Symantec was the leading software vendor operating in more than forty countries and giving employment to over 17,500 employees. It was operating through acquisition of other companies, something which contributed to its success (Anonymous 2011). In its process of acquiring other companies, it acquired Veritas after which it started an ERP rollout. The main aim of the ERP rollout was to standardize and unify the Symantec and Veritas systems. The unification and standardization was meant to create a single ERP system where all of the company’s extensive network of resellers, integrators, distributors and customers could place orders for over 250,000 different products which Symantec offered in the same way (Anonymous 2011). This was based on the concept of enterprise systems which were supposed to be in integrated software modules and use of common central database. This was to ensure that whenever new information is entered by one process, other business processes can make the same information available.
As seen in the case, both Symantec and Veritas had previously use Oracle E-business Suite 11d before the merger. The versions which the two used were much customized hence integrating them became disappointing. When the software in ERP systems are very complex and have a very extensive customization, integration may have negative effects on any information entered. For enterprise systems to be effective, they must conform to the business processes in the particular soft aware. Integration is not an easy thing to do hence care must be taken (Anonymous 2011).
To join Symantec and Verita’s data from key business processes, an overhaul of the combined company’s system was needed. A common enterprise system is very important in reducing costs of maintaining Symantec’s IT infrastructure and licensing fees for the enterprise software (Anonymous 2011). There was conflict on the implementation of enterprise systems between the two companies.
There were many factors which contributed to Symantec’s difficulties in overhauling ERP systems including; management where most of these difficulties resulted due to problems of not seeing the importance of implementing Project Oasis (Anonymous 2011). There was a negative reaction towards launching new systems which could improve customer satisfaction. Management led to customer dissatisfaction since when a customer went to a Symantec employee, they spent a lot of time troubleshooting and at last there was no solution offered. Due to merger of the two customers a lot of changes were occurring and customers could not cope (Anonymous 2011). Symantec’s management was very slow in responding to problems which made its partners sad.
There organizational factors in that the company seemed unprepared to meet the increased demand after the rollout. There was lack of coordination in the development of new ERP system and launch of other products in the company (Anonymous 2011). Lack of coordination is also seen in changes in licensing systems and other projects. The new ERP system was user unfriendly and there lack of organization in changes to stock keeping unit product system (SKU) which made customers sad.
Technology issues are seen where the two companies had highly customized versions of Oracle’s E-Business Suite 11d prior to the merger (Anonymous 2011). There was a lot of information to be processed which was a burden to users as there was increased number of steps to be followed, they were new, and were required to place orders all together. Some distributors were no able to place purchase orders electronically since they had not updated their systems to meet the requirements of the new SKU (Anonymous 2011). There were delays in receiving licenses after the rollout.
The response to the problem was adequate since it started Project Nero with the aim of increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty which was reduced by Oasis. This project was able to reach out to customers and improved information systems by reduced time spend waiting for responses and streamlined operations (Anonymous 2011). The new 150 representatives handled customer problems; executives were able to travel to different countries to improve relations with customers and partners (Anonymous 2011).
There were standardized communication methods between departments in the company and a master list of all products was made readily available. To measure and increase customer loyalty, Net Promoter methodology was used. All these methods these methods helped in correcting the problems (Anonymous 2011). Though from the literature it can be concluded from the problems were solved, there is no concrete results from Net Promoter surveys to show level of solution.
Anonymous, 2011, Procter and Gamble tries to Optimize inventory, viewed on May 23, 2011 from http://jssm.uludag.edu.tr/~erdal/END4263/Chap9.pdf