Case: Cisco Systems, Inc. Implementing Erp, 9-699-022 Essay

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Personal Assignment 3

Case Study
Cisco Systems, Inc: Implementing ERP
Case: Cisco Systems, Inc. Implementing ERP, 9-699-022
Reading: Thomas H. Davenport, “Putting the Enterprise into the Enterprise System,” Harvard Business Review (July-August 1998): Reprint 98401
Putting the Enterprise into the Enterprise System by Thomas H. Davenport
Enterprise systems appear to be a dream come true. These commercial software packages promise the seamless integration of all the information flowing through a company—financial and accounting information, human resource information, supply chain information, customer information. For managers who have struggled, at great expense and with great frustration, with incompatible information systems
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When considering and implementing an enterprise system, managers need to be careful that their enthusiasm about the benefits does not blind them to the hazards.
The Allure of Enterprise Systems
In order to understand the attraction of enterprise systems, as well as their potential dangers, you first need to understand the problem they’re designed to solve: the fragmentation of information in large business organizations. Every big company collects, generates, and stores vast quantities of data. In most companies, though, the data are not kept in a single repository. Rather, the information is spread across dozens or even hundreds of separate computer systems, each housed in an individual function, business unit, region, factory, or office. Each of these so-called legacy systems may provide invaluable support for a particular business activity. But in combination, they represent one of the heaviest drags on business productivity and performance now in existence.
Maintaining many different computer systems leads to enormous costs—for storing and rationalizing redundant data, for rekeying and reformatting data from one system for use in another, for updating and debugging obsolete software code, for programming communication links between systems to automate the transfer of data. But even more important than the direct costs are the indirect ones. If a company’s sales and ordering systems cannot talk with its

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