Oracle rollout gives Canon headaches

Canon Inc.’s Australian unit is sending out written apologies to its customers over billing system glitches.

Documents obtained by Computerworld reveal customers have been notified of errors in the company’s accounts receivable system, with the printer maker asking its clients to “disregard the due date on the attached invoice and note that payment is due (7) days from the receipt of this letter”.

“We apologize for any inconvenience,” the document continues.

Canon is currently implementing a single, integrated IT platform based around the latest version of Oracle Corp.’s 11i (version 11.5.9), and comprising of around 150 Oracle modules covering ERP, CRM, Warehouse, HR and payroll.

According to a Canon spokesperson, the project started in early 2002 with the scoping of the system requirements.

The project has involved several phases, the first of which was implemented in July 2004, including backbone applications like HR, payroll, general ledger, asset management and indirect procurement.

The rollout of Oracle modules occurred in early January 2005.

A spokesperson for Canon said that the vendor’s first priority has been to communicate with customers while it completes this transition period. “We are currently moving through a transition period following on from the January 4 Oracle rollout,” the spokesperson said.

“As with any such major implementation, there is a period of fine-tuning and configuration of the new system to suit our business model as we migrate from the legacy systems.

“Most of the issues to this point have been of an administrative nature and are being resolved.”

Canon declined to say exactly how many customers are affected by the current rollout issues on grounds of commercial confidentiality – but promised to keep all customers informed of any further problems.

“We are focused on completing the transition and passing on the benefits of a single integrated system to our customers and have committed all our resources to completing this transition,” the spokesperson said. According to Canon, the decision to upgrade its IT platform arose on the back of a new corporate vision based around the concept of ‘simple advanced solutions’, as well as a new mission statement with the goals of maintaining market leadership whilst being easier to do business with.

“The logical next step was to change and improve our processes and systems,” the spokesperson said. “The new integrated system will allow us to better meet the ever changing demands of our marketplace.” Computerworld is awaiting comment from Oracle Corporation on the issue.

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