IBM sued over botched SAP project implementation

Tools

A chemical products manufacturer has taken the unusual step of suing IBM for a botched ERP--Enterprise Resource Planning--implementation, and publicizing the details via press release. In it, Avantor Performance Materials alleged that it suffered losses amounting to tens of millions of dollars after forking over $13 million in fees for a system built using the SAP platform that was "unable to perform properly." The failure was attributed to project mismanagement on the part of IBM.

As reported on Computerworld, the suit cited IBM (NYSE: IBM) workers as having told Avantor employees that the project was not managed correctly and failed to adopt best practices. Moreover, many of the original consultants were understood to have been replaced by IBM following initial complaints by Avantor.

The lawsuit highlighted the additional fees that IBM has requested to rebuild and redesign the system implementation. "Incredibly, IBM is now seeking to profit from its misconduct by demanding millions of dollars in additional fees to redesign and rebuild the defective system it implemented."

It does appear that incompetent project management may be the culprit here, resulting in a host of issues such as orders being lost and products being directed to the wrong storage locations. It has also emerged that the project went "live" despite concerns expressed by various stakeholders that the system was not ready.

If anything, the lawsuit highlights the importance of not signing off on high-level IT projects based on the reputation of a company or operating platform, but on the experience and competency of the consulting team.

For more:
- check out this article at Computerworld

Related Articles:
IBM expands mobile enterprise offerings
IBM (NYSE: IBM) Earnings Q3 2012