Business Synergy

Continued

JDSU depends on Oracle On Demand for approximately 70 different hosted environments, which include 208 servers, 3,000 named users, and 38 terabytes of disk space. Oracle Advanced Customer Services worked closely with the Oracle On Demand team to resolve technical issues. In addition to hosting its own Oracle E-Business Suite software for JDSU, Oracle hosts a data warehouse, totaling 29 production applications, on JDSU’s behalf. “This has provided an opportunity to validate Oracle’s data center strategies on a large scale,” says Menacho. “It’s been a two-way street, with a lot of learning happening on both sides.”

JDSU’s development, deployment, and testing processes are now much better structured and more predictable, thanks to the new business practices and software procedures the team has put in place.

“Now that we’ve gone through Maverick, we’re looking at how we can leverage Oracle On Demand to potentially move other applications under Oracle’s purview,” says Rob Shearin, JDSU’s vice president of enterprise business services. This includes Oracle On Demand for BI, Oracle’s Demantra demand-planning software, and more third-party applications, which Oracle would host in its Austin, Texas, data center.

“Running a company with a diversified technology portfolio, it’s difficult to gain an executive perspective of overall business performance,” Shearin continues. “We want to use Oracle’s BI tools to create a performance management system that lets executives find and analyze information without relying on IT to create reports.”

JDSU adheres to an “Oracle first” strategy: If Oracle has a solution in its portfolio that meets JDSU’s needs, the company generally adopts that solution rather than something comparable from a third-party vendor. In exchange, Oracle is helping JDSU devise a more cohesive applications strategy. As part of an enterprisewide rationalization program, Oracle’s Van Amsterdam and his team are examining JDSU’s internal applications to determine which ones could be economically brought under the Oracle On Demand umbrella and hosted in the Austin Data Center. “We’re helping managers eliminate redundancies and adopt standard Oracle software whenever possible,” he says.

A good example, he says, is a dozen customer relationship management (CRM) applications that could be consolidated into Oracle CRM On Demand or Oracle On Demand for Siebel CRM instances. The company also has a number of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems left over from acquisitions, which will gradually be replaced by standard Oracle E-Business Suite software.

Lessons Learned
One of the challenges Menacho and her team had to overcome with JDSU’s board of directors was “the perceived inability of IT to participate at a business level,” she says. “This project demonstrated that IT could participate in conversations about how to run the business, not just about the technical capabilities.”

Today JDSU has shifted its emphasis from addressing operational issues to addressing operational effectiveness and improving information transparency. “As we consolidate our business operations, we are seeing audit cost reductions, improved operational efficiencies, and predictability based on the information being put into the Oracle platform,” Menacho notes.

Deloitte’s Roehl sees a model in how JDSU’s IT department has improved this level of business engagement. “The business trusts IT to mentor them, as opposed to treating IT as just a service or utility,” she notes. “The level of collaboration that we saw at JDSU was admirable.”

Having the CEO, the CFO, the CIO, and the COO on the steering committee made it easy to escalate and resolve issues. JDSU had the right people involved from a business perspective, and Deloitte used a proven approach that had worked many times in the past. “It didn’t matter what badge somebody was wearing when they entered the room, whether it was JDSU, Deloitte, or Oracle,” says Menacho. “We were part of a unified team. Everybody pitched in to do whatever they needed to do.”

Because the business units documented their processes, JDSU gained a more intimate knowledge of how its business operates. Many departments came away with well-documented procedures for training new employees, and they now have solid business continuity plans in place.

Menacho believes that executive sponsorship was key to making the project successful. “We had participation from the CEO on down, with weekly meetings of the steering committee and independent review by our outside auditors to ensure that everything stayed on track,” she says. “You can’t move forward on a project like this without that level of sponsorship. Many organizations treat these endeavors as IT projects, but these are business projects.”

For More Information
Oracle On Demand
Oracle E-Business Suite


David Baum (david@dbaumcomm.com) is a freelance business writer residing in Santa Barbara, California.

 

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