Newsmaker: Paul Brinkley

Paul Brinkley, vice president and CIO at JDS Uniphase Corp., a $1.1 billion fiber-optics company in San Jose, has cut corporate IT expenditures by $35 million annually by outsourcing its Oracle applications (data center, product data management and help desk support) to an unlikely vendor -- Oracle Corp. itself. JDS has used Oracle software for the past three years in service provider deals with Qwest Communications and Corio Inc.

Brinkley talked with Computerworld's Jean Consilvio about JDS's decision to outsource to Oracle, which in an effort to bolster sagging sales has been lobbying customers to pay it to run and manage its own Oracle products.

What made you outsource to Oracle? We moved to Oracle as a turnkey solution provider for their application. They're providing software, hardware and integrated complete end-user services. This has enabled us to consolidate all of our [Oracle] support [for all of our global business operations], so there's a single point of accountability for end-user services. We also agreed to upgrade to 11i, and we didn't want to deal with multiple solution providers or independent support and consultant firms doing an 11i upgrade on the timeline we needed to pursue; we did it in six months globally.

Paul Brinkley, vice president and CIO at JDS Uniphase Corp.
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Paul Brinkley, vice president and CIO at JDS Uniphase Corp.
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What effect will this have on your IT folks? The company has always been dedicated to an outsourced IT model, so we didn't have internally a lot of people doing these functions. Two things help keep head count low: a single-instance environment ... so we don't have people who support an ERP system dedicated to a single site or business unit, and [second] because it's outsourced.

The company first went with Qwest as an ASP three years ago. Qwest did well in some things and struggled in others, so other firms were brought in to supplement Qwest. And it just grew in complexity.

How did you estimate the savings? We pay a fixed amount, and it's a [large] part of my IT budget. Our company has gone through a significant operational restructuring to centralize a lot of functions. This deal was the trigger that allowed us to rescale our IT operating expenses. We've gone through tremendous growth, from a very small company to a $4 billion company, and now with the telecom decline, we've radically had to scale [everything companywide] back down.

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