ERP system 'difficulties' force network equipment provider to delay quarterly filing

Aviat Networks says it couldn't complete the filing on time 'without unreasonable effort or expense'

Microwave networking equipment maker Aviat Networks was forced to delay filing its second-quarter earnings report due to "unexpected difficulties" with a newly installed ERP (enterprise resource planning) system.

The problems meant Aviat could not make the deadline for filing, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 30, "without unreasonable effort or expense," according to a document filed this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Aviat ultimately released its earnings on Thursday.

More details of the ERP system's issues didn't come up on Aviat's second-quarter conference call, but CEO Michael Pangia did say he expected it would begin benefiting the company's bottom line. The company unveiled a restructuring plan last week that will result in job cuts.

Aviat didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Friday on the particular ERP software program that it implemented, and whether the system is now considered stable.

"When a public company misses a filing, it usually indicates some underlying issue," said analyst Michael Krigsman, CEO of consulting firm Asuret. "In this case, the system may have had trouble supplying data or reports needed for the filing. Certainly, the situation raises questions about the status of their ERP implementation."

However, "based on this data point alone, there is no way to gauge the severity of the problem or whether issues will continue," Krigsman added.

Aviat is not the only company that's been forced to delay financial filings due to an ERP project. Issues with the rollout of an Oracle J.D. Edwards ERP system forced construction firm New Enterprise Stone and Lime to hold off filing its fiscal 2012 annual report.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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