Ford Shelves Oracle-Based Procurement System

The auto maker is scrapping a five-year effort to develop a procurement system based on the Oracle 11i e-commerce software, electing instead to return to earlier technology.

After nearly five years of development work, Ford Motor Co. will dismantle an Oracle-based procurement application and shift back to earlier technology, a company spokesman confirmed Thursday.

The automaker decided to "transition back to proven current systems" after evaluating the current status of Everest, Ford spokesman Paul Wood said.

"Some of the [Everest] functionality that we like we will role forward back into the proven system," Wood said. "So, all is not lost."

Ford first announced in November 1999 that it would work with Oracle Corp. to develop Everest, a procurement system based on the Oracle 11i e-commerce software. The first parts of the system rolled out in 2000, and Ford had been extending the system gradually since then, Wood said.

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Everest was intended to be used by nearly all of Fords suppliers—automobile production suppliers as well as nonproduction suppliers, Wood said.

But not all of its suppliers had transitioned to the Oracle-based system. Suppliers that are currently working with Everest will continue to do so "for some time" until the company is ready to shift them back to the earlier technology, he said.

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The abandonment of the Everest procurement project doesnt signal a general shift away from Oracle database software or applications, Wood said. "Oracle has many other things going on at Ford. This is just one project–just one platform," he said.

No Ford employees will lose their jobs as a result of the shift away from the Everest procurement system, he said.

Oracle declined to comment on Fords decision to shift back to earlier technology, citing a nondisclosure agreement. But the company issued a statement saying it "continues to support Ford on its back-to-basics strategic initiatives and IT projects."

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John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s eWEEK.com since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...