10 biggest ERP software failures of 2011

It was another year filled with high-profile problem ERP projects

By , IDG News Service |  Software, ERP, project management

Health care plan administrator CareSource Management Group sued Lawson Software in September, claiming that an ERP system from the company hadn't been able to get beyond the testing phase and wasn't the fully integrated suite Lawson promised.

The system instead was two modules, including the then-new Lawson Talent Management, according to the organization's suit. CareSource was in fact one of the first companies to install the new application, it added.

As the project went on, severe data-transfer issues between the talent management module and a financial application occurred, to the degree that at one point CareSource had 20 open tech-support cases with Lawson, it states. CareSource is demanding at least $1.5 million in damages.

In response, Lawson acknowledged that "certain issues" occurred with the modules' integration, but they were resolved. In addition, while the project did remain in a testing phase, CareSource "halted" it before filing the lawsuit, according to Lawson, which is seeking more than $335,000 in unpaid fees.

SAP-IBM payroll system woes fouled up nurses' pay

Nurses in Nova Scotia reportedly suffered through at least six months of faulty paychecks this year due to problems with an SAP system project led by IBM.

After the Victorian Order of Nurses flipped the switch on the SAP system in January, some nurses got shortchanged while others got double their expected pay, said Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union, in a July interview.

"My concern is with the nurses that got $100 more," Hazelton said. "They may not have noticed it. Our pay is never the same."

SAP's payroll software is solid technology, but tricky to implement given all the variables with worker pay, as well as the job of mapping over details from the legacy system, consultant Jarret Pazahanick previously told IDG News Service.

Most problematic SAP payroll project failures have the same characteristics, according to Pazahanick: "The common thread is junior consultants and weak testing."

Despite the above roll-call of ERP horrors, there's reason to be hopeful, said consultant Krigsman.

While the number of high-profile failures was about the same this year as last, Krigsman thinks the industry "is waking up to the fact that customers find this situation abhorrent and unacceptable." And many of the major vendors are taking steps to address the problem.

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