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Millipore swaps out SAP for Oracle

When life sciences firm Millipore Inc. bought Serologicals Corp., the decision to replace SAP with Oracle was a "no-brainer."

When life sciences firm Millipore Inc. acquired Serologicals Corp. last summer for its strong focus on drug discovery, nuclear function and stem cell research, one of the first orders of business was to swap out the firm's SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for the Oracle E-Business Suite.

The decision to migrate about 1,000 new Serologicals Corp. users from SAP to Oracle made sense, according to Tom Roy, Millipore's manager of application services, because Millipore has long sought to standardize on Oracle applications throughout its many business units. The company has been an Oracle customer since 1991 and became one of the first firms to achieve a single, global instance of the Oracle E-Business Suite back in 1999.

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"We've been pleased with Oracle applications over the years," Roy said, "and so it pretty much seemed a no-brainer that we would bring this acquisition onto Oracle."

The Oracle E-Business Suite implementation at Millipore's new Serologicals division took just under 10 months to complete. Roy said the division is currently running Oracle applications that cover order management, inventory control, manufacturing, shipping and distribution, accounts receivable, general ledger management, project accounting, and purchasing.

"[Serologicals was] pretty much using SAP for their entire ERP," Roy said. "That's all on Oracle now."

Meeting business goals

Millipore decided to standardize on Oracle because it wanted to have consistent and accurate data at its offices and laboratories in 32 countries around the world. The company reports that the consistency it has achieved through standardization has helped to save money and is contributing to the company's ultimate financial goal of doubling in size by 2009.

Millipore's most recent investment in Oracle appears to be paying off. The company says the new Oracle E-Business Suite implementation has helped Serologicals streamline business processes, achieve a consolidated view of customers, and gain critical process manufacturing capabilities.

Some training required

As part of integrating Serologicals into its global operations, Millipore used Oracle's iLearning module to get those 1,000 end users trained on the Oracle E-Business Suite.

According to the company, the iLearning module allowed supervisors to manage, deliver and track training online, and Serologicals employees were able to access the system at their convenience so they could complete training at their own pace.

A supportive message

In addition to running the Oracle E-Business Suite, Millipore currently uses Oracle's Process Manufacturing and Oracle Database 9.2.05.

Roy didn't have any specific complaints about his experience with Oracle thus far, but he said that, in general, all software vendors should strive to improve their support services.

"I think there isn't a software company out there that couldn't do better on support, but I think that compared with the rest, Oracle does very well," Roy said. "Anybody who's done support, whether it's for internal or external customers, knows how difficult it is, and nobody is perfect at it."

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