Journal of Information Systems Education


This case discusses the management and control of a large enterprise-wide implementation of an ERP system while the business model and corporate culture were shaping and being shaped by that implementation. In 1995, the Enterprise Networks Systems business unit of AT&T faced a triad of problems caused by its legacy IT infrastructure, including the lack of timely, accurate financial and operating data, looming Y2K issues and systems capacity issues that were beginning to limit growth. A business plan for change was developed and approved. A project team was assembled to replace 25 years of legacy systems architecture (400+ systems) with a new enterprise systems architecture. The team was to act as change agent by supplanting a myriad of business processes and people practices that were seen as impediments to future growth and profitability. This case describes the design, development and deployment of one of the largest ERP implementations. The project required the implementation of standardized business processes and people practices for 30,000+ associates globally while minimizing the impacts on 1.3 million customers and on shareholders. Simultaneously, upper management set out on a strategy of creating a virtual business by outsourcing major business functions, including IT, Manufacturing and Distribution, and major parts of the sales and service operations. Other major events included the spin-offs of Lucent Technologies and Avaya.



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