Inside Western Digital’s massive cloud ERP migration

A three-company merger has given Western Digital CIO Steve Phillpott a unique lens on moving ERP to the cloud. Here are his key takeaways.

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Steve Phillpott joined Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) in early 2013, a few months after its acquisition by hard disk rival Western Digital (WD), expecting to be working on integrating the two companies’ IT systems. Instead, he found himself cast into limbo for a couple of years while China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) decided whether it would allow the merger.

“The restrictions from MOFCOM didn't allow any communications between the HGST side and the WD side, so there couldn't be any integration planning until we got the final approval,” Phillpott says. 

While he waited, Phillpott set to work modernizing HGST’s systems, moving email, file sharing, HR and sales to software-as-a-service offerings, including Office365, Box, Workday and Salesforce.

“Everything we put in with the understanding it had to be allowed to scale until we started the integration,” he says.

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