Results and Benefits

  • Speeds implementation
  • Improves workflow
  • Reduces cost
  • Fosters collaboration

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Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Solutions Enable ERP Implementation


Polycom is a global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), and helps organizations of all sizes, across all industries, become high-performance workplaces. With Polycom collaboration solutions, individuals and teams collaborate on-demand between any location, over any network, using their device of choice. Polycom has a global presence with offices across Asia Pacific – including Tokyo, Japan – Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America and Latin America.

October 2015 marked a phenomenal year for the global leader: Polycom celebrated a milestone 25th birthday and unveiled innovative collaboration solutions focused on advancing the workplace of the future globally. They also heralded the successful launch of top tier Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Oracle E-Business Suite R12 (Oracle EBS). Though the Oracle implementation was an overdue and exciting prospect, an ERP swap is the start of a long process.

Large organizations know ERP projects are massive undertakings. Global, cross-functional, and complex, these efforts can take years to complete. According to Panorama Consulting Solutions, 72% of ERP implementations take longer than expected. Significant delays can occur during business process and workflow engineering--especially if a company has been tied to their prior ERP for over a decade.

RealPresence solutions enable cost-effective ERP stationing on a tight timeline

The rapid-fire implementation of Oracle EBS across Polycom’s global offices was made possible by Polycom’s RealPresence solutions for collaboration. Polycom CIO Scott McCool led the charge on the implementation, which included 2,677 hours of video calls prior to the cutover, and 2,909 video calls during the cutover.

"Polycom was able to complete our Oracle implementation on schedule in under 2 years, relying heavily on our voice, video and content solutions to bring together our large global team of business, IT and partners to make decisions quickly and execute with agility,” said Scott.

Part of the quick decision-making depended on seamlessly coordinating Polycom’s 65 worldwide office locations with the company’s distance-defying workspaces. About one-fourth of the company works from home offices, and many of those voices were vital to the project.

“A major challenge in the global deployment of ERP is empowering the distributed workforce to contribute their experience, expectations and leadership to the project,” said Scott. “RealPresence enabled us to do that and meet tight deadlines while we also came in on budget.”

In addition onshore and offshore employees, Polycom also leveraged Deloitte Consulting for functional Oracle expertise. Round-the-clock access to the globally distributed company via RealPresence sped project cycle times and optimized cost structure. “RealPresence enabled us to get the right people around the table quickly and efficiently regardless if they were in San Jose, Beijing, or Hyderabad.” said Michael Vowles, Deloitte Director and Engagement Leader for the project. “It was almost as if they were sitting across from us, which made the team work much more effectively and efficiently.”

Quick communication alleviates daunting ERP transfer processes

Implementing Oracle EBS was a technical feat that required parsing through and transferring years of customized operations and data onto another system. Polycom had used its previous ERP system, PeopleSoft, for over 15 years. Customizations were extensive and in combination with integrations to 16 boundary systems, this made Polycom feel locked into PeopleSoft. Polycom partnered with global IT services company HCL to develop the hundreds of Oracle reports, interfaces, conversions, extensions and workflows (RICEW) needed to make the new system work. Polycom communicated with HCL global resources using Polycom RealPresence, which enabled a brisk transitional process.

“The project was moving at the speed of light,” said Hari Gadepalli, Project Director for HCL. “With global teams spread across [many time zones], video with sharing content was far more beneficial than just on audio or email communication. We were able to feel and hear user’s intensity and passion. Communicating with someone on a screen was far more efficient in understanding one another than over an audio or screen share applications.” 

RealPresence solutions facilitate a smooth launch

In fitting fashion for its silver jubilee, Polycom went live with Oracle EBS on October 25. This was the culmination of a 5-day cutover driven from a Command Center in Polycom’s San Jose Headquarters. Polycom successfully facilitated the launch with internal team members, HCL and Deloitte using RealPresence.

“In the days leading up to our go-live, we hosted 2,909 video calls in to our 24-7 Command Center. The 341 staff, consultants and developers working on the project logged 2,677 hours collaborating together in a video meeting.” said Scott. “The level of engagement, the energy, and the attention to detail driven by a seamless collaboration experience was invaluable.”

Steve Pingree led the cutover effort for Deloitte. “During the cutover period, all resources, worldwide, were able to use RealPresence to view the cutover plan, the status of all activities, and to ask questions or resolve concerns, real-time,” said Pingree. “The ability to view the cutover plan at all times allowed resources to plan for their activities based on the actual timeline versus the expected timeline.”

Polycom: a family of seamless communication solutions

RealPresence may have been the star of the launch project, but many other Polycom communication solutions were also crucial to the project. “With so many people working remotely from home and at odd hours,” said Scott, “NoiseBlock and Acoustic Fence really helped us so much to continue to have productive discussions.” 

Scott and his IT teams did not need special preparation or support for the major event, and part of this is attributed to the autonomous nature of the solutions. “The value for me is in the totality of the experience and what it allows us to get done,” said Scott. “Eagle Eye Director and Eagle Eye Producer in our larger conference rooms were great in these marathon calls because these cameras let me see the active speaker so I can keep track of otherwise confusing conversations. I have poor hearing, so those features help me a lot. And of course the fantastic audio quality Polycom is known for helps me better focus on what is being said. The particular room I spent the most time in had SoundStructure immersive HD audio, but our HD Voice is terrific on all of our endpoints.”

After many months of preparation, the success or failure of the launch depended on the ability of the Polycom teams to execute a complex, carefully orchestrated cutover plan with thousands of lines of tasks. The benefits of RealPresence and the adjoining solutions were particularly clear to Raj Ramachander, Polycom’s Vice President of Enterprise Applications.

“Having all of our technical and business expertise available globally to work together brought efficiency to what could have been a very chaotic exercise,” said Raj. “Those personal, empathetic, face-to-face interactions brought us together as one team.”

For more information on Polycom enterprise solutions, contact your Polycom representative today.