When On Semiconductor Corp. was spun off from Motorola in 1999–just in time to tank along with the rest of the semiconductor industry–the Phoenix-based company decided to address the question of its survival by becoming much more efficient. Instead of hoarding liquidity, On Semiconductor went shopping for sophisticated systems to replace the highly manual legacy technology it inherited from Motorola. Its executives settled on an Oracle ERP system for its backbone and a Quantum workstation from SunGard Treasury Systems for its treasury processing. Then, as often happens in life-threatening situations, people managed to see beyond departmental divides. "We were in survival mode for almost three years," recalls Gerald Freeman, assistant treasurer and corporate risk manager. "We knew we had to work together. The walls of functional protection came down."


For On Semiconductor, that meant that the IT and finance departments found common cause in working with vendors and finding efficiencies. "Our IT people were very proactive in working with Oracle, SunGard and our banks," says Freeman, himself a veteran of innovative treasury units at Lucent, AT&T and NCR.

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