It’s not surprising a company such as JDS Uniphase Corp. buys into a plan that saves it 60 per cent on its information-technology costs.

JDS, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fibre-optic network components, aims

to save US$35 million a year on IT by subscribing to a package offered by enterprise-software giant Oracle Corp. The deal, called All-In-One, includes the latest the required hardware, implementation, technical support and hosting.

If there’s one company that’s known for trying to save money lately, it’s JDS. The company, which is jointly headquartered in Ottawa and San Jose, Calif., has seen its annual revenue decrease from US$3.2 billion in the period ending June 30, 2001 to US$1.1 billion a year later. Its worldwide workforce has declined to about 7,000 from a peak in early 2001 of almost 30,000.

In January, JDS became a full-fledged All-In-One customer after upgrading to Oracle Business Suite 11i over six months. The suite includes Financials, Manufacturing, Distribution, Asset Management, Purchasing, Human Resources, Marketing and Sales.

JDS has been an Oracle client for more than three years, using earlier versions of these products. The big difference now is having Oracle as the single point of support, as opposed to about a half-dozen firms, including Oracle.

“(JDS has) always been dedicated to outsourcing this type of IT activity, but what had emerged over time was a mix of service providers all contributing to end-user support,” says JDS chief information officer Paul Brinkley.

Though downsizing staff has been central to many changes at JDS in recent years, Brinkley says that’s not what this new outsourcing arrangement with Oracle is about.

“What (Oracle All-In-One) has allowed me to do is focus on people whose job it was to help business streamline its operations and be more efficient in using technology — to focus on that instead of focusing so much on helping all these different service providers work together.”

Brinkley says Oracle’s exclusive support has been good so far, but it’s too early to compare it to the service provided by several companies in the past.

“Oracle would love for me to say good things about their support,” he says. “I’ll probably do that after we’ve been up six months to a year.”

Brinkley says having a single technology and service provider is an idea has merit because of its simplicity and efficiency, but getting there is probably not as easy for some companies as it was for JDS.

“(JDS) was a company of acquisitions,” he says, looking back on its growth from 1999 to 2000. “It grew extremely quickly but didn’t have much to begin with. Most companies have many, many y

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