The scariest software project horror stories of 2012

Billions of dollars were wasted and tempers ran hot as multiple projects hit the skids this year

By , IDG News Service |  Software

In July, aerospace and energy system components manufacturer Woodward said its third-quarter profit and revenue had taken a significant hit partly due to "ERP system-related issues that have been addressed."

While analysts on average had predicted $0.60 per share and roughly $491 million in revenue, profit instead was $0.40 per share in the quarter and revenue totated $460 million, according to Woodward's announcement at the time.

The exact nature of the ERP system difficulties, as well as the brand of software being used, wasn't made clear.

"A lot of times it has to do with some type of change management issue, either that or poor testing," Krigsman said.

Companies may also have other underlying financial problems but instead decide to "point the finger at the ERP implementation because they figure it's not as bad," he added.

Other companies, including Lumber Liquidators and Ingram Micro, have blamed lower profits on ERP woes.

Beverage distributor's lawsuit claims two-year effort resulted in 'absolutely useless' ERP software

Epicor found itself in court in January after its customer, beverage distributor Major Brands, sued the vendor on grounds it had delivered "absolutely useless" software after years of effort.

Major Brands started looking in 2008 for a replacement of some 20-year-old applications. The software still worked acceptably but Major Brands was self-supporting it and desired to move to a vendor-supported package, according to its suit.

It signed a deal with Epicor in September 2009 after giving the vendor a full rundown of its business processes, according to the lawsuit. Epicor assured Major Brands that its software was a good fit and would be up and running in mid-2011, it added.

Major Brands paid Epicor an initial $500,000 for software licenses and support and another $670,000 for the implementation, according to the lawsuit. The software was installed in November 2009 on Major Brands' servers but severe performance problems cropped up, it added. Major Brands spent another $100,000 on a hardware upgrade.

Major Brands paid Epicor an initial fee of about $500,000 for software license and support, and roughly $670,000 for implementation services.

The software was installed on Major Brands' hardware in November 2009, but "problems with operations, implementations and training" began almost at once, the complaint stated. Epicor's application was "running so slowly that it was not going to be suitable for use," it added.

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