Manufacturer sues IBM over SAP project ‘disaster’

November 9, 2012 from Computerworld – “IBM has been slapped with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit by chemical products manufacturer Avantor Performance Materials, which alleges that IBM lied about the suitability of an SAP-based software package it sells in order to win Avantor’s business…

IBM represented that IBM’s ‘Express Life Sciences Solution’ … was uniquely suited to Avantor’s business,” the lawsuit states. “The Express Solution is a proprietary IBM pre-packaged software solution that runs on an SAP platform.”

But Avantor discovered a different truth after signing on with IBM, finding that Express Life was “woefully unsuited” to its business and the implementation brought its operations to “a near standstill,” according to the suit…”

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180 View – There are probably thousands of pages of documents that support both sides of the law suit and it would be presumptuous of me to state an opinion on the little information in the article. But what jumps off the page for me is that Avantor only found out that the system was woefully unsuited after signing on with IBM. Avantor should have figured this out before they signed any contract. Some organizations fall under the spell of “best practices” promoted by some of the vendors that claim their system has been preconfigured with the best practices for a particular industry. Best practices will likely be great for standard business processes but no so much for non-standard processes that provide an organization with competitive advantages. If an organization is going to adapt best practices, they better get ready for lots of changes to their existing business processes.

2 thoughts on “Manufacturer sues IBM over SAP project ‘disaster’

  1. Great article and commentary. Also a good reminder not to buy all your consulting, advisory, and software from just one vendor.

  2. There could be multiple situation for this condition. I cannot blame individually to any one of the two parties.

    The concept of selecting the Business Solution without proper evaluation is very old concept. Is this deal closed at very high level without going through proper selection processes. Then blame it on Avatar.

    Since IBM has huge experience they know what project to pick from the market but they may failed to set the right expectation. The situation gone into situation that is recoverable due to multiple reasons.

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