big-ideas-features
 

Internal Strategy, Outsourced IT

Continued

To save time, Equifax used the turnkey services provided by Siebel CRM On Demand. "The only extra thing we added, and paid for, was translation of all of their training materials into Spanish and Portuguese. We felt that the training would be key," Partain says.

 

With the system a proven success in Latin America, Equifax will soon migrate other regions. "We already have our team working to migrate our Spain and Portugal operations onto our existing Latin America implementation," Partain says.

 

The Warranty Group: Independence Through Outsourcing

The Warranty Group, based in Chicago, provides extended warranty programs offered by manufacturers, retailers, and distributors. Until November 2006, it was part of Aon, a consulting, insurance, and risk management firm; it is now owned by Onex Corporation, an investment company, and by senior management. A key part of the sale was figuring out what to do with the company's IT systems, which had been handled through Aon. As a holding company, Onex couldn't accommodate the needs of The Warranty Group's 2,150 employees in 20 countries. The sale was negotiated in August 2006 and closed on November 30. "We had to purchase the software licenses. We had to acquire consulting services, and then we needed hosting services as well," says Larry Miklusak, director of corporate systems at The Warranty Group. "Oracle provided all three services."

 

Miklusak's goal was to have Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise applications up and running on January 1, 2007. He missed the target by only a day, flipping the switch on January 2. "It's an outstanding accomplishment," says Miklusak. "The team from Oracle and the team from The Warranty Group all pulled together to make this happen. I had concerns from Day One on the timing and was constantly thinking of contingencies but didn't have to execute any of them. So I guess the biggest surprise was that there were no surprises."

One key to the transition, Miklusak thinks, was a detailed service-level agreement with Oracle. That gave his staff the assurance that problems would be taken care of within known time periods, making it easier for them to move on to projects to support the independent company's strategy.

"There was some training for these new employees to understand the process that Oracle On Demand requires to put in service requests and get the communication going effectively, but that was minimal," Miklusak says. "The Oracle On Demand process is pretty straightforward. I attribute a lot of that to the experience of the individuals involved and their communication skills in driving to resolution."

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