For 5 years the Oakland Unified School District has done what 85% of the market has failed to do . . . sucessfully implement and leverage an eProcurement solution

Posted on February 9, 2011


At California’s Oakland Unified School District (USD), which manages 146 district schools with more than 45,000 students, the march toward e-procurement has paid enormous dividends. Not only is the district saving about $2 million annually, it is also improving the educational process by ensuring that computers, supplies and books are available when and where they’re needed, says Michael Moore, operations officer for Oakland USD.

from the article Dollars & Sense: Here are five critical steps that can cut procurement costs by Samuel Greengard,, January – February 2006

From my coverage of the calamitous exploits of SAP in which many industry analysts are of the opinion that the German-based giant is on life support teetering precariously close to flat-lining,  and the corresponding challenges associated with struggling initiatives such as the one in Marin County, CA which resulted in a $30 million lawsuit, to the well documented struggles of Ariba, successful automation initiatives of any kind are rarer than a legitimate Honus Wagner baseball card.

While I have often likened purported successes in process automation to the claim by at least 250,000 people and counting, that they were at the very first MLB game of the Toronto Blue Jays – a difficult feat given the fact that the old CNE stadium in Toronto only seated 35,000, when you encounter someone who can actually produce the ticket stub the stories they have to share are amazing.  Of course playing a baseball game outdoors in Canada in early spring is in and of itself an amazing concept . . . snow and all.  But I digress.

Suffice to say, and in what is the equivalent of talking with someone who had experienced the Toronto inaugural pitch first hand, the success story surrounding the Oakland Unified School District’s automation of their procurement process is both compelling and perhaps even to a degree inspiring.

On February 15th at 4:00 PM EST in a segment titled “Success amidst failure: How Oakland USD realized the promised value from procurement automation,” I will be welcoming to the PI Window on Business Michael Moore the Operations Officer and Commissioner for the district whose unassuming, aw shucks it was nothing demeanor is as refreshing as the results the Oakland USD achieved through its Elcom technology-based procurement program.

Accomplished during what can only be described as a challenging period in the school district’s history, the Oakland success may very well become the proverbial road-map for other school districts given the current budgetary dilemma most states and municipalities are now facing.

I guess when they say to “expect success” in Oakland, they really mean it!

Michael Moore

About Michael:

Michael Moore is a 29-year veteran of Oakland Unified who graduated from Oakland High School in 1975. He started out as a school security officer, and has since served OUSD in a dizzying array of capacities (15 in all, he said), from a food service truck driver to a middle school teacher and dean to a Senior Change Leader for the district’s Expect Success project. Now, he heads the Oakland Athletic League and supervises the district’s Procurement and Distribution Division.

His philosophy, in five words? “You don’t fix, you build.”

Moore says he’s not looking to build his resume, though. “I hope it’s obvious from my body of work that I love Oakland and I love the district,” he told me today. “I know I can do the job.”

PI Media Bite:

Michael Moore talks about how Oakland Unified School District Enhances Safety