Carlyle Group’s ERP Question: To Host or Not to Host?

When The Carlyle Group decided the time had come to upgrade its Enterprise Resource Planning system, it gave itself one year to deploy a new solution.

Previously, the global alternative asset management firm used Microsoft Dynamics SL. But, Carlyle Group CIO David Roth says that after “a very structured analysis” of the available ERP options, the company decided to deploy the Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise and Hyperion Performance Management applications across its global operations.

In order to meet its deadline and have the system up and running by January 1, 2011, Carlyle Group decided that it couldn’t host the system in-house. "From the very beginning, I had decided I did not want to hire the expertise necessary for me to build that environment internally. So we went through a fairly structured RFP process to identify and select a managed service provider that had expertise in managing PeopleSoft environments," says Roth.

The group had very stringent requirements and wanted to find a managed service provider that also had proven expertise in hosting the ERP solutions. "We were looking for a cost-effective solution," says Roth. "One that probably had a mix of on-shore and off-shore resources that could provide 24 X 7 management of that environment. We were looking for a vendor that could deliver on our disaster recovery requirements. One that would be willing to sign up to the SLAs that we required, and someone willing to work with us on contract terms and conditions that we knew our legal department would require.  We’re pretty tough on vendors. We spend a lot of time going through terms and conditions making sure that we are protected against loss of confidentiality and because our data is so critical to us."

The group solicited proposals from several vendors, including Oracle on Demand, IBM, Cedar Crestone, Indian-based firm Mind Tree and Dell Services. IT also asked its integration partner, Accenture, for a proposal. Price proposals, client feedback, and the kinds of SLAs and timetables the vendors were willing to commit to were among the deciding factors, Roth says.

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