Finishing massive SAP project in current form may not be 'feasible,' study says

California recently fired SAP from its role as contractor on the MyCALPAYS project, which is supposed to unify the state's payroll systems

By , IDG News Service |  Software

These include sticking with and maintaining the legacy systems; updating legacy systems in a decentralized manner; and hiring a contractor "to restart configuration with a new underlying software solution," the report states.

An SAP spokesman declined to comment Thursday on the report's findings and pointed to SAP's previous statement on being fired from the project.

"SAP is extremely disappointed in the SCO's actions," the company said at the time. "SAP stands behind our software and actions." Its software is "functioning in thousands of government agencies around the world," and SAP believes it has satisfied all of its contractual obligations, the statement added.

California is in a position where it will "have to play the ball where it lies," said analyst Michael Krigsman, CEO of consulting firm Asuret. "You've got to assess where you actually are today [with a project]. Everything you've done before is a sunk cost. Just because you've spent the money and the time doesn't mean you've got anything to show for it."

However, there's some hope. For example, if California has already decided on satisfactory new business processes as part of the project, those can "probably" be reused if they aren't dependent on something specific in the software, Krigsman said. This is not insignificant since developing new processes is "an expensive component" of IT projects, he added.

Meanwhile, California has a broader problem on its hands, as MyCalPAYS is not the only major IT project by the state to stumble in recent times. Last year, the state created a task force that is supposed to figure out how California can "ensure that the right vendors can be hired at the best price and to hold those vendors accountable for their performance," according to its mission statement.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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