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BAE fends off sluggish systems with upgrade

Defence firm updates ERP system to boost functionality of data

BAE Systems has upgraded its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to improve efficiency and reliability.

The defence and aerospace giant is using SSA Global ERP software at two sites in Lancashire where it develops and builds military aircraft and undertakes manufacturing for Airbus.

BAE decided to upgrade its heavily customised ERP system and associated applications to improve processing times, user performance and reliability.

‘Complicated layers of software were built on top of the core commercial layer of software by Baan (acquired by SSA Global) and outsourcer CSC, which meant it was a prohibitive cost to follow the upgrade path because of all the testing involved,’ said Steve Heywood, the firm’s head of business systems development for Air System.

Data was being corrupted because the firm was unable to take advantage of maintenance upgrades and fixes, and BAE Systems could not use all of the system’s functionality including some data reporting.

‘The corruption was limited to secondary tables,’ said Heywood. ‘We knew where the problem was and had to do workarounds, which were inefficient. Since the upgrade, the business is more relaxed about using data from anywhere in the system.’

SSA Global re-engineered software and conducted system testing at BAE’s site in Dudley. It also provided software to manage the data migration process.

Heywood says the go-live

phase of the 14-month project was completed within 75 hours and benefits were immediate with the system running double the speed, with greater reliability.

BAE Systems is also using SSA OnePoint Application Management Services, which allows the firm to take advantage of regular feature-pack updates and keep to its maintenance schedule and migration path.

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