19 August 2004 Car maker Ford this week announced that it will phase out an Internet-based purchasing system provided by applications and database giant Oracle, after four years of failed attempts at integrating Oracle’s system with its own.
“We are going back to the proven legacy systems that are still in place. We made a business decision,” Joan Witte, a spokesperson for Ford, told Reuters.
The software, called eVEREST, is based on Oracle’s 11i e-commerce applications suite. The program was originally intended to provide suppliers, including other car manufacturers, with a portal that could be used for manufacturing, purchase orders and quotation requests.
However, even when the application was first launched, Ford anticipated a lengthy integration process. Ford suppliers – an estimated 100,000 users in 25 countries speaking 12 languages – were required to go through an extensive training and registration process before they were considered proficient with the eVEREST system.
It is rumoured that the car maker has spent more than $200 million on the project since its conception in 2000. Suppliers have also told Ford that the eVEREST system is slow and is riddled with bugs.
Witte would not give details of the reasons for terminating the project, but admitted that negative feedback from suppliers was one of the considerations that prompted Ford’s decision. She added that about 350 Oracle employees working on the eVEREST project will be re-assigned to other technology projects.
Oracle declined to comment, citing a non-disclosure agreement between the two companies.