Under the guidance of Deloitte Consulting, Menacho and her team laid out a multiphase project to move JDSU’s information systems into the modern age. In addition to adopting current Oracle software and a more standardized operating environment, they laid the groundwork for implementing a SOA to simplify the integration of third-party applications and components.
They also defined a business intelligence (BI) platform that allows managers to consolidate and analyze information—not just from Oracle applications but also from other key business systems—to help foster a companywide environment of accountability and predictability.
During the first phase of the project, which was completed in February 2008, the team was primarily concerned with stabilizing the application environment by tuning the SQL and upgrading the database platform.
During the second phase—dubbed “Maverick” —JDSU upgraded the Oracle E-Business Suite applications to Release 11.5.10; upgraded the database to Oracle Database 10g Release 10.2.0.4; and adopted a standard Oracle grid model that included Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), Oracle Enterprise Linux, and storage resources from NetApp. Additionally, the team eliminated 33 percent of their old customizations. The Maverick upgrade went live in August 2008. “We came in early,” says Menacho. “The level of engagement from the line-of-business leaders to the individual contributors during the project was the reason it was a big success.”
Menacho justified this phase of the project as a foundation for future business enablers. “Senior management looked at it from an ROI perspective as well as from a business benefits and capabilities perspective, because we clearly were not able to keep up with business demands,” she explains. “Based on the size of the project, we asked our external auditors for periodic independent assessments to ensure that we were managing the project well and that we had identified risks and mitigation plans throughout the process.”
The third phase, currently in progress, is structured as a series of quarterly releases that improve the business in tangible ways including cost savings, labor savings, better access to information, better decision-making capabilities, better gross margin, and lower inventories. These quarterly releases will continue until JDSU upgrades its Oracle E-Business Suite applications to Release 12. “This time, we will be able to plan and structure an optimal upgrade cycle, as opposed to reacting to problems like we did during the previous upgrade,” says Menacho.
Aligning Business and IT
Deloitte developed a business case and codirected the system development lifecycle, from analysis through development, testing, and deployment. About 80 Deloitte people were involved throughout the course of the implementation, both onshore and off. “It was a very successful collaboration, culminating in a tremendous knowledge transfer to make sure JDSU was equipped to handle projects like this independently in the future,” says Jan Roehl, a principal in the enterprise application practice at Deloitte. To fully understand the requirements, Deloitte conducted interviews with line-of-business leaders throughout JDSU. Then, by translating business rules into software configurations, the consultants helped define and standardize JDSU’s mission-critical business processes. Wherever possible, they leveraged Oracle’s applications to minimize customizations and accelerate results.
“A lot of application customizations were eliminated during design sessions with end users,” explains Roehl. “We had a great liaison with Oracle On Demand and were able to compare the standard Oracle functionality with what JDSU was currently doing. The bias was clearly toward eliminating as many customizations as possible. The user community was very open to adopting the ‘vanilla’ Oracle software.”
“JDSU not only ended up with more-current versions of Oracle software, but they pretty much eliminated customization,” says Paul Van Amsterdam, senior director of Oracle On Demand operations. “Now they have a standard application platform going forward, which allows Oracle to help them accelerate business results, reduce costs, and lower risks.”
Oracle On Demand offers a broad portfolio of solutions, including software as a service and managed applications. The objective, says Van Amsterdam, is to enable customers to focus on managing their business, not their technology.
“Because Oracle assumes accountability for systems performance, our customers get better business results from their investment in Oracle software,” he explains. “By aligning their business and technology strategies, Oracle positions customers to capitalize on product innovations as they occur. We make sure customers are running the latest technology while positioning them to take advantage of future enhancements,” he adds.