Executive Briefings

How ERP Upgrade at Symantec Hurt Its Ordering System

In November 2006, Symantec flicked the switch on a new enterprise resource planning system designed to let partners and customers order products and activate licenses. Internally, it was called Project Oasis, a major step in the merger of Symantec and Veritas. Once implemented, the combined company's vast network of resellers, integrators, distributors and customers would place orders through a single system that included all the tools and information needed for intelligent software purchasing.
Technically, Project Oasis, an upgrade to Oracle 11d, was flawless. The code, interface and system--aside from some conflicting records that made accounting difficult to interpret--went exactly as Symantec had conceived when it launched the project in May 2005.But users didn't understand the system. The voluminous information it provided them and the myriad steps required to place orders created confusion and poor usability. In fact, the system was so cumbersome that resellers and customers were on the verge of revolt. The problems were so acute that CEO Thompson blamed part of the company's sluggish financial performance in the third quarter of fiscal year 2007 on the ERP plague.
"It probably cost them business," says one observer. "The system made it so you didn't want to get involved with them."
Source: Baseline, http://www.baselinemag.com

In November 2006, Symantec flicked the switch on a new enterprise resource planning system designed to let partners and customers order products and activate licenses. Internally, it was called Project Oasis, a major step in the merger of Symantec and Veritas. Once implemented, the combined company's vast network of resellers, integrators, distributors and customers would place orders through a single system that included all the tools and information needed for intelligent software purchasing.
Technically, Project Oasis, an upgrade to Oracle 11d, was flawless. The code, interface and system--aside from some conflicting records that made accounting difficult to interpret--went exactly as Symantec had conceived when it launched the project in May 2005.But users didn't understand the system. The voluminous information it provided them and the myriad steps required to place orders created confusion and poor usability. In fact, the system was so cumbersome that resellers and customers were on the verge of revolt. The problems were so acute that CEO Thompson blamed part of the company's sluggish financial performance in the third quarter of fiscal year 2007 on the ERP plague.
"It probably cost them business," says one observer. "The system made it so you didn't want to get involved with them."
Source: Baseline, http://www.baselinemag.com