And The 20-Day Implementation

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  • Published: And The 20-Day Implementation
S. McVey - July 17, 2001

Event Summary

Oracle Corporation made headlines recently with the announcement of, the online incarnation of its collaborative supply chain suite. intends to help companies collaborate on demand and supply across an extended, multi-enterprise supply chain in order to deliver reduced inventory, more accurate forecasting, better demand and supply matching, and improved delivery performance.

Oracle expects users to reap benefits almost instantaneously from the new web-hosted offering, citing savings in IT infrastructure investment and support labor. "Oracle is redefining the supply chain software landscape by delivering proven supply chain collaboration software as an online service," said Don Klaiss, senior vice president Manufacturing and Supply Chain Application Development at Oracle. "Companies can no longer afford expensive, open ended implementation projects. Rapid ROI is what the market demands and meets that need head on."

Market Impact

The speed with which Oracle releases new supply chain products is nothing short of astonishing. Just over one year ago, Oracle crashed the supply chain party with the release of Oracle APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling), a limited selection of applications for demand planning, manufacturing scheduling, and available to promise (ATP). Barely six months later, the company announced Oracle Supply Chain Exchange, an open standards-based architecture for helping suppliers and customers share information on important planning decisions. Now enters the picture to provide users the benefits of Oracle supply chain applications without the accompanying problems of an in-house implementation.

Just as startling, the purported time-to-benefit is shrinking as rapidly as is the lapse between new product announcements. promises to have clients up and running in a mere 20 days. While web-deployed applications do eliminate new hardware installations, many other tasks remain such as updating business processes, developing data interfaces and schedules, and training key personnel. It is doubtful that Oracle really expects installs to happen in 20 days start to finish, but its failure to delineate where timelines for other project components end and that for its begins is misleading.

User Recommendations

Users should beware of fantastic claims promising maximum return with minimum risk. Collaboration initiatives that target better inventory control and reduced sales cycles requires an organization to undergo fundamental changes in processes and infrastructure that cannot take place in a matter of days. Before swallowing Oracle's hook, users should talk with their consulting partner or one of those supporting, KPMG Consulting, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, who understand the difficulties they will likely encounter. Certainly if one of the Big Five are involved, you can bet that there is enough work involved to make it worthwhile for them to participate. Large consulting firms rarely take on short projects because they simply are not cost-efficient. Experience has proven time and again that true benefit comes only through capital investment, sweat equity, and time.

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