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Operations and Project Management Case Study

Case Title:

CISCO Systems: Implementing "Customized" ERP in Nine Months

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Rwitankar Coondoo, Avimanyu Dutta



Case Code: OPM0012

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Cisco Systems, the well-known data communications company, faced a software systems failure in January 1994. The business was stuck for almost two days. As result, Cisco decided to change the UNIX based legacy systems of the company to a modern ERP based software package. The case discusses why the company decided to go for an ERP package rather than enhancing the legacy systems that it followed, the implementation life cycle of the ERP software package, and the problems they faced during the entire exercise.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To analyse the software systems failure at Cisco system in 1994
  • To understand the importance of ERP based system
  • To discuss CISCO’s restructuring process.

Keywords : Cisco Systems; Enterprise resource planning (ERP) package; Implementation; Operating Strategies Case Study; System failure; Information technology (IT) systems; IT strategy; Oracle ERP product; ERP implementation; Rapid application development; Conference room pilots; Problems


  • Introduction
  • Failure of the existing system
  • The system replacement
  • Selection of partnering consultant and a vendor
  • Setting up the budget and schedule
  • Managing the implementation team

  • Implementing oracle in iterative prototyping
  • The initial instability and its correction
  • The hardware contract
  • Stabilization
  • Result

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