps forward to lead the effort to replace them. Why is this? Why were no managers eager to take on this project?.
             Although it was clear by 1993 that there was a significant misalignment between the capability of the legacy UNIX-based system and the business demand based on growth, no one within the company had led an effort to replace the old system. One reason was likely due to the lack of direction for such a project, as the CIO had originally instructed each business unit to select their own application and timing of implementation. This type of decentralized decision-making was unfamiliar at Cisco, a company who thrived on standardization and centralization. As such, no one manager of a business unit was eager to be the first to go to the board for approval to invest a large amount of time and money to replace the legacy system with an application for their own functional area. To do so would be inherently risky, as there would be millions of dollars at stake and an estimated time-frame of a year for selection and implementation. It is no surprise that no one at Cisco was willing to risk wasting valuable time and money when the old system could still be utilized. .
             2. Cisco was highly successful with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) effort. What accounts for this success? What were the most important things that Cisco did correctly?.
             I believe that the main contributor to the successful implementation of the ERP at Cisco was the creation and empowerment of a strong cross-functional team that was able to take swift and decisive action to complete the project according to the systems development life cycle approach in an organized and timely manner. Because company executives were finally ready to embrace a large ERP system, the team had a clear idea of where to begin in the selection process, thus saving valuable time.

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